Broker Check

Advanced Planning Group

Chip Sroufe

The C.O.R.E. Group

Chip Sroufe has been a Relationship Manager with The C.O.R.E. Group since June 2002. He uses the vast and varied experiences he has had throughout the financial services industry to be a well-rounded and valuable partner to advisors and their clients. He specializes in protecting affluent individuals, families and business owners with life insurance, annuity, DI, LTC and tax advantaged strategies. He uses a consultative approach and has been directly involved in implementing over two thousand solutions to create the best and right outcomes for clients for their reasons.

Since being securities and insurance licensed in 1997 he has had success in every position held. For three years he was a retail financial advisor working with high net worth individuals and business owners and achieved an officer’s title. Then he was instrumental in building a team to distribute variable annuities to the independent advisor channel. Lastly, he was in charge of recruitment in the Southwest for a large independent broker dealer. His success continues at The C.O.R.E. Group by being the top Relationship Manager for the past four consecutive years.

He is registered with FINRA and holds Series 7, 31, 63, 65 and fixed and variable life insurance licenses. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Arizona State University majoring in History. He has been married to Lisa since 1997 and has a daughter Addison, 2007, and a son, Max, 2011. They reside in Chandler, AZ with their yellow lab Henry. He enjoys cooking dinner for friends, attending ASU athletic events, vacationing on the beaches of Mexico and volunteering for his kids athletics and at his church.

Chip Sroufe is not affiliated or registered with Cetera Advisors LLC. Any information provided by Chip Sroufe is no way related to Cetera Advisors LLC or its registered representatives.

Craig Casavant

Mortgage and Real Estate

Craig Casavant specializes in mortgages, reverse mortgages, and other real estate transactions. Craig assists our clients in shopping for and obtaining mortgages. In addition, his team can provide real estate purchase and sale assistance.

New Vintage Mortgage Services specializes in world-class customer care.

Their approach is built on understanding their clients current and future needs to be the best finance and planning partner in the business.

Craig Casavant is not affiliated or registered with Cetera Advisors LLC. Any information provided by Craig Casavant is no way related to Cetera Advisors LLC or its registered representatives.

David Kramer CFP®, CRPC®, MBA
  • Certified Financial Planner ™
  • Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor ™
  • MBA in Personal Financial Planning

David is the owner and founder of Retirement Wealth & Tax Advisors and a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). He has been charting a course toward successful retirement for his clients for more than 40 years. He sees his role as that of a guide leading his clients through the process of intentional retirement planning so that each individual’s unique goals and dreams are a possibility. As a financial guide, he also helps his clients avoid the pitfalls of overspending and outliving retirement. David has built a team of retirement specialists and support staff, an extensive network of professionals in areas critical to retirement success, and robust technological systems to help execute his client’s visions. As a result, he has had numerous client-families work with him for generations.

David is passionate about the opportunity to change people’s lives through thoughtful financial planning, making what may seem impossible and scary rewarding and achievable. He thrives on working with others, discovering who they are and what is important to them, and playing a meaningful part in their financial health. The world, the economy, the country, tax laws, and the financial services industry and the products they offer are continually changing. David enjoys the challenge of continual learning and the ability to apply his knowledge with his clients.

Mr. Kramer became interested in financial planning after watching his parents struggle with unsatisfying jobs and low incomes. He wanted to learn how finances can work as a tool for financial independence. Early on, he began thinking about the concept of work being optional and how one would get to that point. In his research on building wealth, he discovered a book called Money Dynamics by an early pioneer in the financial planning industry, and he was hooked. A short time later, he began working at a financial firm and 43 years later he is still working to help clients make work optional.

David lives his life by the rules he uses to advise clients - he knows what is most important to him and invests in those areas while living thoughtfully in other areas enabling his own dreams to be fulfilled. As a result, he and his partner of 34 years, Susan, are avid travelers. David also enjoys skiing, watersports, learning foreign languages, and personal fitness.

