Our Sages

Monique BrennanMonique Brennan BA, MSc, CPHR
Certified coach/writer

Monique is proud that she still has hair on her head after three decades working in roles such as human resources professional, therapist, consultant, instructor, executive coach and mom. Monique has just started to write stories from her personal and professional life to explore “why we do the things we do.” She likes to keep her writing real and mixes it up with research, expertise and personal reflection that may include a dash of humor. Her writing has been seen on popular online publications, and she wrote for a weekly newspaper column.


greta burroughs 300 dpi squareGreta Burroughs
Freelance journalist

Greta has worked as a freelance writer since 2005. She has been published in print magazines and newspapers, as well as online via blogs and other cyber platforms. Greta enjoys learning new things by researching and writing about interesting topics many of us may not be familiar with. Whether it is health-related, historical, human interest or an environmental issue, she is on the lookout for the stories begging to be discovered. You can usually find her typing madly away at her home in South Carolina where she resides with her husband and two dogs.


Shaní (Sha-nay) Clayton
Freelance writer, artist and educator

After spending over eight years in the advertising industry in New York City, Shaní decided to follow her true calling of becoming an artist, writer and educator full time. She is currently seeking a second degree in Africana / Puerto Rican Latin studies. Recently, she curated her first show, intersecting music, spoken word and social justice at Lincoln Center. When Shaní is not surrounded by pages of research, she is writing and composing music for her upcoming album, studying various spiritual and healing modalities, or visiting new places around the globe.


Jessica McCurdy Crooks
Writer, proofreader, indexer, records manager

Jessica is a self-proclaimed bibliophile, whose career choices have all involved books and learning in one form or another. She considers herself a generalist and loves learning new things, which comes in handy as she writes about and indexes material on various subject areas. She hopes to one day publish a Jamaican cookbook. When not writing or reading, she loves to spend time with her husband and son watching movies.


Carlene Cross
Award-winning author and writing consultant

Carlene is the author of two nonfiction books, including The Undying West (Fulcrum Publishing), a narrative history of Montana, and Fleeing Fundamentalism (Algonquin Books), a study of fundamentalist religion in America. She teaches memoir writing for the University of Washington’s Extension School.


David CuzzolinaDavid Cuzzolina
Freelance writer, retired journalist and marketing/communications professional

Dave spent the first half of his working life as a newspaper reporter, editor and columnist. In the second half, he led a large healthcare system’s marketing and communications department. Now retired, he is devoting the third half to the pursuit of a freelance writing career for fame and fortune. He likes to incorporate humor into his personal essays, hoping to entertain and inform his readers. Dave says he cannot believe the number of people who ask him how he likes retirement.


John de Graaf
Executive director, Take Back Your Time

John is a documentary filmmaker with more than 15 national PBS specials and 100 regional, national and international filmmaking awards.  He is the coauthor of Affluenza: How Overconsumption Is Killing Us — and How to Fight Back and author and editor of several other publications. John is executive director of Take Back Your Time and cofounder of and advisor to The Happiness Initiative. He has taught at The Evergreen State College, the University of Washington, and Schumacher College in the UK.


Mark DiGiovanniMark DiGiovanni
Certified financial planner; president of Marathon Financial Strategies

Mark is a nationally recognized financial planner and the author of seven financial books. Mark’s previous career was in teaching, where he met Beth, a fellow teacher. They’ve been married since 1983, have one daughter, and live in suburban Atlanta. In 1995, Mark founded Marathon Financial Strategies, the name a reminder that achieving worthwhile goals requires thinking “for the long run.” Mark has been a member of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church since 1989 and a Rotarian since 1996. Mark enjoys history, music, motorcycles and baseball.


Kelly Dilworth headshotKelly Dilworth
Freelance personal finance writer

Kelly is a freelance writer and reporter, specializing in the intersection between money and life. As a reporter, she has covered everything from consumer credit and banking to credit reporting, credit scoring, and U.S. consumer protection laws. She also greatly enjoys writing about money and budgeting and about how people’s habits, personalities, and individual histories affect how they spend and manage their money.


