Executive Team

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Elana Fine

Elana Fine

Chief Operating Officer

Elana is the Chief Operating Officer of VWG Wealth Management.   As a member of our leadership team, Elana oversees VWG’s financial management, client services operations, human resources, professional development, compliance and marketing. She also works closely with our partners to guide the future growth and development of the organization.

Before joining us, Elana served as the Executive Director of University of Maryland’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, where she provided strategic vision and leadership for one of the nation’s preeminent university entrepreneurship centers.   Elana began her career as a technology consultant with Accenture and subsequently worked in investment banking at Bear Stearns and Revolution Partners.

Elana is currently an adjunct faculty member at the Smith School of Business and co-host of their podcast, Bootstrapped.  She has been listed as a Tech Titan by Washingtonian Magazine, a “Power Women in Tech” by Tech Bisnow, and one of “50 On Fire” by DC Inno. 

Elana earned a BS in Finance, magna cum laude, from the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland in 1997.  She earned an MBA in Finance and Accounting from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business in 2002.

Elana lives in Potomac, Maryland, with her husband Sandy and their twins, Ari & Julia.  Outside of the office Elana serves on the Board of Directors of the Bender Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, runs local road races and supports the Terps!   
Jeffrey S. Grinspoon CFP®

Jeffrey S. Grinspoon CFP®

Managing Director, Partner

“Our objective with all clients is to properly define their financial goals and provide the best risk-adjusted returns with only those targets in mind.  It’s completely arbitrary to use the S&P 500 as the proper benchmark.”

Jeff works with business owners and executives formulating business succession plans, managing liquidity events and executing wealth transfer strategies.  Mr. Grinspoon brings over twenty years of financial industry experience to HighTower. He began his career as a Financial Advisor with Legg Mason in 1998.

He has been recognized in the Top 100 Independent Advisors by Barron’s from 2015-2017 as well as Forbes Top Wealth Advisors in 2016 and 2017.  In addition, Mr. Grinspoon was listed in 2005-2007 as one of The Winner’s Circle Top 50 Advisors in the Virginia Business Magazine and from 2014-2018 on the Barron’s Top 1200 Advisors (nationwide), most recently he was ranked #6 in the state of Virginia.  Mr. Grinspoon has earned the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) designation.

Mr. Grinspoon has a Business Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and General Business and an MBA in Finance & Entrepreneurship from the University of Maryland. He continues to make his home Maryland with his wife, Marnie; and daughters, Lindsey and Jessica. Active in his community, Mr. Grinspoon has volunteered as a coach for his daughter’s soccer team, and has been on the Board of Advisors for the University of Maryland’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship.  He is also heavily involved with supporting our veterans through his charitable work with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).  When not in the office, he enjoys spending time with his family, exercising and playing golf.

Patricia W. Pick, CFP®

Patricia W. Pick, CFP®

Managing Director, Partner

Patricia Walker Pick began her career as a Financial Advisor in 1981, and left Morgan Stanley after almost 28 years to join Hightower as a Managing Director and Partner in 2015. Patricia became a  Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner in 1985 and has specific interests in Family Wealth Transfer, Portfolio Management, Retirement Planning and Financial Education. Pat has a good understanding of client goals, values and circumstances and provides her clients with a high quality of service and professionalism while creating and reviewing financial plans. She is passionate about educating clients on what she feels is the best decision for them and their family while also striving to ensure they have the means to pursue what’s most important to them.


Pat earned a Bachelor of Science in Commerce in 1980 from the McIntire School of Commerce at The University of Virginia. She is a Washington, DC native and a life-long resident of the greater DC area. Pat and her husband, Leonard, live in McLean, Virginia, where they raised their two daughters. They remain active in McLean Youth sports and community activities. Pat has a passion for travel, and loves to hear of her clients’ journeys in addition to making her own. When not working, she enjoys gardening, hiking, reading, theater, music, and spending time with family and friends.
John M. Verfurth, CFP®, CIMA®

John M. Verfurth, CFP®, CIMA®

Managing Director, Partner

“Our passion and dedication revolves around our focus of combining a high level of financial advice with an excellent level of service to our clients and their needs.  We treat our clients - and their friends, family, and referrals - as an integral part of our VWG Wealth Management family.”

Prior to joining HighTower as a Managing Director, Partner, John worked at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. He became a Financial Advisor in 1995 after serving ten years in the U.S.Navy.


