Our Team

  • Kenneth R. Smith, CFP®, MS
    Kenneth R. Smith, CFP®, MS Chief Executive Officer | Principal
    Kenneth R. Smith, CFP®, MS

    Kenneth R. Smith, CFP®, MS

    Ken is the Chief Executive Officer of Empirical Wealth Management. He guides the firm’s long-term strategy and is a senior financial advisor.  Ken is passionate about educating individuals on how to become smarter investors. He hosted an informative financial radio show titled “Empirical Investing Radio” on VoiceAmerica and has designed a proprietary program “Empirical Income Planner” to help individuals plan for retirement.

    Professional Designation
    • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional
    Education
    • College for Financial Planning
      • Master’s in Financial Analysis
    • University of Arizona
      • Bachelor’s in Finance and Accounting
    Personal Interests
    • Ken is a 1st degree Black Belt in the Kajukenbo martial arts system.
    • Writing a book on personal finance
  • Ethan Broga, CFP®, MS
    Ethan Broga, CFP®, MS Director of Financial Planning | Principal
    Ethan Broga, CFP®, MS

    Ethan Broga, CFP®, MS

    As a partner with Empirical Wealth Management, Ethan works to develop, implement and monitor sound financial strategies designed to grow and protect the wealth of individuals, families and non-profit organizations. Ethan is the head of the Financial Planning Committee which oversees the development and expertise of Empirical’s financial planning recommendations. Rather than just another “financial advisor,” Ethan describes his primary role as that of a trusted “Personal Financial Advocate” who weighs the impact of each financial decision within the unique context of each client’s overall financial plan. Ethan is a Northwest native and has been in the financial industry since 1998. He lives in the West Seattle neighborhood of Seattle with his wife Corie and his two children Carsen and True.

    Professional Designation
    • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional
    Education
    • College for Financial Planning
      • Master's in Financial Planning
    • Washington State University
      • Bachelor's in Finance
    Community Involvement
    • The Skagit Land Trust
    • Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association
    Personal Interests
    • Playing guitar
    • Playing soccer
    • Paddle boarding
    • Golfing
    • Trivia
  • Lorne Enquist, CPA/PFS, MPAcc
    Lorne Enquist, CPA/PFS, MPAcc Chief Financial Officer | Principal
    Lorne Enquist, CPA/PFS, MPAcc

    Lorne Enquist, CPA/PFS, MPAcc

    As a partner with Empirical, Lorne manages portfolios and shares his tax consulting experience for strategic tax planning for Empirical clients. Lorne has a combined 20 years of experience advising his clients on their tax and financial affairs. Lorne is a member of the financial planning committee which develops innovative planning solutions for clients. Lorne works with clients to prepare customized financial plans based on their unique needs, resources and goals. He helps them implement the plan with practical strategies, in order to navigate the complexities of their financial lives, building on strengths and addressing weaknesses. He provides ongoing monitoring and revising to meet their goals as well as their lifestyle.

    Professional Designation
    • Certified Public Accountant / Personal Financial Specialist
    Education
    • University of Washington
      • Master's in Professional Accounting in Taxation
      • Bachelor's in Accounting
    Community Involvement
    • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
    Personal Interests
    • Spending time with his wife Tyera, daughter Maggie, and son Jackson
    • Spectating his children's sporting events
  • Michael Kelly, CFA®, CFP®, EA, MS
    Michael Kelly, CFA®, CFP®, EA, MS Chief Investment Officer | Principal
    Michael Kelly, CFA®, CFP®, EA, MS

    Michael Kelly, CFA®, CFP®, EA, MS

    As the Chief Investment Officer, Michael leads Empirical’s investment committee and is responsible for guiding and monitoring Empirical’s investment strategies. Michael also works directly with clients by building personalized solutions to help them achieve their financial goals. Michael’s career includes serving as an Institutional Portfolio Specialist and as a Senior Equity Research Analyst. He has co-authored a book discussing the details and complexities of investing in Healthcare equities.