Leah Dobkin
Freelance writer and author

www.leahdobkin.com and www.legacyletter.org
Leah has contributed to Kiplinger’s Retirement Report, AARP, and other regional, national and international magazines and websites. She is also the founder of Legacies Letters. Her passion is to strengthen the ties between generations by collecting people’s stories and transferring their wisdom. She offers writing services and workshops to help people craft a legacy letter, memoir or business history book.


Nancy Gertz, MS, PCC
Personal effectiveness and lifestyle coach, teacher, writer

As a coach, instructor, speaker and columnist, Nancy possesses a natural ability to serve as a catalyst for transformational shifts in individuals and groups. She was an early pioneer and consultant in the development of disease prevention and health promotion programs for the federal government, insurance industry, and many corporations. In addition to maintaining a private coaching practice, Nancy is also Faculty at Harvard University Extension School where she teaches coaching psychology. She holds the distinction of Professional Certified Coach (PCC) of the International Coaching Federation.  Nancy lives in Boston even though she never wants to see snow again.


Deborah Grassman
CEO, Opus Peace Non-Profit Organization


Deborah is a mental health nurse practitioner whose career at the Department of Veterans Affairs spanned nearly 30 years. She was the director of the Hospice program and personally took care of more than 10,000 dying veterans. She is recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts in caring for veterans nearing the end of life. She is co-founder and CEO of Opus Peace, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides programs that respond to the soul injury that occurs during trauma, abuse, self-neglect and serious illness.


Julie Gunter
Writer, editor, teacher and Seattle native

Julie is a writer, editor, teacher, and mother of two young girls. She has lived in the greater Seattle area for most of her life. In her spare time, she enjoys relaxing with a good book, cooking Italian food, and spending quality time with friends and family. She hopes to write more frequently, and on a variety of topics, in the years ahead.



Tom Harris
Speaker, author and business coach

Tom is a speaker, author, marketing coach, business engineer, futurist, cat and dog lover, singer, songwriter, book addict, student of nearly everything, explainer of complexities, and creator of cool new ideas. An outspoken advocate for small business, self-determination and free enterprise, he believes in the individual’s creative potential and ability to make life better for themselves and everyone else.


Mazduda HassanMazduda Hassan
Writer and activist

Mazduda is a poet and short story writer from Dhaka, Bangladesh. She is the founder of the literary movement “Dhakarful,” where poets, writers and artists leave small notes with quotes, lines and sketches inside books in coffee shops or libraries in Dhaka for random strangers to find.


Charla Hathaway
Author, speaker and relationship coach

Charla helps people enjoy better intimate relationships by showing them new ways to touch, talk, and play … that feel safe and satisfying. Her books on spiritual sensuality span nine languages. Based in Austin, Charla speaks on erotically awake relationships and tantra. Her popular BodyJoy newsletter has great intimacy tips.


Julia Marie HoganJulia Marie Hogan, LCPC
Counselor and writer

www.juliamariehogan.com and www.vitaoptimumcounseling.com
Julia is a counselor in Chicago and owner of Vita Optimum Counseling & Consulting, LLC. She also leads workshops and writes on topics related to self-care, relationships, and mental health. Her book, It’s OK to Start With You is all about the power of embracing your authentic self through self-care. She is passionate about empowering individuals to be their most authentic selves.


Robert Horton
Film critic for Seattle Weekly and the Everett Herald

Robert comments on film for the Seattle Weekly and the Everett Herald, and he is Webmaster of The Crop Duster (roberthorton.wordpress.com). He is also a guest speaker for Smithsonian Journeys and Humanities Washington. He was elected to the prestigious National Society of Film Critics in 2018.


