Our Advisory Board
Nicholas L. Gregory, ChFE, CEBA, ChCCA, ChFWA — Founder and CEO
Having founded a firm called The Financial Engineering Institute back in 1996, Mr. Gregory and his colleagues utilized the Institute’s WealthBlueprintingTM Platform and a plethora of other resources to engineer The FWH as an ecosystem for families of wealth. It is a gathering place for Families to peruse a carefully selected, categorized portfolio of ExpertSourcing PartnerTM Firms in a very private setting. Families create their FWH Dashboards to access the expert sourcing firms and the Family Knowledge Center coupled with Regional Chapters and synchronized with discreet peer-to-peer Forums and dynamic regional and national Conferences.
Nick is dedicated to providing quality education, training coaching and advanced strategies for families of wealth and their advisors. He is also President and Managing Director of The Charitable Capital Design Center, an organization which assists both financial professionals and charitable organizations in enhancing their planned giving capabilities by redefining “planned giving” as a unique form of financial capital. In addition, Nick and his colleagues have developed Give Back Nation, a non-profit, national community foundation to create even bigger waves of giving across the nation. He is also Founder and CEO of The U.S. Business Alliance, a national association of family businesses.
Over the past 40 years Mr. Gregory has consulted with attorneys, accountants, and financial services professionals in better serving their high net worth families and businesses. He also provides consulting for some of the largest financial services organizations in the world. He functions as a speaker, writer and consultant in the areas of cash management, risk management, investing, taxation, estate preservation, employee benefits, business succession and retirement planning, as well as business valuation, asset protection, and charitable giving. Mr. Gregory holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Ball State University with minors in Economics and Finance. Mr. Gregory is a member of the Financial Planners Association, The Partnership for Philanthropic Planning, The International Institute of Financial Engineering, The Charitable Capital Advisory Institute and is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Give Back Nation.
Kyle C. Gregory, ChCCA — President of Give Back Nation, a non-profit organization
Kyle and several other entrepreneurial philanthropists developed Give Back Nation as a national community foundation serving hundreds of non-profits on a concierge services basis as well as thousands of giving Americans and their causes. Kyle Gregory has held management positions with UPS, Lowes and The Bank of New York Mellon. Using his vast array of management experience and dedication to “giving back”, Kyle helps great causes expand their fight while creating a “circle of winning” within communities across the nation. Kyle received his bachelors degree in Business Management from the University of Central Florida. He is a member of The Charitable Capital Advisory Institute.
William Hortz — Founder and Dean of The Institute for Innovation Development
Bill Hortz is an independent business consultant and Founder/Dean of the Institute for Innovation Development- a financial services business innovation platform and network. With over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry including expertise in sales/marketing/branding of asset management firms, as well as, creatively restructuring and developing internal/external sales and strategic account departments for 5 major financial firms, including OppenheimerFunds, Neuberger&Berman and Templeton Funds Distributors. His wide ranging experiences have led Bill to a strong belief, passion and advocation for strategic thinking, innovation creation and strategic account management as the nexus of business skills needed to address a business environment challenged by an accelerating rate of change.
Sheila K. Christie, J.D. — Founder of Cashel Fiduciary Partners, LLC
Ms. Christie is a trailblazer in the creation and management of both Private Trust Companies and Family Trust Companies. Her firm provides turnkey solutions for formation, management, administration, and operations of Private Trust Companies and Family Trust Companies. She has developed an extensive knowledge of trusts, estate planning, banking, compliance, regulation, management and the needs of family offices and family advisors from her career in law and business. Her career began in the Trust Department of Fifth Third Bank and continued through partnerships in two prestigious law firms as well as acting as Chief Fiduciary Officer and Trust Counsel for Perspecta Trust LLC.