    Professional Designation
    • Chartered Financial Analyst
    • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional
    • IRS Enrolled Agent
    Education
    • Saint Xavier University
      • Master's in Finance
    • Illinois State University
      • Bachelor's in Finance and Marketing
    Community Involvement
    • Board Member - Portland Tax Forum
    • Board Member - Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
    • CFA Society of Portland
    Personal Interests
    • Spending time with his wife, Megan, and two sons, Quinn and Max
    • Listening to live music
    • Hiking
  • Hwa Park, MBA
    Hwa Park, MBA Chief Operating Officer | Principal
    Hwa Park, MBA

    Hwa Park, MBA

    As Chief Operating Officer, Hwa manages the firm’s daily business operations while planning and strategically executing long-term objectives. She possesses a strong commitment to creating an environment that facilitates the best possible experience for our clients, business partners and employees. Hwa has held a variety of positions in finance, marketing, business development, and fund/capital-raising, working in both public and private sectors. Her career in finance includes working in investment banking at Goldman, Sachs & Co., capital markets at Deutsche Bank, and venture capital with SSM and Verity Ventures.

    Education
    • Harvard University, Graduate School of Business
      • Master's in Business Administration
    • Smith College
      • Bachelor's in American Studies
    Community Involvement
    • Lakeside School
    • Hopelink
    • KidsQuest Children’s Museum
    • Water1st
    • On the Board of Trustees at the Seattle Art Museum
    Personal Interests
    • Cooking and entertaining guests
    • Spending time with family and friends
    • Listening as the new reading
  • James A. Jones II, JD, CPA, MPAcc
    James A. Jones II, JD, CPA, MPAcc Director of Tax and Wealth Transfer
    James A. Jones II, JD, CPA, MPAcc

    James A. Jones II, JD, CPA, MPAcc

    As Director of Tax and Wealth Transfer, Jim applies his tax and legal expertise to guide the firm’s tax planning and wealth transfer strategies. He provides proactive tax planning solutions to high net worth individuals, families, and their businesses. Jim works with clients to develop estate plans and applies advanced estate and gift tax planning techniques in accordance with each client’s needs. Jim also provides his expertise as a member of the Financial Planning Committee, which develops innovative planning solutions for clients.

    Professional Designation
    • Certified Public Accountant
    Education
    • University of Washington School of Law
      • Juris Doctor (JD)
    • University of Washington
      • Master's in Professional Accounting (Auditing and Assurance)
      • Bachelor's in Business Administration
    Community Involvement
    • Player Agent and Executive Board Member, Issaquah Little League
    • Youth Soccer Coach, ISC Gunners FC
    • Youth Basketball Coach, Issaquah Parks and Recreation
    • Youth Baseball Coach, Issaquah Little League
    Personal Interests
    • Spending time with wife, Katie, and their two sons, James and Liam
    • Reading
    • Playing basketball
    • Sports Coaching
  • Paul Ohainle, JD, LL.M
    Paul Ohainle, JD, LL.M Director of Estate Planning
    Paul Ohainle, JD, LL.M

    Paul Ohainle, JD, LL.M

    As Director of Estate Planning, Paul applies his estate planning experience from California and Washington to guide the firm’s wealth transfer strategies in relation to estate tax and gift tax planning.

    Professional Designation
    • California State Bar
    • Washington State Bar
    • Oregon State Bar
    Education
    • University of California, Davis
      • Juris Doctor (JD)
    • University of Washington
      • Master's in Taxation Law  (LL.M)
    • University of California, Berkley
      • Bachelor's in Economics
      • Bachelor's in History
    Personal Interests
    • Spending time with family
    • Skiing
    • Hiking
    • Fishing
    • Camping
  • Erik Lehr, CFA®, CAIA®, MS, MA
    Erik Lehr, CFA®, CAIA®, MS, MA Director of Research | Portfolio Manager
    Erik Lehr, CFA®, CAIA®, MS, MA

    Erik Lehr, CFA®, CAIA®, MS, MA

    As Director of Research, Erik manages the firm’s research and trading strategies and works with clients to develop and manage their investment portfolios.