Scott HoustonScott Houston
Owner and creator of Piano in a Flash and The Piano Guy

As the wearer of many hats, including entrepreneur, author, motivational speaker, music teacher, television host and producer, publisher, video creator, father and husband, Scott is best known as the six-time Emmy award-winning host of a 14-season series on public television called The Piano Guy, as well as for his PBS pledge specials called Play Piano In a Flash. Houston considers himself “the Ambassador of Recreational Piano Players” and has made it his life’s mission to show people how to have fun playing piano to unlock the life-enhancing benefits that come from recreational music making. Scott’s background combines a degree from Indiana University with 35+ years in the music industry.


Jeff HuseJeff Huse
Chief technology officer

Jeff is the chief technology officer at Cornerstone Advisors in Bellevue, Washington. He has brought leadership and creative technical solutions to the financial services industry for nearly 20 years. Jeff was a key creator of ShareBuilder, an innovative online broker, where he was awarded a patent. He is also active in the Seattle soccer community where he is an administrator, coach, referee and referee instructor.


Beverly Ingle
San Antonio-based freelance writer

When Beverly isn’t manipulating the English language for fun and profit, she’s parenting four daughters and trying to maintain her sanity. Bev is based in San Antonio, Texas.



Dave Jackson
Managing Director and Client Manager at Cornerstone Advisors

Dave is a managing director at Cornerstone Advisors in Bellevue, Washington. Boasting more than 15 years of experience in finance, investments and accounting, Dave uses his expertise to thoughtfully serve families and executives with complex financial needs in the Pacific Northwest. Prior to joining Cornerstone, Dave served as a client manager at Harvest Capital Advisors and as finance director for Mars Hill Church. Cornerstone Advisors is consistently regarded as one of the top wealth management firms in the Pacific Northwest.


Brad JensenBrad Jensen
Freelance writer

Brad is a marketing professional with more than 25 years of experience in corporate communications. He lives in Austin, Texas, and leads web content strategy for several small brands. He enjoys architecture, cooking and golf.




Susie KearleySusie Kearley
Freelance Writer

Susie is a British freelance writer and journalist, working for magazines, newspapers, and book publishers in the U.K., U.S. and around the world. She lives with two young guinea pigs and an aging husband in a small, rural town in Buckinghamshire, England. She writes about a wide range of subjects, including wild animals and pets, health, lifestyle topics, environmental issues, gardening, and travel. She is a keen photographer. Her best-known clients are the BBC and The Daily Mirror. In the U.S., she’s appeared in British Heritage, Victorian Homes, and Backyard Poultry. Susie’s qualified in marketing, nutrition and psychology.


Tammy Kennon
Writer, sailor, traveler, photographer, blogger

Tammy is a resident of Planet Earth, traveling full-time for the past four years by sailboat, plane, car and train. She is an advocate for embracing the glorious second half of life with wit and enthusiasm. Her writing has been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Classic Yacht and Cruising World, among others.


In Memoriam – January 2016

Evan Kimble
Psychotherapist and Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)

Evan brought together a rich diversity of elements in his practice, his writing and his life: science and spirituality, passion and grace, East and West sensibilities. He was a respected contributor on our team, a warm and lovely friend, a loving husband and caring dad. He will be missed and remembered with love by all of us.



Beth Cone Kramer
Freelance writer

Beth is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and journalist. A regular contributor to The Huffington Post, as well as numerous websites and magazines, she focuses on personal finance issues, divorce and women in technology. In her free time, she enjoys writing, following news, spending time with her daughters, travel, and trying new restaurants.



Adam Lewis - HeadshotAdam Lewis, CFP, JD
Managing director and client manager at Cornerstone Advisors

Adam is a managing director at Cornerstone Advisors in Bellevue, Washington. Thoughtful and methodical in his approach, Adam is passionate about building transformative client relationships and excels in shepherding affluent Alaskan families and business owners through the complexities of retirement planning and portfolio management. Prior to joining Cornerstone, Adam worked as an attorney for Perkins Coie, LLP.