John’s areas of focus with VWG Wealth Management are Estate Planning, High Net Worth Client Allocations and Relationship Management.

 

 He is a  Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner and a Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA®).  John has been recognized from 2005-2007 on the Winner’s Circle Top 50 Advisors in the Virginia Business Magazine’s Wealth Advisor List and from 2008-2010, 2012, and 2013 on the Barron's Top 1000 Advisors (nationwide).

 

John has a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame where he was commissioned into the U.S. Navy.  He flew as a Naval Flight Officer for ten years, three of which were as an Exchange Officer with the Royal Air Force out of the United Kingdom.  He also lived in Florida, California, and Japan before making Virginia his home.  He and his wife, Susan have raised five sons and much of his time outside of work is devoted to his family.  John has volunteered for the Boy Scouts of America as all five of his sons are Eagle Scouts, and he has been a Lector at St. Theresa’s Church.  Any other spare time he has is enjoyed reading, riding the Peloton bike, running, flying planes, playing golf or traveling.

Richard W. Weeks CFP®

Richard W. Weeks CFP®

Portfolio Manager

Managing Director, Partner

“We pride ourselves in creating and supervising portfolios customized for each specific client.  Paramount importance is placed on risk management.  And the VWG ‘secret sauce’ is that we directly manage much our client’s assets ourselves, through our VWG equity ETF and fixed income portfolios.  We do not stamp out cookie-cutter portfolios, or hand out ‘Wall Street market-based’ investment management.”

Richard is VWG Wealth Management’s chief investment officer and portfolio manager.  With over 20 years of industry experience, he creates and oversees custom investment solutions, paying close attention to our client’s specific financial planning requirements, income needs and risk tolerance.  Richard is responsible for overall risk management and due-diligence on outside money managers.  He directly manages equities through VWG’s proprietary ETF portfolios, and bonds in taxable and tax-free income portfolios.

He has held the  Certified Financial Planner™ designation since 2002.  He is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary ® designee. Richard has been recognized in 2005-2007 on the Winner’s Circle Top 50 Advisors in Virginia Business Magazine’s Wealth Advisor List.  Prior to VWG Wealth Management’s move to HighTower Advisors he served as a Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley and Legg Mason.


Richard graduated cum laude with his Bachelor of Science degree in Administration and Management Science from Carnegie-Mellon University.  He lives in Great Falls Virginia with his wife Maria and their "Brady Bunch minus one" blended family – his son and daughter and her three sons. During free time he exercises and reads.  He enjoys art and photography, hiking, wine and travel.

Advisors

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Lynette Jones, CFP®

Lynette Jones, CFP®

Wealth Advisor

Lynette is a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner with more than 25 years’ experience in the financial services industry. She is passionate about helping clients achieve their financial goals and navigate life’s transitions. She coaches clients as they plan for and transition into retirement and educates them along with their heirs on proper planning strategies, including incapacity and estate planning. Lynette is VWG’s Life Transitions Specialist advising on planning issues including social security, health insurance coverage, Medicare and long term care.

 Lynette graduated from Wake Forest University with a B.A. in Economics and earned her Certified Financial Planner™ designation in 1994. She currently resides in Arlington, Virginia with her husband, daughter and two dogs. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, photography, gardening and exercising.








Michelle Kuzma Kempf, CFP®

Michelle Kuzma Kempf, CFP®

Wealth Advisor

Mrs. Kempf is a  Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner and Wealth Advisor with VWG Wealth Management. She began her career in the financial services industry in 2006.  Her focus with the team is in helping to find the best financial solutions for each individual investor based on their long term goals and predilection to risk. 

Michelle is a native of Greensboro, North Carolina, and earned highest honors at Tulane University graduating summa cum laude with a B.A. in Economics and Spanish, and was selected to Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. Despite studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, she completed her dual degree in only three years, and then entered directly into Tulane’s MBA program.  She gives back to her local community as an active member and volunteer with the Junior League.  In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, traveling and spending time with family. In 2015 Michelle and her husband, Kevin, welcomed their first son, Wes, to the world and her second son, Parker, arrived in 2017.

Ryan A. Verfurth

Ryan A. Verfurth

Wealth Advisor

Ryan Verfurth joined VWG Wealth Management in 2019 as a financial advisor with eight years of experience in the industry.  Ryan's specialties include financial planning, relationship management, and helping individuals and families achieve their long term financial goals.