    Professional Designation
    • Chartered Financial Analyst
    • Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst
    Education
    • University of Washington
      • Master’s in Computational Finance and Risk Management
    • University of Oregon
      • Master’s in Economics
      • Bachelor’s in Economics and Mathematics

     

    Community Involvement
    •  CAIA Society (Seattle Chapter) - Chapter Executive
    Personal Interests
    • Scuba diving
    • Traveling
    • Spending time with his three dachshunds
  • Simon Liu, PMP®, CMFC®
    Simon Liu, PMP®, CMFC® Chief Marketing Technology Officer
    Simon Liu, PMP®, CMFC®

    Simon Liu, PMP®, CMFC®

    As Chief Marketing Technology Officer, Simon manages the technology and marketing needs for Empirical. He works to maintain and develop efficiencies with the tools our advisory team uses and ensures that our clients’ personal data is kept private and secure. With a keen eye for design, Simon works closely with the partners to develop and improve the Empirical brand. Through the use of technology, they work to enhance each client’s experience with his or her advisor, building trust and clarity. With a background in portfolio management and as an associate advisor, Simon has a clear understanding of what is required to stay at the forefront of our clients’ needs.

    Professional Designation
    • Project Management Professional ®
    • Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor ℠
    Education

     

    • University of Washington
      • Bachelor's in Economics
    Personal Interests
    • Cooking
    • Traveling
    • Exercising
    • Dining
    • Technology and Gadgets
  • Lindsay Farnsworth
    Lindsay Farnsworth Chief Compliance Officer
    Lindsay Farnsworth

    Lindsay Farnsworth

    As Chief Compliance Officer, Lindsay oversees the development and execution of Empirical’s policies and procedures to ensure compliance with federal and state regulations. Lindsay is an integral part of Empirical’s operations, and works diligently to maintain billing, bookkeeping, and client greeting in addition to her compliance duties.

    Education
    • University of Montana
      • Bachelor's in Business Administration
        • Major in Marketing and Management
    Personal Interests
    • Running
    • Golfing
    • Photography
  • Shan Zubair, CFP®, MS
    Shan Zubair, CFP®, MS Financial Advisor
    Shan Zubair, CFP®, MS

    Shan Zubair, CFP®, MS

    Shan has been with Empirical Wealth Management since 2007 and has extensive knowledge in the implementation of the firm’s investment management, tax minimization and financial planning strategies. A native to the Pacific Northwest, Shan graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Finance from the Albers School of Business at Seattle University where he is currently completing a Master’s of Science in Finance (MSF) degree.

    Professional Designation
    • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional
    • Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor
    Education
    • Seattle University
      • Master's in Finance
      • Bachelor’s in Finance
    • University of Washington
      • Certification in Business Development
    Community Involvement
    • Former Member of the Business Leadership Council of Washington DECA
    • Former Board of Trustees at KidsQuest Children’s Museum
    Personal Interests
    • Spending time outdoors with his wife, kids, friends, and family
  • Joseph Conachy, CFP®
    Joseph Conachy, CFP® Director of Business Development | Financial Advisor
    Joseph Conachy, CFP®

    Joseph Conachy, CFP®

    As Director of Business Development, Joe is responsible for implementing Empirical’s strategic growth initiative by establishing and maintaining the firm’s business relationships. In addition, Joe is a financial advisor with over 15 years of experience. He is well versed in helping clients create tax-efficient strategies, diversify concentrated stock positions, and legacy planning. Joe is passionate about focusing on his clients’ goals and executing strategies that optimize wealth over multiple lifetimes.