Diane J. Omdahl, RN, MS — CEO and Founder of I-65 Incorporated
For more than 35 years, Diane has kept tabs on the ever-changing landscape of Medicare regulations. She grew her first company into the leading provider of Medicare-related training, guidance and education for the nation's home healthcare agencies. Diane has delivered more than 500 Medicare-related audio conferences and seminars. In 2012, Diane founded 65 Incorporated to provide the nation's seniors, through their financial advisors and employers, with unbiased, individualized Medicare enrollment guidance. Through her work, Diane has been featured in publications such as Forbes, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal Market Watch, CBS MoneyWatch, Kiplinger, American Journal of Nursing, and many more.
Eric Knauss — Chief Executive Officer of Proteus, LLC
Eric heads up Proteus, an integrated technology alternative asset solutions platform built to eliminate the inefficiencies of private investments for investors, advisors and family offices. Beginning his extensive career with Merrill Lynch over 32 years ago, Eric spent more than 11 years at T. Rowe Price where he established and managed the firm’s Private Client Group and was Chairman of the firm’s After-Tax Asset Allocation Committee. Eric then worked for the multi-family office, Spruce Private Investors and moved on to GenSpring Family Offices as a lead investment professional. Eric then developed a holistic, open-architecture wealth advisory platform for Lazard Wealth Management as its Director of Client Relationship Management Group and was Managing Partner of both Portfolio Management and Wealth Advisory at Deltec Wealth Management.
Brent Burns, MBA — President and Founder of Asset Dedication
Brent brings more than a decade of financial and investment experience to his work in applying academic research to the development of practical and innovative portfolio strategies. Brent’s deep background in empirical finance helped form the basis for all of Asset Dedication’s modeling and analysis. His work with Asset Dedication began at the University of San Francisco, where he partnered with co-Founder Stephen Huxley as a McLaren Research Fellow to study portfolio performance and the impact of withdrawal rates, inflation, and market conditions. In addition to his role at Asset Dedication, Brent periodically teaches the Personal Finance courses in the MBA and undergraduate programs at the University of San Francisco School of Management. Brent holds an MBA with honors from the University of San Francisco and a BS from the University of California, Berkeley. Brent is also a former world-class pole vaulter and was a member of the U.S. National Track and Field Team.
Eric Miller, CLU, FLMI — Partner and Chief Marketing Officer of Gracie Point, LLC
Mr. Miller is responsible for development of the firm’s distribution partnerships, underwriting, and is President of Gracie Point Insurance Services. Prior to joining Gracie Point, Mr. Miller was President of a leading premium finance firm, and was formerly the Senior Vice President of BISYS / Crump where he had responsibility for advance markets, sales, and underwriting. Eric began his financial services career with an executive development program at Mutual of New York where over the course of 17 years he held several corporate officer positions and helped build the Brokerage Distribution Channel. Mr. Miller is a graduate of Elizabethtown College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science with a concentration in Business Administration.
Gregory E. Crawford, TEP, CFP — President of Alliance Trust Company of Nevada
Greg develops strategy, drives growth, and oversees operations. For two decades, Greg has designed and implemented asset management and asset protection plans for multi-generational families in the United States and abroad for some of the largest institutions in the world. This work involves comprehensive financial planning, portfolio design, business entity structure strategy, and sophisticated estate planning techniques. Greg is a regular speaker on the benefits and advantages of Nevada trust situs at law school conferences around the country. Greg holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Davis, and a Master of Health Administration from the University of Minnesota. Mr. Crawford has been quoted in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Financial Times of London, and has appeared as an on-air expert on CNBC, Bloomberg and ABC World News Tonight.
James Sekel — Senior Vice President of Private Banking at TriState Capital Bank
In this capacity, Jim works in developing deposit and loan relationships with family offices, trust companies, investment firms, financial advisors and their clients, as well as business owners and company executives. Jim has nearly 40 years of experience in the banking industry. He has expertise in Private Banking, along with retail and commercial banking. Jim is currently responsible for a $700 million loan and deposit portfolio. Jim is a graduate of Edinboro University with a B.A. in Accounting. Additionally, he earned his MBA from Robert Morris University. He also completed the Graduate School of Retail Bank Management at the University of Virginia and the Central Atlantic School of Commercial Lending at Bucknell University.