James Lewis

James’ motto is “Helping you know what you don’t know.” With degrees in economics and finance, James has a thriving financial planning business in downtown Brighton, MI. He is known as Kokopelli Man on his company’s YouTube channel: Kokopelli Financial News Network. In his spare time, he and his wife host “Chef Shamus Supper Clubs.” James is married to the love of his life, and they currently reside in Howell, MI.



Judy Lightfoot
Writer and freestyle volunteer

Judy’s many articles and reviews appear regularly on Crosscut.com and have been published in the Los Angeles Times, Seattle newspapers and elsewhere. She also serves as a freestyle volunteer, meeting weekly for coffee at cafés with individuals who share our public spaces but are socially isolated by mental illness or homelessness.


Liza LongLiza Long, Ed.D.
Author, speaker and mental health advocate

Liza is an author, educator, and mother of four children, one of whom has bipolar disorder. Her book The Price of Silence: A Mom’s Perspective on Mental Illness was a “Books for a Better Life” award winner. Liza’s essays have appeared in USA Today, Psychology Today, and other media outlets. Since her essay “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother” went viral, she has appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, and other programs. She earned a master’s degree in classics from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a doctorate in education in organizational leadership from Argosy University. She is a full-time English instructor at the College of Western Idaho.


Sally Macdonald
Freelance Writer

Sally spent 24 years as a reporter for The Seattle Times, the city’s largest newspaper, covering the charm and the messiness of life in America (all news isn’t bad news; it just feels that way sometimes). She retired from the daily grind a few years ago and still writes about travel, sailing, and the good things in life here and abroad. She lives on a houseboat on Seattle’s Lake Union with her husband, John, a former travel editor. Their travel column appears monthly in the Philadelphia Inquirer and other newspapers on occasion.


Pam Mandel
Freelance travel writer and photographer

Pam is a freelance travel writer and photographer. In 2013, Pam was awarded a prestigious Solas Award, which honors writers whose work inspires others to explore. When she’s not traveling, she calls Seattle, Washington, her home. Keep up with her adventures on her Website.



Betty Martin
Chiropractor and intimacy coach

Dr. Betty Martin is a chiropractor, a Body Electric School-trained Sacred Intimate, Certified Sexological Bodyworker, and a self-propelled erotic adventurer and intimacy coach. She is the author of the upcoming book The Lover’s Touch, which explores the ideas of erotic freedom.



Ginny MaharGinny Mahar
Writer, chef and mom

Ginny writes creative nonfiction of all sorts from her home in Missoula, Montana. She is currently working on a collection of personal essays, in addition to freelance articles on topics like food and dining, parenting, skiing, and outdoor adventure. Ginny is also a professionally trained chef and cooking instructor. After a recent diagnosis with Hashimoto’s disease, she decided to turn research into recipes on her website, Hypothyroid Chef. In her free time, when she’s not making mud pies with her son, mountain biking with her husband, or hiking with her dog, you can find her knee-deep in a trout stream.


Anna MathiasAnna Mathias
Freelance copywriter

Anna is a recent graduate from the University of Fordham at Lincoln Center in New York City with a bachelor’s degree in communications and a minor in psychology. Throughout college and following graduation, Anna has been working as a freelance copywriter on multiple projects across a variety of industries. She has social media marketing and digital marketing experience from previous internships with companies such as Robb Report magazine. However, her true passion is writing. Currently, she resides in Brooklyn, New York, continuing her freelance writing work.


Skye Moody
Novelist, essayist, photographer and world traveler

Novelist and nonfiction author, Skye’s 11 books include a seven-book environmental mystery series and two books of oral histories that span ethnic cultures around the globe, awarded respectively, “Mademoiselle Woman of the Year” and an NEH President’s Grant. Her book, Washed Up, The Curious Journeys of Flotsam and Jetsam, is the subject of an upcoming documentary film. Skye’s photographs have been exhibited in China, Russia, and the United States. Her latest novel, Frostline, is available from Amazon.com, and the audible versions of many of her books are available from Audiblebooks.com.


