FSI Team

Dale E. Brown, CAE

President & CEO

Dale E. Brown, CAE, is the founding president and CEO of the Financial Services Institute (FSI). Established in 2004, FSI is the only organization advocating on behalf of independent broker-dealers and their affiliated independent financial advisors. FSI’s mission is to create a healthier regulatory environment for their members through aggressive and effective advocacy, education and public awareness. FSI represents more than 100 independent broker-dealers and more than 35,000 independent financial advisors, reaching more than 15 million households.

Dale brings more than 25 years of association management experience to FSI with broad leadership in government relations and constituent advocacy. He leads FSI’s advocacy strategy, interacting frequently with regulators and policymakers in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining FSI at its launch, Dale guided the government relations, corporate and broker-dealer programs for the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and the International Association for Financial Planning (IAFP). Dale led the successful fight in the mid-1990s against the IRS’s attempts to force broker-dealers to re-classify independent contractor representatives as statutory employees. 
Dale was named a Certified Association Executive (CAE) in 1995. He is a past president of the Georgia Society of Association Executives (GSAE), and a recipient of GSAE’s President’s Award in 1995 and 2001. In May 2002, Dale received GSAE’s highest honor, the Clifford M. Clarke Award, given annually to an association executive who has demonstrated exemplary personal leadership and service to his or her own association, the association community and the general community.

He serves on the board of the Business & Industry Political Action Committee (BIPAC).

Dale has been recognized by Registered Rep magazine as one of “Ten to Watch” in 2005; included in Boomer Market Advisor’s “Forward Thinking Five” in 2006; and was named for nine consecutive years as one of Investment Advisor magazine’s 25 most influential individuals in and around the planning profession. He was named by Investment News as one of the Power 20 for 2012.

Dale attended the University of Georgia and graduated from Georgia State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science.


David T. Bellaire, Esq.

Executive Vice President & General Counsel


David Bellaire works to prevent unintended consequences. As the Financial Services Institute’s executive vice president & general counsel, David leads FSI’s team of lawyers and lobbyists in pursuit of a business environment that frees its member broker-dealers and financial advisors from the unintended consequences of federal and state legislation and regulation. David has more than 25 years of broker-dealer advocacy, compliance, legal, and operations experience. Prior to joining FSI, he served as vice president of operations and general counsel at Securities Service Network, Inc. He also previously served as special investigations attorney and regional compliance manager with InterSecurities, Inc. (now known as Transamerica Financial Advisors), assistant director of compliance at Commonwealth Financial Network, Inc., and assistant to the executive director at the Institute of Certified Financial Planners (ICFP). David earned a B.S. in business management from Providence College and a J.D. from the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law. He is admitted to practice law in the states of Massachusetts and Tennessee. In his free time, he enjoys listening to music, reading and spending time with his wife Sara and their two children.


Chris Paulitz

Senior Vice President, Membership & Marketing

Chris is a veteran of Capitol Hill, spending more than a decade in presidential and congressional campaigns, working as a spokesman and strategic advisor for both U.S. House and Senate leadership offices, the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee and the Bush administration. After directing the communications department for U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Chris ended his public service as Senior Advisor to former U.S. Senator George V. Voinovich of Ohio. For the last two years before joining FSI, he served as Senior Vice President of Communications, Marketing and Public Affairs for the Insured Retirement Institute. Chris earned a bachelor’s degree in communication and journalism from The Ohio State University.


Brett McAllister

Senior Vice President, Finance & Operations

Brett joins FSI from another 501(c)6 Washington D.C. based association where he served as the Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Operations for 6 years. In this role he managed the day-to-day finance and operations, including business and strategic planning, the Board’s finance committee that oversaw budgeting and audits, and several member outreach programs. He was successful in improving internal operating processes, strengthening the balance sheet, and creating a 9 month reserve. Prior to that, Brett worked for a world-wide management consulting firm specializing in transportation, and as a partner or the firm managed several lines of business including financial planning, commercial development, organizational reviews, and preparation of official statements to accompany bond issuances. Brett has over 24 years of business and finance experience. Brett received a B.A. in Economics and Finance from Carleton University.


Kevin Whitehead

Vice President, Corporate Relations

Kevin is responsible for FSI’s member and sponsor relationships. He entered the financial services industry in 1991 as a financial advisor and obtained the CFP® designation in 1993. Prior to joining FSI in 2007, he was the Director of National Accounts for the AXA Enterprise Funds. He also served AXA Enterprise as Director of College Planning, and acted as product manager of the Texas 529 plan from 2002-2007.