Mr. Kramer holds a BS in Business from Drexel University with a concentration in Accounting. He holds Certified Financial Planner (CFP™) and Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC™) designations from the College for Financial Planning. He received his MBA in Personal Finance Planning from Golden Gate University and was cited for outstanding academic achievement. He is an Investment Advisor Representative with Cetera Advisors LLC, an entity whose purpose is to support independent financial advisors.


Joyce Howell, CEPTM,RFPTM
  • Certified Estate Planner ™
  • Registered Financial Planner ™

Joyce is an Associate Wealth Manager and Certified Retirement Coach with Retirement Wealth and Tax Advisors (RWTA). She began her career immediately after graduating from High School, working for Sun Life Insurance Company of America. While at Sun Life, she attended the University of Baltimore achieving a B.A. in Business Administration with majors in Business Management and Economics.

Over the years, Ms. Howell was given the opportunity to experience many different roles at Sun Life, which eventually resulted in a chance to learn about investments in the Variable Annuity Department of the company. At this point in her career, her interest in investments was piqued and she was eager to learn more about working with clients, helping them to achieve their important financial goals. Joyce was convinced that the relationship-oriented aspect of financial planning was a way to achieve her goal of being of service to others so she accepted a financial planner training position with IDS Financial Services (American Express Financial Services) and was placed in their extensive training program. The rest, as they say, is history. That program began her 34-year journey in helping her clients make their dreams come true. In addition to being an Associate Wealth Manager at RWTA, for the past 12 years, Joyce is a Certified Retirement Coach™.

As a financial planner with Retirement Wealth and Tax Advisors, Ms. Howell focuses on retirement income planning, risk management, and estate planning. She holds Series 65 and Series 7 Securities Registrations. Ms.Howell also holds a BS degree in Business Administration from the University of Baltimore with a concentration in Business Management and Economics. Her credentials include: Registered Financial Planner (RFPTM ), Certified Estate Planner (CEPTM ) and Certified Retirement Coach (CRCTM ). Ms. Howell was cited by NBC Nightly News as one of the outstanding retirement financial advisors in the Bay Area. Ms. Howell is an Investment Advisor Representative (IAR) with Cetera Advisors LLC, an entity whose purpose is to support independent financial advisors.

When not in the office Joyce enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband of 28 years, Rev. Dr. Mario Howell, who is a pastor and mentor of pastors-in-training in the San Francisco Bay area. Together they are heavily involved in community service. Joyce is passionate about making a difference in the lives of others and to that end, she serves as a life coach, motivational speaker, and avid volunteer.

Joyce Howell CEP®, RFP®, CRC™

Certified Retirement Coach ™

In addition to being a team member of Retirement Wealth and Tax Advisors, focusing on estate and risk management, Joyce Howell is also an independent Certified Retirement Coach, specializing in Retirement Transition Coaching. As a Certified Retirement Coach (CRC™) she is trained in techniques to help individuals paint a clear picture of their ideal retirement lifestyle and discover more meaning and purpose during this phase of life. She can help our clients to determine what an ideal retirement means to them.

About Retirement Transition Coaching:

Many people spend significant time only planning for the financial aspects of retirement, and too often do not contemplate the non-financial preparation necessary for a purposeful, fulfilling retirement lifestyle. Retirement Transitions Coaching helps you to prepare for the emotional, physical, and health-related dimensions that are a part of retirement readiness by helping you to objectively address the six areas of life:  

  • Career/Work
  • Health
  • Financial Behavior
  • Relationships
  • Social
  • Personal Development 

Retirement transition planning is that non-financial part of your life plan that compliments the hard work you have done with getting your retirement finances in order.

As a Retirement Transition Coach, and part of a national network of retirement transition coaches, Joyce is trained to help you assess your readiness and potential for happiness and fulfillment in retirement and keep on track as you develop a clear definition of your desired retirement lifestyle.

