FSI

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 eight 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 is the Financial Services Institute’s executive vice president & general counsel.  In this role, David leads’ FSI’s team of lawyers and lobbyists in pursuit of a healthier business environment for its member broker-dealers and financial advisors.  David has nearly 20 years of broker-dealer compliance, legal, and operations experience. Most recently, he was vice president of operations and general counsel at Securities Service Network, Inc. He also previously served as compliance manager and special investigations attorney with InterSecurities, Inc. (now known as Transamerica), assistant director of compliance at Commonwealth Financial Network, Inc. and assistant to the executive director at the Institute of Certified Financial Planners (ICFP).  David received a B.S. in business management from Providence College and a JD from the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law. He is admitted to practice law in the states of Massachusetts and Tennessee.

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 Whitehead has more than 22 years of experience working with and for independent broker-dealers and financial advisors. Prior to joining FSI in 2007, he served as the Director of National Accounts for Enterprise Fund Distributors, Inc., an AXA Financial company. He also served Enterprise as Director of College Planning and Director of Marketing.

Kevin received a B.S. in Business Administration from Tennessee Technological University in 1987. He entered the financial services industry in 1991 as a financial advisor and obtained the CFP® designation in 1993.

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, Regulatory Affairs

Robin comes to FSI with nearly 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 is a Certified Fraud Examiner.

Michelle Allgauer, CAE, CMM, CMP

Vice President of Member Engagement

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 Certified Association Executive (CAE). Michelle is an active member of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and is currently serving as the Professional Development Advisory Council 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 12 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.

Justin Nazari

Securities Regulatory Affairs Counsel

Justin comes to FSI with a strong background in securities law and experience on Capitol Hill. While in law school, he served as a legal intern at the Federal Reserve Board, the SEC, and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He also spent the summer of 2011 with the legal department of SecondMarket Inc., a New York based broker-dealer. While in law school he earned the Securities Law Program Certificate and was Vice-Chancellor of the Securities Law Moot Court team. Justin focuses his work at FSI on federal securities regulation, and is responsible for monitoring and responding to initiatives originating from the SEC and FINRA.

Justin earned a B.A. in economics from The Catholic University of America and J.D. from The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law. He is admitted to the state bar of New York.

Jigar Gandhi

State 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.

Benjamin Bernstein

Regulatory Affairs Counsel

Ben is the Financial Services Institute’s Regulatory Affairs Counsel. Previously, Ben served as a Legal Fellow in the Office of Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and as a Law Clerk at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. While in law school he gained valuable experience working in legislative and regulatory offices at the federal, state and local government levels.

Ben earned his B.A., cum laude, in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law. He is admitted to the state bar of New York.

 

Timothy Dawson

Manager of Legislative Affairs

Tim joins FSI with a wide variety of experience in the legal, nonprofit, and business arenas. While in law school, he served as a legal intern with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Prior to moving to the DC Metro area, Tim worked for the Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce where he worked on many issues of great importance to the Baton Rouge business community.

Tim earned his B.S. in Finance from Southern University and his J.D. from Georgetown University.

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.

Allison Kuehner

Member Engagement Manager

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.

Kim Sampson, CMP

Meeting Manager

Kim joins FSI with over eight years of experience in the meetings and special events industry. Prior to joining FSI, Kim ran the meetings and events department at Potomac Management Resources, an association management firm. She has planned meetings for many different industries, including advertising, marketing, government, and project management industries, and many local bar associations. She has also worked with the Maine Chapter of the National MS Society to plan their MS150 Bike Tour.

Kim earned the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation in January 2011, and is an active member of the Potomac Chapter of Meeting Professionals International (PMPI). Kim received a BA in Psychology from the George Washington University.

Wanda S. Blevins

Database & Accounting Manager

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.

Sarah Woessner

Member Engagement Coordinator

Sarah joins FSI with a wide range of experience in public relations and communications. Prior to joining FSI, Sarah worked as an Account Coordinator for Adfero Group where she supported account teams in delivering high-quality strategic communications services. It was in this role that she also assisted with advocacy and grassroots campaigns, social media engagement, media relations, and content strategy. In college, Sarah worked for Miami University of Ohio’s College of Arts and Science (CAS) Department of Communication office where she wrote press releases, website content, articles for publications and conducted video interviews.

Sarah is an active member of Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR) where she served on the Emerging Leaders Awards Committee and the Sponsorship and Partnership Committee. In college, Sarah was an undergraduate teaching assistant for an introductory to public relations course and President of Miami University of Ohio’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter. Sarah earned a B.A. in Strategic Communication from Miami University of Ohio in 2013.


Jeremy Bronheim

Accounting & Database Coordinator

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.

Deborah Clarken

Executive Assistant

Deborah Clarken has over 25 years of experience as an Executive Assistant.  Prior to joining FSI, Deb was the Executive Assistant to the President and CEO of Sallie Mae for the last seven of her seventeen years with the corporation.  Following this position, Deb worked at Stuart Mill Capitol, an investment company.  While working at Stuart Mill Capital, Deborah was a member of the team that prepared SatoTravel (a travel management company) for sale to Navigant, Inc. and SynXis, Inc. (a provider of reservation management and distribution systems) to Sabre Holdings, Inc.  Deborah then joined Morris-Day, Inc. (an architectural design and construction company located in Arlington, VA) as its General Manager.  Deborah was Board Secretary of the Washington, D.C. Humane Society for over six years and volunteered as a team leader with the Animal Welfare League of Arlington’s Pet Therapy Program.  She is currently a member of the Board of her church.  Deborah earned a B.S. degree in Political Science from Radford University and completed a 10-month certification program in Administrative Management from the George Washington University.

Rachel Ferguson

Administrative Assistant, Membership & Marketing

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.