Kevin earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Tennessee Technological University. In his spare time, he does volunteer work for the Institute of Biblical Leadership, Reasonable Faith and Torch of Hope Haiti.


Robert E. Lewis, Jr.

Vice President, Legislative Affairs

Robert joins FSI with over 10 years of Washington, D.C., experience. He spent four years working on Capitol Hill for Senator Zell Miller (D-GA) on the Senate, Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. After Senator Miller's retirement, Robert joined Financial Executives International as Manager of Government Affairs, focusing on Pension and Retirement issues. He left to attend Catholic Law School and was a Law Clerk for U.S. House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) while in law school. Most recently, Robert was Manager of Federal Affairs for Community Financial Services Association of America.

Robert is a 2001 graduate of Morehouse College with a B.A. in Political Science and 2010 graduate of The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law.


Robin Traxler

Vice President of Regulatory Affairs & Associate General Counsel

Robin comes to FSI with over ten years of diverse experience in the financial services industry where she has held legal, compliance and regulatory roles. Most recently, Robin lead a team of regulatory analysts in FINRA’s Office of Fraud Detection and Market Intelligence. Prior to her regulatory experience, Robin worked as the Agency Supervisory Officer for the mid-Atlantic regional office of MML Investors Services where she served as the agency’s Registered Principal. Robin also served as in-house Legal Counsel for the broker-dealer Thrivent Investment Management, where she counseled the firm’s Compliance and Field Force divisions. Robin is a 1998 graduate of Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida where she received a B.A. in Political Science and a 2002 graduate from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is admitted to District of Columbia bar as well as the state bar of Illinois.  Robin has held the Series 7, 24, 53, and 66 licenses and was formerly a Certified Fraud Examiner.



Michelle Allgauer, CAE, CMM, CMP

Vice President of Meetings, Marketing & Education

Michelle brings more than 20 years of association management experience specializing in events and education to FSI. She has spent her career working for various associations responsible for overall strategy and choreography of various size events. Michelle is credentialed in the meetings industry as Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) and Global Certification in Meeting Management (CMM). She also holds the Business of Meetings Certification (BOM) and is a Certified Association Executive (CAE). Michelle is an active member of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and is currently serving as the Conference Attendee Mentor Task Force Chair. She is the Past President of the Potomac Chapter of MPI (PMPI), having served the chapter in a number of leadership roles and is a past recipient of the President's Award. Michelle is also currently serving on the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau Customer Advisory Board. She received her Bachelors of Science with a minor in Business from Ithaca College, NY.


Kathryn Anderson

Director of Corporate Relations

Kathryn has over 16 years’ experience developing strategic relationships with independent broker-dealers and independent financial advisors through her prior roles on the National Accounts and Sales teams at Wells Real Estate Funds. Previously, she was a Senior Relationship Banker and Licensed Financial Specialist with Wachovia Bank, where she worked with consumers and businesses to proactively capture full client relationships that included deposits, lending, treasury services, and investments. Kathryn earned a B.S. in Accounting from North Georgia College and State University.


Craig Knight

Director of Financial Strategies

Craig joins FSI with over 20 years of experience in the Finance and Accounting profession.  After beginning his career in public accounting, Craig worked at Nextel Communications, the Internal Revenue Service, and Clark Enterprises, before joining Robert Half Salaried Professional Services (SPS).  During his eight years as a consultant with SPS, Craig worked in a diverse set of roles and industries at an experienced or management level.  During that time, he worked with not-for-profits in the healthcare, religious, and municipal industries, including Howard University Hospital, Virginia Theological Seminary, and ICMA-RC.  

His most recent role was with FSI as interim controller, before joining FSI as a full-time employee in 2014.

Craig graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor’s in Accountancy from George Washington University, and passed the CPA exam in 1996.


Allison Kuehner

Director, Marketing & Communications

Allison joins FSI with a broad range of experience in the communications field. Prior to joining FSI, Allison worked at the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) as a Communications & Marketing Specialist. She has also worked as a Weekend Reporter at Lakeshore Public Radio in northwestern Indiana and was the News Director at WVUR-FM from 2008-2010.

Allison graduated with honors from Valparaiso University with a B.A. in Journalism and Political Science in 2010.


Jigar Gandhi

Regulatory Affairs Counsel

Jigar comes to FSI with a wide array of regulatory experience and a strong background in the securities industry. Most recently, Jigar worked as a Regulatory Analyst in FINRA’s Office of Fraud Detection and Market Intelligence. While in law school, he served as a legal extern In FINRA’s Enforcement Department and the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau. Prior to his regulatory experience, Jigar worked as a personal banker for J.P. Morgan Chase and where he held a Series 6, 63 and New York State insurance license.

