PennWood Financial Group

CONNECT

Address:

4905 W. Tilghman St. Suite 200
Allentown, PA 18104

Phone:

610-398-0100 

Fax/Other:

610-391-7216

Our Leadership Team

Jeffrey R. Kurtz, CLU®, ChFC®

Managing Partner

Jeffrey Kurtz, CLU, ChFC, has over 30 years of business and financial management experience. Responsible for the leadership and direction of a multi-million-dollar financial services firm, Jeff received his Bachelors of Arts degree from Rider University and holds both Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®) and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designations.

Jeff's goal is to develop and maintain a professional business atmosphere in the firm, with a focus on high ethical standards and client centricity. As Managing Partner, he is also responsible for recruiting professional financial services representatives to the firm, and guiding them to develop sound business and marketing plans so that  they reach their career goals.

Our firm strives to work with our individual and busines owner clients to understand both their short-and long-term goals so that together we can create a solid financial strategy.  We work to provide excellent customer service and focus on becoming a lifetime resource for each and every client that we serve.

We take a distinct approach to investment solutions and balancing risk to help you enjoy a brighter, more secure future!

Visit our "Focus on Individuals & Businesses" page for more information on the products and services that our properly licensed financial professionals can offer!

Click here to visit me on LinkedIn.

 

 

Shilo Daddona

Operations Manager

Shilo works closely with the Managing Partner and other members of the leadership team to ensure the Firm provides superior service to Financial Services Representatives and clients in a compliant and financially efficient manner.  She manages a team of five new business processors who together, handled over $17 million dollars of business in 2016.   As part of her main responsibilities Shilo manages the day to day operations of the firm, which includes acting as a backup FINRA principal, providing oversight and coordination of the processing of all business as well as the servicing of existing clients.   She has developed an in-agency cross training program for her staff to ensure that all individuals can perform all functions within the department.

Due to her leadership and performance, Shilo was recognized and named Regional Operations Director of the year in 2015.  

Shilo started her career in the financial services industry as a Personal Assistant to a sales advisor.   She is a lifelong Lehigh Valley resident and currently lives in Whitehall with her husband Victor and son Angelo.   In her spare time she enjoys running, spending time with family and friends and watching Angelo participate in his various sporting events.

 

Robert E. Brady, FLMI, ACS

Agency Supervisory Officer

Bob ensures the firm is in adherence to MassMutual's corporate compliance program. In doing so, he conducts regular reviews with advisors and evaluates and monitors any compliance concerns within the organization.  In addition, he ensures all advisors and staff are in compliance with the rules and regulations of all regulatory agencies and that MassMutual company policies and procedures are being followed.  Lastly, he is responsible to make sure the behavior conducted within the organization meets the company's Standards of Conduct.

Bob began his career in the financial services industry in 1984 as a Financial Services Representative.  He transitioned from selling to having positions in both technology and operations and in 2012 he moved into a supervisory role as Agency Supervisory Officer.  During his time in the industry Bob has earned two designations both were obtained from the Life Office Management Association (LOMA); Fellow, Life Management Association™ and Associate, Customer Service™. 

A thirty-two year resident of Lansdale, Pennsylvania, Bob is married with two grown children.  An interesting tidbit about Bob is that he grew up with 7 siblings!  In his spare time Bob loves watching all types of sporting events.

 

Greg Kessler

Agency Supervisory Officer

Greg Kessler, Agency Supervisory Officer, ensures the firm is in adherence to MassMutual's corporate compliance program. In doing so, he conducts regular reviews with advisors and evaluates and monitors any compliance concerns within the organization.  In addition, he ensures all advisors and staff are in compliance with the rules and regulations of all regulatory agencies and that MassMutual company policies and procedures are being followed.  Lastly, he is responsible to make sure the behavior conducted within the organization meets the company's Standards of Conduct.

Greg started in the financial services industry in 1987 as a Philadelphia Stock Exchange equity trader and moved on to Raymond James Financial where he spent 23 years in Municipal Bond Sales.  Greg has been with PennWood Financial Group in the compliance department since 2015.  Within his time in the industry he has earned his Certificate of Financial Planning from Florida State University.  Greg earned his Bachelors of Science degree from Eckerd College in Saint Petersburg, Florida. 

