Our Team

John Campbell, AIF®| Managing Principal

John is the founder and Co-President of Benefit Financial Services Group.  For over 25 years, he has been working with retirement plan fiduciaries to improve and enhance retirement plan offerings.  As the Managing Principal of Institutional Services, he helps to direct the firm’s vision while overseeing its activities.

John earned an Associates’ Degree in radiology from Orange Coast Community College in 1982 and attended California State University, Long Beach from 1982 to 1984.  John is an Investment Advisor Representative with BFSG, LLC, and became an Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) in 2004.

 

Patrick Powers, CFA®, CPA, CFP® | Managing Principal

With over 25 years of investment experience, Patrick leads BFS Wealth Management. Patrick is a CFA® charterholder, a Certified Public Accountant with a Personal Financial Specialist Designation (CPA/PFS), and a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®). Patrick chairs the Investment Committee.

Patrick has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from California State University, Fullerton.

 

Grace Y. Lau, MBA, CFA® | Managing Principal

With over 35 years of investment experience, Grace leads the wealth management division’s Phoenix, Arizona office. Prior to starting her own firm, Pacwest Financial Management, Inc., which merged with BFSG, LLC. in 2017, she worked in various portfolio and wealth management roles at First Interstate Capital Management, Barclays Private Bank and Northern Trust.

Grace is a CFA® charterholder. She earned a Master’s Degree in International Business and Finance from George Washington University in 1975 and a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology & Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin in 1973. She attended Pacific Coast Banking School and graduated as an Honor Graduate in 1983.

 

Steven Lee Yamshon, PhD | Managing Principal

Steven has been providing investment advice and managing investments for high net worth individuals, non-profit organizations and companies for over thirty-five years. He is responsible for asset allocation, investment management, and security selection.

Steven graduated from California State University, Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Resources with honors and has also earned his Certificate in General Forestry from the University of Maryland. He completed his 2-year certificate in engineering management from Caltech. Steven studied at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Science Forestry for Executives Program in 2009 and 2013. He earned his Master’s Degree in Business with a concentration in International Business from the University of Redlands and studied Finance and Economics at The University of London Business School and the Institute of Economics and Political Science at Cambridge University as part of his program. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Business School Owner President Management Program (Class OPM 14, 1989) where he studied general management and received his OPM degree/certificate. He is also a graduate of the UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management Executive Program (Class EP064) where he studied economics, finance, management, and strategy. Steven further studied strategy, economics and finance at the Doctoral level as a Visiting Scholar. His PhD is from the International Post Graduate School- Universidad de San Jose- Fundacion Empresarial. He earned three master’s level qualifications from the Said Business School, University of Oxford. The three qualifications are: Diplomas in Financial Strategy, Diploma in Global Business, and Diploma in Strategy and Innovation. Steve also graduated from the Said Business School Oxford Advanced Management and Leadership Program with a Certificate in Management Studies. His dissertation was on forestry investments. As a Visiting Scholar, Steve was on the faculty at the UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management. He now teaches investment finance at UCLA Extension.

Steve has also earned the Accredited Asset Management Specialist℠, Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor℠, Accredited Wealth Management Advisor℠, and Accredited Portfolio Management Advisor℠ designations from the College for Financial Planning.

 

Christopher Rowey, AIFA® | Principal | Senior Retirement Plan Consultant

Christopher joined Benefit Financial Services Group in 2007.  His responsibilities include serving as primary Investment Consultant to a number of corporate, public and higher education retirement plan clients.  His extensive industry experience dates back to 1987.  Prior to joining BFSG, Chris worked for the Capital Group/American Funds where he held a wide range of roles within the corporate retirement and institutional investment market, including developing Capital Group’s first full service 401(k) product offering.

Chris graduated from the University of California, Irvine in 1985, with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Comparative Literature.  He is an Investment Advisor Representative of BFSG, LLC, and an Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analyst® (AIFA®).

 

Darren Stewart, JD | Principal | Senior Retirement Plan Consultant

Darren joined Benefit Financial Services Group in 2006 and currently serves as the primary Investment Consultant to a number of corporate and public clients.  His legal background is instrumental in the review of contracts and service agreements on behalf of BFSG’s clients and during his tenure he has contributed significantly to the development and innovation of BFSG’s processes and service model.

Darren received his Juris Doctorate with Tax Law Emphasis from Chapman University in 2007.  While at Chapman, he received the CALI Award for Excellence in the Study of Qualified Pension and Profit Sharing. In 2004, he completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Financial Economics at the University of Redlands. Darren is an Investment Advisor Representative of BFSG, LLC.

 

Tina Schackman, CFA® | Principal | Senior Retirement Plan Consultant

Tina re-joined Benefit Financial Services Group in 2019 after spending 7 years with Prudential Retirement.  Tina was originally with BFSG from 2004 to 2011 and primarily served as an Investment Consultant to a number of corporate and public clients.  Tina currently serves as a Principal and Senior Retirement Plan Consultant.  Her expansive background in the retirement industry allows Tina to contribute to the firm’s overall vision and best practices.