    Professional Designation
    • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional
    Education
    • University of Colorado, Boulder
      • Bachelor's in International Affairs
    Community Involvement
    • Assistant Coach, Willamette United Soccer Club
    • Assistant Coach/Volunteer, West Linn Baseball Assocation
    Personal Interests
    • Spending time with family
    • Golfing
    • Outdoor activities
  • Elliott Appel, CFP®, CLU®, CDFA®
    Elliott Appel, CFP®, CLU®, CDFA® Financial Advisor
    Elliott Appel, CFP®, CLU®, CDFA®

    Elliott Appel, CFP®, CLU®, CDFA®

    Elliott is a financial advisor with Empirical Wealth Management working with clients to explore, craft, and execute investment, tax, retirement, and insurance planning strategies to meet their goals. Elliott helps clients take advantage of opportunities to maximize and protect their wealth. He is passionate about behavioral finance and helping clients learn how they can make better financial decisions to improve their lives.

    Professional Designation
    • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional
    • Chartered Life Underwriter
    • Certified Divorce Financial Analyst
    • Life and Disability Insurance Licensed
      • WA, OR, KS
    Education
    • Seattle University, Summa Cum Laude
      • Bachelor's in Business Administration

     

     

    Community Involvement
    • Social Venture Partners (SVP)
    Personal Interests
    • Tennis
    • Hiking
    • Cooking
  • Jason Sulkosky, CFP®
    Jason Sulkosky, CFP® Financial Advisor
    Jason Sulkosky, CFP®

    Jason Sulkosky, CFP®

    As a financial advisor for over 18 years, Jason is committed to building close relationships with his clients. He values a pleasant wealth management experience that is built on a foundation of clear communication, trust and setting proper expectations. Having worked with both individual clients and 401k plan sponsors, Jason is well versed with formulating investment and planning strategies to successfully meet his client’s goals.

    Professional Designation
    • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional
    Education
    • University of Washington
      • Bachelor's in Business Finance
    Personal Interests
    • Spending time with his wife, Arianna
    • Playing a round of golf
  • Mark B. Umek, CFP®
    Mark B. Umek, CFP® Financial Advisor
    Mark B. Umek, CFP®

    Mark B. Umek, CFP®

    As a financial advisor with 15 years of experience, Mark is dedicated to providing clients with sound financial advice and exceptional service. He guides his clients through the financial planning process to create a plan that acts as their financial road map. Plans are then monitored on an ongoing basis to identify any necessary adjustments. Mark hopes his clients will consider him their most trusted advisor and advocate. He lives in Camas, WA with his wife Jenna and their two boys.

    Professional Designation
    • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional
    Education
    • San Diego State University
      • Executive Financial Planner Advanced Certificate
    • California State University, Long Beach
      • Bachelor's in Business Administration
    Community Involvement
    • Financial Planning Association of Oregon & S.W. Washington
    Personal Interests
    • Spending time with his family and friends
    • Watching movies and sporting events
  • Jeannie Pedersen, AAMS®
    Jeannie Pedersen, AAMS® Financial Advisor
    Jeannie Pedersen, AAMS®

    Jeannie Pedersen, AAMS®

    Jeannie is a financial advisor working with clients in the Portland area and throughout the Northwest. She has worked with individual investors since 1998. Jeannie enjoys getting to know each of her clients well and helping them to achieve their financial goals. She assists her clients in developing and implementing financial strategies to protect and grow their wealth, while minimizing taxes. Jeannie is a native of Portland, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.In her spare-time you’ll often find Jeannie cheering her kids on from the sidelines of the soccer field.