Having lived in Clearwater, Florida for twenty-three years and south Philadelphia for another twenty-four years he's happy to be living in cold, rural Allentown, Pennsylvania for the last few years.   An interesting tidbit about Greg is he's visited over fifty football and baseball stadiums across the United States and has completed the Disney marathon twice!  He also has hiked 190 miles of the 2000 total miles of the Appalachian Trail.  In his spare time he officiates both high school football and baseball

 

 

David W. Hummel, CLU®, ChFC, CASL®, CAP®, RICP®, LUTCF

Advanced Markets Director

Dave assists the advisors with developing and creating advanced sales concepts for clients.  He helps them to apply innovative product solutions to effectively meet complex client needs, especially in the business markets.  MassMutual offers a wide range of flexible products and there are often several solutions and combinations that can be tailored to a given situation.  Dave works with the Managing Directors and advisors on thoroughly understanding the clients overall financial needs and developing the solution(s) that will work best for the client.

Dave also provides competition support by being very knowledgeable in MassMutual's product portfolio, understanding dividends and evaluating competitors' products.  

He began his career in financial services in 1985 as a Sales Representative in Pottsville, PA.  Over the last few decades, he has continued his career as a Branch Manager, Regional Marketing Manager and an Agency Sales Director.   During his tenure with PennWood Financial Group, Dave was recognized nine times for both his efforts in sales and management. Dave has acted in the Advanced Markets Director position with PennWood for the last three years.   During his time in the industry Dave has earned numerous designations from the American College and has been actively involved in National Association of Insurance & Financial Advisors (NAIFA) since 1985.  Dave's designations are outlined below:

  • Charted Life Underwriter

  • Chartered Financial Consultant

  • Chartered Advisor Senior Living

  • Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy

  • Retirement Income Certified Professional

  • Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow

Dave resides in Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania with his wife.   He is a very proud father to a daughter who is a new MD in Podiatry.  One of Dave's favorite hobbies is golf. 

 

 

Ronnie S. Blaufarb, AIF®

Financial Advisor

Special Care Planner

Retirement Plan Specialist

Ron conducts his own personal business in addition to assisting Financial Services Representatives within the firm in prospecting, analyzing and presenting on 401k retirement plan solutions and education strategies to business owners and key decision makers.  When working with Business owners, an additional advantage is the ability for the Financial Services Representatives to help guide their employees towards their personal financial goals.  In helping advisors bring added value to the business owner community it enhances our reach within our community. 

Ron started in the financial services industry in 2001 at Mutual of Omaha as an advisor where he earned Chairman's Council status five times.  Ron continued working in the industry for both New York Life and MetLife where he qualified again for President's Council and Leaders Conference respectively.  He has been with PennWood Financial Group since 2009.   Within his time in the industry Ron has earned his Accredited Investment Fiduciary designation from The American College. 

A twenty-seven-year resident of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Ron and his wife have three children; one of which has Special Needs.    

Ron is a bi-lateral corneal transplant recipient and very active in the eye bank and organ donation community.  He counsels people who are receiving transplants both pre-op and post-op, and publicly speaks to organizations about the need to raise awareness for organ donations.  Ron has been an NCAA football officiant for 35 years and is also very active in the special needs community and provides advocacy services.

 

 

Robert L. Knauss

Brokerage Director

Benefits Director

Bob's primary responsibilities are to make available to insurance brokers the portfolio of MassMutual products including: Whole Life and Term insurance, Disability Income Insurance products, Long Term Care Insurance and Fixed Annuities. The company's strong and growing network of financial professionals help their clients make good financial decisions for the long term.

I am looking for successful, independent producers (brokers) who are interested in offering MassMutual products to their clients. In turn, you can expect one-on-one support for all your clients needs including: case consultations, Estate and Business Planning expertise, marketing and illustration support, plan design plus product positioning strategies and presentations.

Bob is also Principal of an employee benefits brokerage business that he started as a sole proprietor in 2008.  Prior to joining PennWood Financial Group in early 2012 and before starting his employee benefits firm, he held various positions in sales, marketing and management including industries such as insurance, benefits administration, human resource management, payroll and tax filing, professional employer organizations and staffing in his successful over 25-year career.

His greatest strength is his entrepreneurial nature that inspires a spirit of innovation and creativity. Working in a leadership capacity, he thrives in environments that foster a collaborative approach to leading, mentoring and coaching.  Bob's greatest asset is his innate ability to turn knowledge into a coherent and executable strategy. His favorite adage is “don't ask someone to do something that you haven't already done yourself”.   He adheres to a servant-style leadership approach when dealing with and managing human capital.