David NastorDavid Naster
Comedian, author and film maker

David was a psychology major. He decided he’d rather make fun of people than help them and became a professional comedian. In his 39 professional years he discovered how humor and laughter helps us get through life’s toughest times: grief, illness, injury and chronic emotions, including depression. From his award-winning books to his ground-breaking video series, David proves how and why humor can and will heal our emotional wounds. He created You Just Have To Laugh — a community of real people who show us how to laugh through life’s toughest problems.


Theo Pauline Nestor
Instructor, Memoir Certificate Program, University of Washington’s Professional & Continuing Education Department

Theo is the author of Writing Is My Drink: A Writer’s Story of Finding Her Voice (And a Guide to How You Can Too) (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed: A Memoir of Starting Over (Crown, 2008). An award-winning instructor, Theo has taught the memoir certificate course for the University of Washington’s Professional & Continuing Education program since 2006 and also teaches at Richard Hugo House in Seattle.


In Memoriam – March 2017

Thomas Orton
Freelance writer

Our friend and contributor Tom Orton passed away in March of this year after a well-fought, courageous and often humorous battle with Parkinson. He is sorely missed by family, friends and our Wise community.



Shelby OstergaardShelby Ostergaard
Freelance writer

Shelby is a freelance writer based out of Washington, D.C. She’s passionate about telling stories that help people navigate the sheer amount of information the world serves up daily, and often does so by writing about life, politics, culture and education. She loves to relax with a strong cup of tea and a bowl of popcorn.


Jessie PalmatierJessie Palmatier
Development coordinator, freelance writer

Jessie has worked in nonprofits serving kids and youth since 2012 and has been in nonprofit fundraising and development for several years. She is passionate about improving communities by empowering individuals and giving power and voice to those traditionally overlooked and underserved. When she is not working or writing, Jessie enjoys gardening, exploring, watching reality television, and taking pictures of her dog.


John Pearson
Physicist cum metrologist and puzzle fanatic

A Michigander, John is a physicist cum metrologist who is frequently puzzled, and enjoys it.



Sue Peterson
Managing director, Cornerstone Advisors in Bellevue, WA

Susan Peterson, CFA, is managing director of Cornerstone Advisors in Bellevue, Washington, one of the top 20 wealth management firms in the country. Peterson brings more than 20 years of financial industry experience to her work with women who find themselves suddenly single as a result of divorce or death of their spouse, as well as retirees and technology wealth.


Barbara Pinckney
Owner: BA Pinckney Writing Services, Albany, NY

Barbara has been covering business, including the financial services industry, for over half her life. After two years at a small news service whose clients included the Journal of Commerce and American Banker, she joined the Albany Business Review, a weekly publication of American City Business Journals.  She remained there, covering banking, finance, insurance and healthcare, for more than 24 years. In October 2014, she left the Business Review and created BA Pinckney Writing Services.


John Platt
Business manager of Ware, Egtvet & Associates, LLC

John is business manager of Ware, Egtvet & Associates, LLC.  A resident of Seattle – off and on – John has a diverse business background, including extensive international experience and work with start-ups. He is a graduate of WSU and earned his MBA from Notre Dame. He’s a pretty big fan of Fighting Irish football and Tom Clancy novels, and his favorite movie is The Shawshank Redemption. Besides his wife and daughters, John loves cycling, yard work, racquetball/handball and skiing … not necessarily in that order nor all at the same time.


Joe Rodriquez
Radio and digital music director

Follow Joe on Twitter @rodriguezjoe12
Joe is a fan of many genres of music. He has spent his entire career working in the music industry as a music director for two college radio stations, a record label regional rep, and for several digital music companies. This is Joe’s first writing gig, and he looks forward to introducing all of you to the joys of music.