Using assessment tools, stimulating exercises, and carefully structured power questions, Joyce can help you to identify your personal strengths and areas of focus that closely affect retirement transition and planning; then help you to work through blocks and create an action plan for a retirement of passion and purpose.


Senior Attorney, Advanced Planning Group

Juliet A. Hendrickson is a senior attorney in the Advanced Planning Group for Cetera Financial Group, a leading network of independent broker-dealer firms. The platform is the second largest independent financial advisor network in the nation by number of advisors, as well as a leading provider of retail services to the investment programs of banks and credit unions.

As an Advanced Planning Group senior attorney, Julie is responsible for providing specialized advice and support for financial professionals on a myriad of tax issues in the areas of wealth transfer, retirement, charitable, and tax-planning strategies for high-net-worth clients. She is a frequent participant in specialized educational and training programs for financial professionals.

Julie has more than 15 years of experience providing tax planning consultation to financial professionals. Previously, Julie was senior attorney, Advanced Markets, for ING Advisors Network. Prior to ING, she was an advanced marketing consultant in the Variable Annuities Division of Pacific Life Insurance Company, where she provided consultation to financial professionals on technical issues involving IRAs and qualified retirement plans, estate planning and annuities.

Julie earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and her law degree from the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law in Washington, D.C. In addition, she holds a California Life, Accident, and Health Insurance Agent license, as well as Series 6, 7 and 63 securities registrations. Julie currently serves on the CFP Board’s Business Model Council. She is licensed to practice law in the state of California.

Richard Flanders, Attorney

Estate Planning Attorney

Attorney Richard Flanders assists in designing and drafting wills, trusts, and other legal documents for our clients. He is a member of the Estate Planning Source, a national network of financial planners and estate attorneys.

Richard practices estate planning and probate throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Mr. Flanders also practices general civil matters and family law. Prior to starting his own law office in 2014, Mr. Flanders was an attorney with the Law Firm of King, King & King for twenty-one years. He was admitted to the Bar of the State of California in 1991. Mr. Flanders received his Juris Doctor from Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University, and Bachelor of Science in Finance from Arizona State University. He belongs to Alameda County Bar Association and has served as a Judge Pro-Tem in Alameda County Small Claims Court and as a volunteer for the Alameda County Bar Association Guardianship Clinic and Family Law Clinic. Richard also volunteers with the Alameda County Superior Court assisting self-represented litigants at hearings and assisting the Court with the settlement of cases. In addition to his legal experience, Mr. Flanders is active with community service and humanitarian service. He is an active member of the Rotary Club of Pleasanton North, California, U.S.A. He is a Past President of the Rotary Club of San Ramon Valley and has served many leadership positions in Rotary.

At the Law Office of Richard Flanders, you will receive personal attention. Mr. Flanders handles every care personally.

* Richard Flanders is not affiliated or registered with Cetera Advisors LLC. Any information provided by Richard Flanders is in no way related to Cetera Advisors LLC or its registered representatives.


Attorney, Advanced Planning Group

Robert Pothier is an Attorney in the Advanced Planning Group for Cetera Financial Group, a leading network of independent broker-dealer firms. The platform is the second largest independent financial advisor network in the nation by number of advisors, as well as a leading provider of retail services to the investment programs of banks and credit unions.

Robert is responsible for providing specialized advice and support to financial professionals. His area of expertise include: retirement planning, estate planning, charitable planning, and federal income taxation.

Prior to joining Cetera, Robert was an advanced planning attorney with Pacific Life and John Hancock Financial. Robert is known for his industry expertise, communication skills and his ability to develop relationships with financial professionals and clients alike. He has traveled extensively with field wholesalers, delivered seminars and presentations for financial professionals and their clients.

Robert holds a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School, and a B.A. from Boston College majoring in political science, both located in Massachusetts. Robert is a CFP® and a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association.


