Kathryn is Content Director at Savingforcollege.com. She has been quoted in financial publications including the Wall Street Journal, the NY Times, Fortune, Money and GOBankingRates, and has been an expert guest on personal finance podcasts. Prior to Savingforcollege.com, Kathryn worked in product marketing at Henderson Global Investors (now Janus Henderson Investors), a global asset manager. She earned her MBA with Finance Concentration from DePaul University's Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, and has prior FINRA Series 7 and 63 licenses. Kathryn has 529 college savings plans for each of her three children, and enjoys creating content to help other families prepare for future higher education costs.
Matthew Toner is the director of institutional research at Savingforcollege.com. After obtaining his B.S. degree from the University of Florida and his J.D. from Florida State University, where he specialized in business law, Matthew went on to work as a financial advisor at Waddell & Reed. He holds his Series 7 and 66 licenses.
Mark Kantrowitz is a nationally-recognized expert on student financial aid, scholarships and student loans. His mission is to deliver practical information, advice and tools to students and their families so they can make informed decisions about planning and paying for college.
Keith Bernhardt is Vice President of College Planning at Fidelity Investments, providing financial products and guidance to help families plan for savings and investment goals throughout their lives. In his role, Keith oversees Fidelity's college savings and planning business. This includes the firm's efforts around educating parents about savings vehicles and strategies, and managing a team dedicated to providing industry-leading products, tools and customer service to help families reach their college savings goals. Prior to joining Fidelity in 2008, Keith had responsibilities in segment management, management consulting, and was an officer in the U.S. Navy. He earned B.S. and M.Eng. degrees in electrical engineering at Cornell University, as well as an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Keith's focus on saving for college doesn't end at the office – he too is saving as a proud father of two future college students.
Lulu Curiel is the Founder and CEO of Ivy Advisors, a leading Admissions Consulting company that helps people with their application process for college and graduate school. Lulu has helped over hundreds of people construct their application strategies and gain admissions to their respective dream schools. Prior to Ivy Advisors, Lulu worked at Apple and Deloitte Consulting. She has an MBA from the Harvard Business School, and a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Boston University.
Joe Messinger, CFP, ChFC, CLU, is partner and director of college planning at Capstone Capital Wealth Partners. He created Capstone's College Pre Approval process that guides clients through a process that allows families to save the money they need, and eliminate the stress and anxiety that have around paying for college.
Capstone College Partners teaches proprietary process to advisors because we believe American Families desperately need out support, and we as an industry have a responsibility to help them. When it comes to college funding, Joe Messinger is here to raise the bar and get more financial advisors trained to better serve our communities.
As a Financial Planner at Crescendo Wealth Management, LLC, Brooke Napiwocki has more than 15 years of experience in the financial services industry, during which she has advised individuals, small businesses and institutional clients. She currently focuses her practice on partnering with professional women and their families.
Brooke is a graduate of St. Norbert College with a BBA in Business Administration and Economics and a MBA from Marquette University. She completed her CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ coursework requirement through Kaplan University.
Brooke is a member of the Financial Planning Association of Wisconsin and is active in the organization's NexGen Community, which focuses on growing the next generation of financial planners. She is a board member for the Columbia College of Nursing and the Cedarburg Education Foundation. Throughout southeast Wisconsin, Brooke is a strong advocate for family financial literacy through her volunteer work with Junior Achievement and Money Smart Week®, speaking engagements and written thought leadership.
Vince Sullivan functions as principal consultant, lead presenter, and subject matter expert on 529 plans for 529NOW, LLC. Prior to founding 529 NOW in 2016 to promote the 529 story and industry, he worked at CollegeInvest, the State Plan Administrator for Colorado. While at CollegeInvest, he managed the Continuing Education program, personally presenting more than 3000 people-hours of continuing education. He has also written a 4-hr CPE course for Surgent-McCoy currently being offered throughout the country.
Vince earned both Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Business/Finance from LeMoyne College and Boston College, respectively. He previously has held FINRA/NASD Series 6, 7 and 65 licenses and has been in the financial services industry for over twenty years, bringing a wealth of experience to the 529 conversation. Outside of work, Vince is an avid outdoorsman, participating in tennis and hockey leagues, skiing, mountain biking, and scuba diving.
Kristine Schaffer is the Enrollment Research Specialist at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, PA, where she analyzes and reports on topics related to admissions, retention, and financial aid. Kristine is the editor of and contributing author to The College Affordability Academy®: A Blueprint for Counseling Families, a book written by enrollment management professionals that provides unbiased information about enrolling in and paying for college for those who advise prospective and current students and their families. Kristine earned her bachelor in communication and rhetoric and her master of business administration degrees from the University of Pittsburgh.
Paul Sisolak is a freelance journalist and writer whose personal finance articles on saving money, getting out of debt, improving credit and a host of other topics have appeared in the Huffington Post, U.S. News & World Report, Student Loan Hero, Chime Bank, and the Nasdaq blog, among others. A Tri-state area native, Paul lived in Los Angeles for a number of years, and now calls Miami home.
Joe Hurley launched Savingforcollege.com in 1999 while working as a tax CPA in Rochester, New York. He wrote and self-published the book 'The Best Way to Save for College--A Complete Guide to 529 Plans', now in its eleventh edition with over 100,000 copies sold. Through the years Joe and his wife Ginny opened accounts with 529 plans in 34 states for their two children, both of whom are now graduated from college. (The reason for so many different accounts was to facilitate research of 529 plans.) Joe now spends his full-time at Kettle Ridge Farm (maple syrup, honey, and shiitake mushrooms), though you may still see him occasionally at Savingforcollege.com.
Brian has worked with 529's in many capacities since 2001. At Savingforcollege.com he is responsible for all things 529, including contributing content, quarterly rankings, and media relations. Brian previously served as Director of Advisor Distribution to Ascensus College Savings, the leading administrator of 529 savings and prepaid plans. At FRC (Financial Research Corporation) Brian served as Subject Matter Expert for educational savings research. Brian has been quoted in leading publications including The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, and Investor's Business Daily, among others. Brian received two Bachelor of Science degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is a father of triplets with significant higher education expenses in his future.