In addition to his primary role as a Wealth Advisor, Ryan is responsible for enhancing our ability to reach new clients while maintaining the exclusivity of our clientele.  He will be leading business development efforts with our partner team, Fiduciary Plan Advisors (FPA), who oversee over 3 billion in ERISA retirement plan assets.

Ryan has worked for asset managers Lord Abbett and BNY Mellon/Dreyfus.  In both roles, he worked closely with Independent Financial Advisors to build suitable investment models to deliver to clients.  He also worked for a financial technology planning firm, Everplans, where he helped Advisors develop Legacy and Estate Planning services to families across generations.

Ryan has his Series 7 and Series 66 Licenses and he is currently studying to attain his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation.

Ryan graduated from Villanova University with a Bachelors Degree in Communications.  While at school, he received a scholarship to participate in the Army ROTC program.  In his spare time Ryan loves to read, exercise, and play golf.  Ryan is also a Boy Scouts of America Eagle Scout, as are his four brothers.  He and his wife Kate enjoy traveling, wine, and spending time with family and friends.

Client Experience Team

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Justin Bacon, CFA®

Justin Bacon, CFA®

Financial Analyst

Justin joined VWG in 2018 as a Financial Analyst.  His focus with the team is in helping to create custom investment solutions, tailored to the client’s specific planning goals, income needs and risk tolerance.  Justin began his investment career in 2005 with Fidelity Investments and has several years of experience as a small business owner.

 

Justin is originally from upstate New York and has a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology from SUNY Cortland.  Justin also has an MBA in Finance & Investment Management from the University of Maryland and is a Chartered Financial AnalystTM.   Justin lives in Montgomery County with his wife Melissa and their two children and two dogs.  In his spare time, Justin enjoys spending time with his family, reading and playing the guitar.  

Suzanne W. Berringer

Suzanne W. Berringer

Director of Operations

“The client’s needs always come first.  VWG and HighTower recognize this and consistently implement operational procedures to make sure the client experience is a priority and not an afterthought.”


Suzanne brings 22 years of experience to her role as Director of Operations with VWG Wealth Management.  She worked at Folger Nolan Fleming Douglas, Prudential Securities, A.G Edwards and Smith Barney before joining VWG in 2006. Suzanne directs and monitors all of VWG’s client operations and custodial fiduciary requirements. Her efficiency, attention to detail and dedication to providing personal and responsive service while helping to inform and educate clients is the key to the VWG servicing model.

She has her Series 7, 63 and 65 licenses.

Suzanne is a Virginian from Arlington where she attended George Mason University following an English and Psychology curriculum. Outside of the office, she loves to travel, read, spend time with her family and take long walks with her dog Jasper.

Rashmi Nirmalani Chahil

Rashmi Nirmalani Chahil

Senior Private Wealth Associate

Rashmi Nirmalani Chahil joined VWG in 2015 after working at Morgan Stanley for 14 years. A dedicated problem-solver, she is committed to providing excellent customer service and maintaining strong client relationships. Rashmi works closely with clients to seamlessly fulfill their near-term financial needs as a daily point of contact. 


Rashmi holds her series 7, 31, 66 and insurance licenses. Rashmi earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of Virginia. In her free time she enjoys traveling, watching sports and spending quality time with family and friends. A native of northern Virginia, Rashmi resides in the Tysons area with her husband Jay and their dogs, Bubba & Duncan.

Ashley A. Galvin

Ashley A. Galvin

Controller, HR Administrator

“We strive to build more than just a business relationship with our clients. We specialize in providing financial advice and services but we also take a genuine interest in our client’s personal lives. Through this relationship,  we strive to exceed client expectations.”

 

Ashley began her career with VWG Wealth Management in 2008.  She is responsible for overseeing all accounting-related activities including reporting and budgeting.  She works closely with the Chief Operating Officer to monitor the team’s overall growth and performance.  Ashley is also the HR Administrator for the office.

 

 Ashley graduated in 2008 from James Madison University with a Bachelor’s degree in International Business and a minor in Spanish.  She received her Masters degree in Business Administration from George Mason University.  She lives in Vienna, Virginia with her husband.  They welcomed their first child in 2017. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and running.

Kay Paradiso

Kay Paradiso

Senior Private Wealth Associate

Kay Paradiso is a Senior Private Wealth Associate. Kay joined VWG after working at a wealth management firm for almost 10 years. She works closely with the wealth advisors to on board new clients to help consolidate their assets and provide a point of contact to ensure clients' short term needs are met. She reviews accounts to ensure all information is kept up to date, transacts cash and asset transfers as well as processes the annual IRA distributions on the behalf of the client. 