Ashley Roman, BSW

Ashley is a Spring Arbor University graduate living and working in Metro-Detroit. She currently works in a pregnancy resource center helping young moms. Through her blog she writes about her experience with an anxiety disorder and hopes to inspire others toward healing.


Lawrence C. Rubin, Ph.D.
Psychologist, professor, and writer


Lawrence Rubin is the proud son of his healthy 95-year-old mother, who lives independently at a Leisure Care facility in Florida. When not visiting his mother, Lawrence is at home with his family, balancing the competing demands of frenetic membership in the “sandwich generation.” He is also a Professor of Counselor Education at St. Thomas University in Miami, on the faculty of UMass Boston, and has a private psychology practice. Rubin has authored and edited several books in the area of counseling and psychology.


Tammy Ruggles
Freelance writer


Tammy is a legally blind freelance writer and finger painter who lives in Kentucky. She is currently showing and selling her vibrant finger paintings online and in art shows. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, especially her two young grandchildren.


Dorit SassonDorit Sasson
Inspiration Book Coach of “Giving Voice to Your Courage”

Dorit is an award-winning author, book coach of Giving Voice to Your Courage programs, and a motivational speaker whose mission is to inspire and guide entrepreneurs, speakers, leaders and aspiring authors who have a message and a purpose to share, find their courage, tell their brand story in writing, and make a positive impact on the world. She is currently working on her second memoir, Sand and Steel: The Spiritual Journey Home.


Sandy Sabersky
Founding Director of Elderwise in Seattle

Sandy has a deep interest in aging and the value of wholeness in all people. She is the founding director of Elderwise, a multifaceted enrichment program for older adults. A certified sage-ing leader, Sandy serves on the board of the Northwest Center for Creative Aging and is part of the conscious-aging movement.


George A. SantinoGeorge A. Santino
Author, speaker, singer, lyricist

George helps people who want to break down barriers, including self-imposed barriers, to success. Check out his Amazon bestselling book, Get Back Up: From the Streets to Microsoft Suites. George’s life has been filled with many ups and downs. He has been a fast food restaurant manager, life insurance salesman, realtor, sports bar owner, liquor salesman, shoe repair owner, real estate investor, software tester, software engineering manager, and Microsoft partner. Since his retirement, George has embarked upon a new career as a professional singer, speaker, author and mentor.


IMG_5955cwebLaurel Saville
Author, corporate communications consultant, and trainer of dogs and their humans

Laurel has published a memoir, three novels, a story collection, and several books on design topics, as well as numerous essays, stories and feature pieces for a variety of publications, from The Los Angeles Times Sunday magazine to The Bark. She has also worked with organizations from small start-ups to Fortune 100 companies on developing effective marketing materials. She has a master’s degree in creative writing and literature from Bennington College and a certificate in applied animal behavior from University of Washington. When she’s not writing or helping people learn to communicate with their dogs, she enjoys exploring the mountains with her own mutt, Willow.


Dr. Stephan J. Smith
Advantage Family Chiropractic

Dr. Smith attended Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa. While at Palmer, Dr. Smith was certified in several chiropractic techniques. He graduated Magna Cum Laude in February 1999, as well as being inducted into Pi Tau Delta, the prestigious chiropractic honors society. He joined forces with Dr. Vladimir Brajak at Advantage Family Chiropractic in February 2011.


Franklin Soults
Freelance Music Journalist

Franklin contributes music reviews and features to the Boston Globe and has worked in the past as a music editor at publications in Cleveland. He has contributed to Rolling Stone, the Village Voice, the Stranger, the Chicago Reader, CMJ Music Monthly, and the dearly departed Boston Phoenix, among other publications. He lives in Boston and has two sons and one cat.