    Professional Designation
    • Accredited Asset Management Specialist℠
    Education
    • University of San Francisco,
      • Bachelor's in Financial Economics
      • Minor in Business
    Personal Interests
    • Cooking and entertaining guests
    • Traveling and exploring the world
    • Spending time with family and friends
  • Brian Reed, MS
    Brian Reed, MS Financial Advisor
    Brian Reed, MS

    Brian Reed, MS

    As a financial advisor at Empirical Wealth Management, Brian works to develop personalized financial planning strategies for our clients focusing on tax minimization, wealth management, and cash flow analysis. Brian is passionate about learning each client’s retirement goals and values to create a comprehensive financial plan while maximizing and protecting their wealth. With his prior experience as a portfolio manager, Brian is well versed in the relationship between financial planning and investment management and how to best implement each client specific strategy.

    Education
    • Seattle University
      • Master's in Finance
    • University of Washington
      • Bachelor's in Economics
    Community Involvement
    • Humane Society
    Personal Interests
    • Fly fishing
    • Camping throughout the great Northwest
  • Aaron Wilkinson, MBA
    Aaron Wilkinson, MBA Financial Advisor
    Aaron Wilkinson, MBA

    Aaron Wilkinson, MBA

    As a financial advisor with Empirical Wealth Management, Aaron is dedicated to providing exceptional service to his clients. Aaron is a third-generation Alaskan with strong ties to the Anchorage community, as well as having close family and business relationships throughout the state. With a background in banking and wealth management, Aaron is passionate about finding tailored solutions to assist clients in navigating the complexities of their financial lives. He asks questions and listens carefully to provide investment advice specifically suited to each individual.  Working in the construction and auto-body industries helped support Aaron while obtaining his education and exposed him, first hand, to some of the day-to-day challenges of small business.  This experience, coupled with an expertise in commercial lending and investment strategy, provides Aaron with valuable, well-rounding insights to further assist his clients in reaching their financial goals.

    Education
    • University of Maryland
      • Master's in Business Administration
    • Western Washington University
      • Bachelor’s in Economics and Political Science
    Community Involvement
    • Bayshore Elementary PTA
    • Anchorage Chamber of Commerce
    • Resource Development Council for Alaska
    • Dimond West Little League
    • Associated General Contractors
    Personal Interests
    • Hiking
    • Camping
    • Fishing
    • Photography
    • Spending time with his wife and son
  • Robert Thomas, CPA
    Robert Thomas, CPA Tax Manager
    Robert Thomas, CPA

    Robert Thomas, CPA

    As a tax manager at Empirical, Robert provides tax planning and compliance for high net worth individuals, their families, and their businesses. With an extensive background in tax preparation, Robert brings a wealth of tax knowledge to optimize each individual client’s specific tax situation.

    Professional Designation
    • Certified Public Accountant
    Education
    • University of Washington
      • Bachelor’s in Accounting

     

    Personal Interests
    • Skiing
    • Sailing
    • Golf
    • Tennis
    • Cycling
  • Taylor M. Wong, CPA
    Taylor M. Wong, CPA Tax Manager
    Taylor M. Wong, CPA

    Taylor M. Wong, CPA

    As a Tax Manager with Empirical, Taylor works with high net worth individuals, families and businesses to formulate and implement tax strategies to reduce their tax burden. With her extensive background in tax preparation and strategic tax planning, Taylor brings a depth of knowledge that can be coordinated with clients’ cash flow and retirement planning.

    Professional Designation
    • Certified Public Accountant
    Education
    • Central Michigan University
      • Bachelor's in Business Administration
    Community Involvement
    • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
    • Oregon Society of Certified Public Accountants
    Personal Interests
    • Playing soccer
    • Hiking with her dogs
    • Board games
    • Exploring new restaurants
  • Benjamin Finley, CFA®
    Benjamin Finley, CFA® Portfolio Manager
    Benjamin Finley, CFA®

    Benjamin Finley, CFA®

    As a Portfolio Manager, Ben implements and monitors client investment portfolios. He works closely with Empirical’s research team to develop new, customized investment strategies and is responsible for executing daily trading processes. Ben has a combined 10 years of experience in the investment management industry, with roles in operations, performance reporting, analysis and portfolio management.