 

Kay graduated from the College of Business at Tennessee Tech University with a Bachelor of Science in Finance. While studying, she received a scholarship for playing tennis in NCAA Division 1. 

 

Kay holds the Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor, CMFC® designation as well as the Series 7 and 63 licenses. 

 

Born and raised in Malaysia, she now lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and daughter. In her spare time, Kay enjoys cycling as well as kayaking on the Potomac.

Delaney Taggart

Delaney Taggart

Client Service Coordinator

Delaney joined VWG Wealth Management in the spring of 2019. She attended Virginia Commonwealth University and is working towards finishing her Bachelors degree in Communications. Delaney's focus is on providing high quality customer service and communication, including coordinating VWG's marketing and social media efforts and planning events.

Delaney grew up in Ashburn, Virginia and has two siblings, an older brother and a younger sister. Having grown up in an active family, she loves staying busy. Her spare time is spent hiking with her dog, hanging out with friends, and traveling any chance she gets. 

Other Services

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Jania Stout

Jania Stout

Practice Leader, Managing Director

Jania Stout, Managing Director, Co-Founder of Fiduciary Plan Advisors at HighTower, brings over 20 years of experience in ERISA plan consulting to the organization. Prior to HighTower she founded the Fiduciary Consulting Group at PSA in 2009 and grew the practice from approximately $300 million to nearly $3 billion in assets over 5 years. 
  
Jania began her career at ADP’s Retirement Services Division and spent 10 years helping them become one of the largest retirement plan providers in the country. During her time at ADP, she worked with channel partners such as Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America. Jania then became a Senior Account Executive for Fidelity Investments. While at Fidelity, Jania built retirement plan solutions for mid-market companies. Jania gained tremendous exposure to the challenges plan sponsors face and their need to have a fiduciary partner. This exposure led her to leave Fidelity and form a team of consultants that had a unified focus on helping plan sponsors with their fiduciary responsibilities. 
  
Jania has been featured in the Washington Post, 401(k) Wire and 401(k) Advisor Magazine. Her team won one of the most prestigious awards in the industry in 2013; the 401(k) Advisor Leadership Award sponsored by National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA).
Ms. Stout was appointed to the Leadership Council of National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA) in spring of 2014. The Council is charged with setting the strategic direction and making policy decisions on all matters related to NAPA’s mission. Membership is comprised of nine voting member advisors—defined as individuals who are focused on advisory services directly to plan sponsors and their participants. She is a regular speaker at the Plan Sponsor National Conference as well as a contributor to many industry publications. 

Jania holds her FINRA Series, 7, 6, 63 and 66. Ms. Stout was a two sport Division 1 athlete and graduated with a double major from Hofstra University. She is a 2008 graduate of the Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC) Leadership program and a board member of the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland. In her free time she coaches girls’ lacrosse and is the lacrosse commissioner at LTRC where she oversees 36 youth teams across the state. She resides in Phoenix, MD with her two daughters, Hannah and Sophie.
Chad J. Wilson, CFA, CFP®

Chad J. Wilson, CFA, CFP®

Director of Retirement Plan Consulting

Chad Wilson, CFA, CFP® is a Managing Director and Co-Founder of Fiduciary Plan Advisors at HighTower. Beyond managing the operations of FPA, Chad oversees the firm’s process of selecting and monitoring investment managers, performing manager due diligence and formulating the firm’s investment strategies. His duties also extend to provider fee negotiation, client acquisition and retention, and the due diligence surrounding selecting non-fiduciary service providers such as a plan’s recordkeeper, administrator, actuary, and custodian/trustee. 

Prior to co-founding Fiduciary Plan Advisors, Chad was the Director of Investment Consulting at a regional consulting firm overseeing $2.7 billion of qualified and non-qualified plan assets. Unlike most investment-oriented consultants who begin their careers as wealth managers, Chad began working for a local TPA/Recordkeeper out of college. That experience strengthened his understanding of ERISA compliance and gives him a unique view of structuring investment programs for retirement plans. 

Chad graduated magna cum laude from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania with a focus in business finance and English, is a CFA charter holder as well as a  Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner. He was honorably discharged from the United States Marine Corps after serving four years in the infantry and as a scout sniper. Chad currently lives in Crownsville, MD with his wife, Jill, of 19 years and two daughters, Dorothea (8yrs) and Sylvia (5yrs).