Karen is Pinnacle’s Office Manager and is responsible for overseeing the day to day business operations of the firm, along with all aspects of staff management. Karen’s areas of responsibility include Pinnacle’s accounting and banking, operational SEC compliance, Human Resources, and oversight of Custodial Relationships. She also serves on the firm’s Management Team. A graduate of the University of Maryland, she has spent time on both coasts, having worked in the banking and financial fields in California and Maryland.
Kristin Tucker, CFP(R), RP(R)
Kristin came to Pinnacle Advisory Group in July 2006 with more than six years of experience in client services, and with a background in banking. She was certified as a Registered Paraplanner (RP®) in February 2007, and received her CFP® in 2011. She now serves as the manager of Pinnacle’s Operations department. She has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Salisbury University.
Monica Smith joined Pinnacle as the firm’s Client Concierge in July 2013, serving as a liaison between clients and Wealth Managers. She graduated from North Carolina Central University with a degree in Finance, and her professional background combines banking and investing, which has allowed her to experience the full spectrum of financial services. Outside of work, she enjoys meeting new people, traveling, fine dining, and spending time with family and friends.
Tom Raynor, RP(R)
Senior Operations Specialist
Tom is a graduate of the University of Baltimore with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He joined Pinnacle in 2008 from the real estate title industry, where he was a settlement agent, and currently provides client support to Mindy Gasthalter and Jeff Troll. Tom became certified as a Registered Paraplanner (RP®) in November 2010, and is currently preparing for the CFP® board exam. He’s a lifelong native of Baltimore, where he lives with his wife, Carrie, and their three children.
Amanda Staelens joined the Pinnacle team as an Operations Associate in August 2009, with 2 years of experience in accounts receivable and more than 8 years in customer service, and provides support to the clients of John Hill, Deb Kriebel, Barbara Ristow, and Michael Green. She has her associate’s degree in Business Administration and hopes to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the same field. She is actively involved with Animal Rescue, Inc. and lives in Baltimore.
Melvin Howard joined the Pinnacle team as an Operations Associate in May 2013, with over 10 years of Financial Services experience. He is a graduate of Sojourner-Douglas College with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Melvin is well versed in client reporting, account administration, and relationship management, and provides support to the clients of Jake Mason and Michael Hamolia. He lives in Baltimore with his wife and son.
Vice President of Distribution
Tim joined the Pinnacle team in December 2009, and handles business development and performance marketing. He started his career in the financial services industry at Legg Mason as a broker’s assistant, and has worked for both asset managers and financial planners. In 2003 he graduated from McDaniel College (formerly Western Maryland College), where he received his bachelor’s degree in History with a minor in Journalism.
Investment Operations Specialist
With seven years of experience in back office operations, Karima Escalona joined Pinnacle as an Operations Associate in April 2013. She received her undergraduate degree from Baruch College majoring in Operations Management, and in 2010 earned an MBA in Finance from Walden University. Karima currently supports Tim Mascari on the Transamerica platform. She is originally from Queens, New York.
Vilas joined the Pinnacle Team in September 2009. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and a master’s degree in Applied Information Technology from Towson University. Vilas worked for eight years with Baltimore-based Erickson Retirement Communities as a Network Administrator at their corporate headquarters, an IT Site Manager at one of their Baltimore campuses, and finally in Dallas, Texas, as a Senior IT Site Manager. Vilas is responsible for overseeing the various technological aspects of Pinnacle’s operation.
Director of Marketing
Brian Saint-Paul joined Pinnacle in 2011. He received his bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and master’s degree in Religious Studies from the Catholic University of America. In the time since, he has been a high school teacher, a missionary, the associate director of a health research institute, and was for ten years the editor-in-chief of an influential political/cultural magazine in Washington, D.C. Brian handles Pinnacle’s brand development — including the writing, website, graphic design, videos, and media outreach. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Federal Hill, Baltimore.
Cybil joined Pinnacle as the administrative assistant in July 2012. She has over 16 years of experience in customer service and sales, with 12 years of experience in human resources and management. Cybil provides administrative support to the day-to-day operations of the business and is the first line of contact for our clients. She is detail oriented, organized, and highly motivated to be successful. She lives with her husband and son in the Annapolis area.