Jigar earned his J.D. from American University’s Washington College of Law and his B. A. from Binghamton University. He is admitted to the state bar of New York.


Michelle Carroll

Manager of Legislative Affairs

Michelle joins FSI with a wide variety of experience in state government relations. Prior to joining FSI, Michelle worked for Stateside Associates where she assisted clients in their state lobbying and government relation efforts. Ms. Carroll identified, monitored and provided information about viable legislation to clients which help them navigate through the different state legislative processes. Michelle gained her state legislative experience working for a former Virginia State Senator.

Michelle earned her B.A. in Criminal Justice from Virginia Union University and her M.P.A from George Mason University.


Richard Hoffmann

Manager, Financial Industry Relations

Richard joined FSI after spending 4 years on Capitol Hill handling Financial Services issues for a member of the House Financial Services Committee and the Capital Markets Sub-Committee, which has jurisdiction over both FINRA and the SEC. Prior to Capitol Hill Richard worked in Ernst & Young’s Financial Planning Division, advising clients on a range of personal finance issues. Richard earned a BA in Political Science from Boston College and a Certificate in Financial Planning from NYU.


Nicki Brown

Membership & Sponsorship Manager

Nicki joins FSI with a broad range of experience in project management and member services. Prior to joining FSI, Nicki worked at the Association of Clinical Research Professionals as Membership Administrator, where she managed the Association’s 60+ chapter affiliates and special interest groups. Before that, she was a Senior Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, providing project management and communications support to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Nicki earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2007.


Diana Carmenates, CMP, CAE

Meetings Manager

Diana joins FSI with more than 20 years of experience in meetings management encompassing site selection, contract negotiations and conference management. Diana is credentialed in the meetings industry as a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP). She also holds the Business of Meetings Certification (BOM) and is a Certified Association Executive (CAE). Diana received her Bachelors of Science in Journalism with a minor in Spanish from Boston University.


Wanda S. Blevins

Manager, Accounting & Customer Relations Systems

Wanda comes to FSI with an extensive background in association operations. Prior to joining FSI, Wanda worked at the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) in its membership department, and in a variety of positions at the American Coatings Association (ACA).

Wanda earned a B.A. in Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia.


Jeremy Bronheim

Accounting & Customer Relations Systems Specialist

Jeremy joins FSI with a background in scientific research, IT and accounting. Prior to joining FSI, he worked for seven years as a database programmer at the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) followed by working in accounting for a few different for-profit companies. He is also President of the Board of Directors of the Parents Place of Maryland (PPMD), a non-profit organization whose mission is to empower families as advocates and partners in improving education and health outcomes for their children with disabilities and special health care needs.

Jeremy earned his B.A. in Cognitive Science from Northwestern University in 2001 and his B.S. in Accounting from the University of Maryland University College in 2009. He is licensed as a CPA in the state of Maryland.


Matthew Epstein

Customer Relations Systems Coordinator

Matt joins FSI with a background in both research and IT. Prior to coming to FSI he worked doing research for a media company located in Washington, DC and has also previously worked at a healthcare software company.

Matt earned his B.A. in Political Science from Northwestern University in 2013.


Elizabeth Kelley

Marketing & Communications Coordinator

Elizabeth comes to FSI with a background in communications. Prior to joining FSI, Elizabeth worked at a Washington, DC based association, assisting both the communications and administrative teams. She previously worked at Jackson National Life in their Corporate Support Services department.

Elizabeth graduated from Michigan State University in 2012 with a B.A. in German Studies and is currently working toward her M.A. in Digital Communication from Johns Hopkins University.


Cathy Mindheim

Executive Assistant

Cathy comes to FSI with over 30 years of administrative support experience, of which over 15 years were supporting senior executives. She has previously worked in the healthcare, pharma, biotech, software, and insurance industries. Cathy also served in the U.S. Navy.



Rachel Clem

Meeting Coordinator & Admin. Assistant

Rachel comes to FSI with experience in conferences, events, and office administration. In college, Rachel worked as a Conference Manager for George Mason University’s Office of Housing and Residence Life, coordinating housing logistics for over 25 summer conference and orientation groups. She also worked with Catholic Charities, USA as a Convening and Events Intern, where she was the project lead for their events app selection process, in addition to assisting with their annual conference and regional gatherings. She served in administrative roles at Burdette Smith & Bish, LLC, an accounting firm in Northern Virginia, and at GMU’s Honors College.

Rachel earned her B.S. in Management with a minor in Tourism and Events Management from George Mason University in 2014.