Misha Stone
Readers’ advisory librarian for the Seattle Public Library & Booklist magazine blogger

www.spl.org, bookgroupbuzz.booklistonline.com
Misha grew up in Washington State, attended Marlboro College in Vermont and received her master’s in library and information science from the University of Washington. Misha is a readers’ advisory librarian for the Seattle Public Library and loves talking with readers in her day-to-day work and in book groups. Misha also writes for Booklist magazine’s Book Group Buzz blog.


David TumbarelloDavid Tumbarello
Freelance writer

David is a former K–8 educator and systems engineer who enjoys documenting complex processes as much as writing policy. He has served as volunteer writing coach for 826Michigan and has been published in a national science teacher’s journal. Based in Southeast Michigan, David enjoys traveling, hiking, and trying out new recipes.



Arica VanGelderenArica VanGelderen
Clinical Social Worker and Therapist, LLMSW

www.aricavangelderenllmsw.com and www.wapcenter.org
Arica is a clinical social worker and therapist at the William A. Presti Center for Families and Youth in Brighton, Michigan. She has a master’s degree in social work with a concentration in mental health from Loyola University Chicago. Arica has a passion for all things creative and artistic. She also loves spending time with her two cats and two dogs, all adopted from shelters. Connecting with both people and animals is her main source of positive energy and inner balance.


Candace WadeCandace Wade
Freelance writer and author

Candace wrote Horse Sluts – The Saga of Two Women on the Trail of Their Yeehaw. She contributes to Horse Nation, Mature Lifestyles, Riding and Writing, and political diatribe in The Tennessean. Candace won the WINNIE Award for Journalism at the Equus Film Festival NYC 2016. She learned to ride horses at age 46. At age 60+, she strives at polo lessons.


Jeff Wozer
Humorist and stand-up comedian

Jeff’s humor articles have appeared in more than 30 publications, including The Explorers Journal, Dining Out Miami and Outside Bozeman. When not writing, he spends his time sitting on his cabin deck dressed in tattered shorts and a thick Patagonia fleece jacket brooding about nothing in particular.


Jake EtterbergJake Yetterberg
Independent investment and insurance maven to the mature investor, personal finance and industry speaker, entrepreneur, writer, volunteer


Jake graduated from Florida State University with honors in 1987. His financial expertise is helping the pre-retired and retirees. He has been helping this niche protect and grow their hard-earned money for nearly 20 years. Jake’s allure is being independent, not beholden to any one company, so he can put his clients’ well-being first. He is a sought after speaker, chairman of San Antonio OASIS, and a past recipient of the Texas Monthly 5 Star Wealth Manager Award.


Elana Zaiman
Rabbi, chaplain, speaker, and author of The Forever Letter: Writing What We Believe for Those We Love

Elana is the first woman rabbi from a family spanning six generations of rabbis. She began her career as a rabbi at Manhattan’s Park Avenue Synagogue and currently serves as a chaplain for the aged at The Summit at First Hill in Seattle. Elana travels around the country as a scholar-in-residence and motivational speaker. Her current sought-after topic is forever letters.


John Zeisel
Founder and President in Denver of the I’m Still Here Foundation and Hearthstone Alzheimer Care

John holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia University  and has taught at Harvard, Yale, and McGill universities. His work has been covered in the New York Times, O-The Oprah Magazine, The Boston Globe, and on ABC, PBS, CNN and the BBC. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife Jacqueline with children widely spread in Australia, New York, San Francisco, and Boston.


Contributing Writers

Beth Ann Bassein
Resident of Mackenzie Place in Colorado Springs, CO

Kate Beswick
Freelance writer and foodie, www.katescuisine.com

Kristy Borowik
Freelance editor and writer, kborowick@gmail.com

Patricia Eisenhauer

Jacquie Harkema
Owner of www.sixtysomethingnow.com

Traci Kuster
Brand manager for Leisure Care

Christa Palm

Chris Peterson
Technology strategist for Leisure Care

Eve Stern
Co-CEO, www.snapforseniors.com

Rose Yu
Assistant director for the Center for Courage & Renewal, www.couragerenewal.org/about/ccr-staff