Tina received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from the California State University, Fullerton in 1994.  In 2003, she graduated from the Keller Graduate School of Management with a Master’s Degree in Accounting and Financial Management.  In 2006, Tina earned the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation.  She is an Investment Advisor Representative of BFSG, LLC.

 

Michael Allbee | Senior Portfolio Manager | Chief Compliance Officer

Michael is a member of the Investment Committee. He is also our Chief Compliance Officer, ensuring that we are in compliance with all government regulations. Michael’s main responsibilities include managing and monitoring client portfolios, researching and monitoring our mutual fund investments, and reviewing portfolios with clients. He has been with our firm since 2007.

Michael has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and is a notary public.

 

Valerie Gardner | Controller

Valerie Gardner joined Benefit Financial Services Group in 2010. She currently serves as the firm’s Controller.  Prior to joining BFSG, Valerie had been the Chief Financial Officer / Vice President of Finance for several multi-national corporations, including working in the government contracting sector. She currently overseas all financial accounting-related areas for both Institutional Services and Wealth Management.

Valerie has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Connecticut as well as an M.B.A. in Accounting from California State University, Fullerton.

 

Thomas J. Steffanci, PhD | Senior Portfolio Manager

Thomas is a Senior Portfolio Manager and his main responsibilities include portfolio management and strategy, and economic and investment research. Prior to joining our team, he was involved in portfolio management and strategy at Trust Company of the West, Fidelity Investments, AER Advisors, Inc and Glencrest Investment Advisors, Inc.

Thomas earned a PhD in Monetary Economics from the University of Connecticut in 1978, a Master’s Degree in Economics and Finance from the University of New Hampshire in 1968 and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Providence College in 1966.

 

Nora Rascon-Brooks, FPQP | Senior Operations Manager | Portfolio Administrator

As the Senior Operations Manager, Nora handles the wealth management division’s internal organization, including financial management, and organizational effectiveness to create an outstanding client service environment. She also assists with portfolio administration, which includes providing clients with account assistance, such as requests for funds, balances, standing instructions and any other account administrative services. With 15 years of experience, she previously worked in technology and architectural environments.

She earned the Financial Paraplanner Qualified Professional™ designation from the College for Financial Planning.

 

Lisa Sellon, MBA, CFP® | Director of Financial Planning

Lisa is a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) and provides wealth management services including retirement planning, trust and estate administration consultation, and guidance for clients in transition. Lisa works closely with strategic partners to coordinate services needed by our clients and is also a member of our investment committee.

Lisa is a California Licensed Professional Fiduciary, previously serving as a trustee and a consultant for assets held in trust. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of California, Irvine (UCI) and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Peter F. Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. Lisa joined our firm in 2014.

 

Arash Navi, CPA, AWMA® | Assistant Controller | Compliance Manager

As the Assistant Controller, Arash is responsible for assistance in all financial-related tasks including accounting, internal controls and financial reporting at BFSG. As the compliance manager, Arash is responsible for monitoring the firm’s compliance program. His previous work experience includes over seven years in various private sector firms.

Arash has a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics with a Minor in Business from the University of Victoria. Arash is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant and he also earned his Accredited Wealth Management Advisor℠ designation from the College for Financial Planning. He is a candidate for the Certified Financial Planner™ certification.

 

Kyle Nixon | Operations & Systems Manager

Kyle is responsible for all of our back office operations including our portfolio management and performance reporting system, accounting, budgeting, meeting all of our technology and computer needs, and anything else needed in order to keep our practice running smoothly, using all of the systems and information available to us.

Kyle has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from California State University, Fullerton. He is also a notary public.

 

Chad A. Noorani, QKA | Retirement Plan Consultant

Chad joined Benefit Financial Services Group in 2011 focusing on investment performance analysis and evaluation.  In addition to his client responsibilities, Chad is responsible for designing and developing new client deliverables and creating efficiencies within BFSG’s in-house reporting process. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the CFA® Society Orange County and is the Education Committee Co-chairperson.

Chad graduated from California State University, Fullerton in 2009 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance.  While enrolled, he presided over the University’s Student Managed Investment Fund, focusing on developing RFPs, asset allocation, and executing the team’s investment strategy.  He currently holds the ASPPA Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA) designation and is a Level II candidate in the CFA® program. Chad is an Investment Advisor Representative of BFSG, LLC.

 

Braden Priest | Retirement Plan Consultant

Braden joined Benefit Financial Services Group in 2015 focusing on investment research and analysis, and client support.  His current responsibilities include serving as the Client Service Manager to a number of public and private retirement plan clients.  He began his career at Aon Hewitt, administering client retirement plans in the Large Market Division.

Braden graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance. He is an Investment Advisor Representative of BFSG, LLC., and a Level III candidate in the CFA® program.