Senior Vice President, Advanced Planning Group

As senior vice president of the Advanced Planning Group, Stan Smiley is responsible for the development and implementation of advanced planning strategies for Cetera Financial Group, a leading network of independent broker-dealer firms. The platform is the second largest independent financial advisor network in the nation by number of advisors, as well as a leading provider of retail services to the investment programs of banks and credit unions. Stan was previously senior vice president, advanced markets for ING Advisors Network.

Utilizing more than 30 years of legal and estate business planning experience, Stan and his team provide consultative services for select financial professionals, who are focused on tax planning for highly compensated individuals, and estate planning and wealth preservation strategies for high-net-worth clients and family wealth transfers.

A former partner of a Los Angeles-based law firm, Stan served as counsel for small and multibillion qualified pension and welfare benefit plans, private trusts and foundations. He also held positions within the Office of Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service in New Jersey and California. He was a part-time instructor of business law at the University of Maryland and an adjunct professor for Golden Gate University’s Masters of Taxation Program. He also had the opportunity to serve as a judge advocate in the U.S. Air Force and has been a featured lecturer and commentator for various legal subjects on the Armed Forces Radio Network. Stan has been a platform speaker at several events in his areas of expertise.

He is a member of the Real Property, Probate and Trusts Section and the Taxation Section of the American Bar Association, and serves on its committee of Tax Standards and Exempt Organizations. He is licensed to practice law in New York and California and is admitted to the United States Tax Court. He also maintains memberships in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bar Associations. He currently serves on the CFP Board’s Business Model Council.

Stan earned a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and was a Dean’s List honoree and law review associate editor while earning a law degree from St. John’s University School of Law in New York. He maintains an insurance license and holds Series 7, 24 and 63 securities registrations.

Timothy F. Brophy, CPA, MBA

CPA – Taxes

While Tim provides an array of tax services, we work with him on tax return preparation and tax strategy advice for our clients.

Timothy F. Brophy, CPA, MBA(Tax) has 35 years’ experience in public accounting starting his career with Coopers & Lybrand, an international accounting firm. He has been a partner with Johnston, Gremaux, and Rossi, LLP, a large local certified public accounting firm located in Contra Costa County, CA. He has been doing business as a sole proprietor for twenty years. Today his firm provides a wide range of services for clients including accounting, finance, and taxation, specializing in real estate taxation, professional service businesses, tax planning, and IRS representation.

Tim received his Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree from the University of Dayton in 1975, and his Master of Business Administration (Tax) from Golden Gate University in San Francisco, CA in 1980.

Tim is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the California Society of Certified Public Accountants (CalCPA) and is a member of the AICPA member sections for Personal Financial Planning, and Taxation.

Timothy F. Brophy, CPA, MBA

* Tim Brophy is not affiliated or registered with Cetera Advisors LLC. Any information provided by Tim Brophy is in no way related to Cetera Advisors LLC or its registered representatives.


Senior Advanced Planning Consultant

Zarina Sullivan is a senior advanced planning consultant in the Advanced Planning Group for Cetera Financial Group, a leading network of independent broker-dealer firms. The platform is the second largest independent financial advisor network in the nation by the number of advisors, as well as a leading provider of retail services to the investment programs of banks and credit unions.

As an Advanced Planning Group consultant, Zarina is responsible for providing advice and support for financial advisors on numerous complex financial planning subjects. Her range of expertise includes areas such as retirement and education saving strategies, charitable giving planning issues, estate planning and wealth transfer, and tax issues, to name a few. In her spare time, Zarina provides financial education and counseling to U.S. military members and their families.

Previously, Zarina lived and worked in China for several years, and upon returning to the United States, she was employed by Fidelity in both advisory and consulting roles. She then became a financial planning analyst for an RIA in Pasadena.

Zarina is originally from Belarus. She relocated to the United States to pursue her MBA with a minor in finance at Tarleton State University, a subsidiary of the Texas A&M System. Prior to earning her MBA, she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English and English Literature from Minsk State Linguistic University in Belarus. She has held her CFP since 2013. She also holds Series 7, 9, 63 and 66 securities registrations in addition to possessing an insurance license.