    Professional Designation
    • Chartered Financial Analyst
    Education
    • University of Oregon
      • Bachelor’s in Business Administration
        • Focus on Finance, Minor in Economics
    Community Involvement
    • CFA Society of Seattle
    Personal Interests
    • Spending time with family
    • Traveling
    • Exercising
    • Reading
  • Karina Dahilig
    Karina Dahilig Associate Portfolio Manager
    Karina Dahilig

    Karina Dahilig

    As an Associate Portfolio Manager, Karina works with the investment team to conduct research and perform daily trading processes on client portfolios. Aside from these activities, she audits client portfolios to ensure Empirical’s investment returns follow industry-wide, ethical standards. Karina is originally from Hawaii and is a 2018 Level II Candidate in the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) program.

    Education
    • Seattle University, Magna Cum Laude
      • Bachelor’s in Finance and Business Economics
    Personal Interests
    • Spending time with friends and family
    • Reading
    • Baking
  • James Cooney, MS
    James Cooney, MS Associate Financial Advisor
    James Cooney, MS

    James Cooney, MS

    As an Associate Advisor, James assists financial advisors in the development, implementation, and monitoring of our clients, investment, tax, and cash flow strategies. He proactively coordinates the moving pieces between clients, custodians, and portfolio managers to ensure a smooth, positive experience for clients.

    Education
    • Grand Canyon University
      • Master's in Business Analytics
      • Bachelor's in Finance and Economics
    Community Involvement
    • Junior Achievement
    Personal Interests
    • Coaching Soccer
    • Local Professional Sports Teams
  • Kenneth Chavis IV
    Kenneth Chavis IV Associate Financial Advisor
    Kenneth Chavis IV

    Kenneth Chavis IV

    As an Associate Financial Advisor, Kenneth works diligently with Empirical’s financial advisors to execute the various aspects of clients’ financial plans and investment strategies. Kenneth also assists in identifying opportunities related to financial planning, tax minimization, and provides clients with exceptional service.  Kenneth is studying to become a Certified Financial Planner™ professional and plans to sit for the exam in 2018.

    Education
    • Hawaii Pacific University, Summa Cum Laude
      • Bachelor of Business Economics
    Personal Interests
    • Hiking
    • Live music
    • Basketball
  • Michael Randall
    Michael Randall Associate Financial Advisor
    Michael Randall

    Michael Randall

    As an Associate Financial Advisor, Michael provides direct support to our financial advisors and their clients. Michael assists with identifying opportunities relating to tax minimization, financial planning, and investment management. Additionally, he helps prepare client reviews and provides proactive support to help clients in reaching their goals.

    Education
    • University of California, Berkeley
      • Bachelor's in Economics
    Personal Interests
    • Exploring the Pacific NW with his dogs
    • Kayaking
    • Watching Sports
  • John Miller
    John Miller Associate Financial Advisor
    John Miller

    John Miller

    As an Associate Financial Advisor with Empirical Wealth Management, John collaborates with advisors and clients to assist in developing and implementing financial plans. He has previous experience as an associate portfolio manager assisting the investment team with daily trading tasks, research and analysis. John supports Financial Advisors in identifying tax minimization, investment management and financial planning opportunities.

    Education
    • University of Washington
      • Bachelor’s in Business Administration
        • Major in Accounting and HR Management
    Community Involvement
    • Volunteer at the St. Martin De Pores Shelter in Seattle
    Personal Interests
    • Hiking
    • Traveling
    • Cooking
  • Jena Boyle
    Jena Boyle Executive Assistant | Marketing Associate
    Jena Boyle

    Jena Boyle

    As Executive Assistant, Jena supports an array of activities to Empirical’s CEO to facilitate effectiveness and efficiency in his daily operations. With a marketing background, she contributes to the design and maintenance of marketing materials and helps to coordinate marketing campaigns and client events.

    Education
    • Washington State University
      • Bachelor's in Strategic Communication
        • Minor in Business Administration and Criminal Justice

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