 

Mark L. Blom, CFP ® | Senior Wealth Manager

Mark is a Certified Financial Planner™ and his main responsibilities include managing and monitoring client portfolios, researching and monitoring our mutual fund investments, financial planning and reviewing portfolios with clients. Prior to joining our team, Mark was involved in portfolio and wealth management at Charles Schwab & Co. and Clarity Financial, LLC.

Mark earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Central College.

 

Russ A. Linnebur, MBA, CFA ® | Senior Wealth Manager

Russ joined BFSG in 2018 focusing on business development. Prior to joining our team, Russ was involved in portfolio and wealth management and investment analysis at World Financial Group, Drexel Burnham Lambert, UBS PaineWebber, Merrill Lynch, and Zacks Wealth Management.

Russ received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Texas and earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Houston. In 1997, Russ earned the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation.

 

Charles C. Kassicieh | Portfolio Manager

As a Portfolio Manager, Charles’ main responsibilities include managing and monitoring client portfolios. He has worked in portfolio management and investment research since 2012 and previously worked at Wells Fargo Private Bank and Merrill Lynch.

Charles earned a Master’s Degree and Bachelor’s Degree in Finance at the University of New Mexico.

 

Robert Verdugo, CMFC® | Financial Analyst

As a Financial Analyst, Robert assists in the execution of trades, account analysis, and performance reporting. He has previously worked for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, LLP in their finance department.

Robert graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Economics. He currently holds the Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor ℠ designation.

 

Aksana Munoz, QKA | Client Service Manager

Aksana joined Benefit Financial Services Group in 2013 focusing on investment and retirement plan research.  Her previous experience includes risk analysis of daily executed energy trades for Exelon Corporation, as well as providing assistance for a business development team at JP Morgan Chase, Investment Bank.

Aksana graduated from Drexel University, Philadelphia, in 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a concentration in Finance.  She currently holds the ASPPA Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA) designation and is an Investment Advisor Representative of BFSG, LLC.

 

Ross Hooper | Client Service Specialist

Ross joined Benefit Financial Services Group in 2017 as an Investment Research Associate.  His responsibilities include retirement plan research, analysis, and review. Ross’ previous experience includes financial planning, as well as working for Hargreaves Lansdown, one of the largest financial service providers in the United Kingdom.

Ross graduated with First Class Honors from The University of the West of England, United Kingdom, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. He is an Investment Advisor Representative of BFSG, LLC., and a Level I candidate in the CFA® program.

 

Sarah Flores | Investment Research Analyst

Sarah joined Benefit Financial Services Group in 2017 as an Investment Research Associate.  Her previous experience includes equity research, portfolio management, and credit analysis on high yield corporate bonds.

Sarah graduated from California State University, Fullerton in 2016 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Finance.  During her studies she served as the Vice President of the Student Managed Investment Fund and Finance Association.  She also served as a Portfolio Manager in the Applied Securities Analysis Program.

 

Nicole Chou | Investment Research Analyst

Nicole Chou joined Benefit Financial Services Group in 2018 and currently serves as an investment research associate. Her responsibilities include investment and retirement plan research, plan reporting, and cost analysis. Prior to joining BFSG, Nicole worked in real estate and was a Collateral Management Specialist at State Street.

Nicole graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of the Pacific with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and Entrepreneurship. While enrolled, Nicole was Chief Operating Officer of the school’s investment fund and helped manage and allocate the fund’s $2.9M in assets. She is an Investment Advisor Representative of BFSG, LLC.

 

Laura Pistoresi | Client Service Specialist

Laura joined Benefit Financial Services Group in 2018 as a Client Support Specialist, focusing on the client relationship experience and continuing our tradition of striving to exceed client expectations.

Laura graduated from California State University, Stanislaus with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Communications.  Prior to joining our team, Laura was involved in the insurance industry, with years of experience in both the health and life insurance markets.  Her experience in management and natural connection to people made her the ideal fit as our Client Support Specialist.

 

Sandi Stratford | Client Service Specialist

As the Client Service Specialist, Sandi focuses on the client relationship experience and provides portfolio administration, which includes providing clients with account assistance, such as requests for funds, balances, standing instructions and any other account administrative services. She has worked in the financial industry since 1995 and previously worked at Financial & Estate Planning International.

 

Katie DeSantis | Executive Assistant

As the Executive Assistant, Katie provides ongoing administrative support along with management of records and documents, and superior customer service. She has previously worked as an administrative assistant for over four years and in customer service for over ten years. Katie completed her Associates Degree at Saddleback College.

 

Elsie Khoury | Administrative Assistant

Elsie Khoury joined Benefit Financial Services Group in April 2012 as an Administrative Assistant.  Prior to joining the firm, she worked for 3 years as a talent recruiter in the education industry.  Elsie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Sales from California State Polytechnic University.  With more than 7 years of experience in customer service and administrative support, she helps ensure that the office operates smoothly and efficiently.