A leader in the business community, he has served as past president for the Hellertown Lower-Saucon Chamber of Commerce and currently serves on the Board of Governors for the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.  In addition, he served on the Board of the Southern Lehigh Chamber and the Public Policy Committee of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber.  He is also very active in the health and wellness community and, to that end, is a Certified Personal Trainer and a Certified Weight Management Specialist.

Bob holds a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from DeSales University, located in Center Valley.  He is a 23-year resident of Bethlehem where he lives with his wife of 26 years and two children.  In his spare time, he enjoys scuba diving, extensive gardening, playing guitar and working out on a regular basis.  Bob firmly believes that we all bare a high level of personal accountability toward healthy living. His favorite pastime is vacationing on a Caribbean island with his toes in the sand and a cold drink in his hand.

 

 

Kevin Janus

Managing Sales Director

Financial Advisor

Kevin has two primary focuses in his role; recruiting new advisors and developing existing advisors on his team.  In his recruiting role, he is responsible for creating and executing on an effective recruiting plan; regularly prospecting for qualified candidates, conducting interviews and following the candidate selection process.  He has extensive knowledge of the advisor contracts and financing plans offered at PennWood Financial Group in addition to understanding the competitive environment within the industry. 

Developing, educating and coaching advisors involves performing joint field work, conducting training and education meetings and having one-on-one coaching sessions.  Kevin utilizes multiple tools to effectively establish good behavior patterns and to ensure advisor accountability to identified benchmarks and goals. 

The Managing Director's responsibilities are to oversee the advisors within their unit and to build and maintain an effective business and marketing plan.  By working with the firm's leadership team, Kevin works to achieve long-term growth and profitability for the firm by maximizing the market potential. 

Kevin started his career in the financial services industry in 2009 with Prudential.  He has held positions at Western & Southern and joined PennWood Financial Group as a Managing Director in 2015.  

He graduated from Arcadia University with a Bachelors of Science degree with a major in Mathematics.  Active in industry associations, Kevin actively participates in both the GAMA International and NAIFA organizations.  GAMA is the only association dedicated to promoting the professional development needs and leadership skills of first-line and front-line leaders in the insurance, investment, and financial services industry.   The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors is a nonprofit group that works on behalf of its members to promote a favorable regulative environment, provide professional education services and ensure ethical professional conduct for insurance and financial advisors.

Originally from Horsham, Pennsylvania, Kevin currently resides in Bethlehem with his wife Shannon and two young daughters, Natalie and Daphne.   In his spare time he enjoys outdoor activities such as golf, boating and fishing, skiing and surfing.

 

 

Christopher Simpler, MBA, CRPC®

Managing Sales Director

Financial Advisor

Chris has two primary focuses in his role; recruiting new advisors and developing existing advisors on his team.  In his recruiting role, he is responsible for creating and executing on an effective recruiting plan; regularly prospecting for qualified candidates, conducting interviews and following the candidate selection process.  He has extensive knowledge of the advisor contracts and financing plans offered at PennWood Financial Group in addition to understanding the competitive environment within the industry. 

Developing, educating and coaching advisors involves performing joint field work, conducting training and education meetings and having one-on-one coaching sessions.  Chris utilizes multiple tools to effectively establish good behavior patterns and to ensure advisor accountability to identified benchmarks and goals.  

The Managing Director's responsibilities are to oversee the advisors within their unit and to build and maintain an effective business and marketing plan.  By working with the firm's leadership team, Chris works to achieve long-term growth and profitability for the firm by maximizing the market potential. 

“Supporting advisors in Northeast and Central PA, I bring a wealth of consulting and training experience to my team, providing the tools and structures essential to success through a holistic-advice advisory model.”

Prior to entering the financial services industry Chris worked in hotel and restaurant management.  Chris started in the financial services industry in 2007 with a firm in Chicago, Illinois.  When he and his wife wanted a “change of pace”, they decided to move from snowy, cold Chicago to snowy, cold Northeastern Pennsylvania in January of this year and he accepted a Managing Director position with PennWood Financial Group.

Chris earned his MBA from Webster University and his Bachelor of Arts degree from Truman State University.  While in the industry Chris has earned his Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor designation from the American College.   Chris conjures up his interest in music by his active participation as a board member with the Northeast Pennsylvania Philharmonic.  He has been “learning” to play the piano for the past 40 years!    In his spare time he enjoys cooking and considers himself an “amateur chef” and loves to travel; he has traveled to over sixteen countries!

 

 

Courtney A. Kulp

Marketing Director

Courtney leads integrated strategy development to drive market penetration in support of 80+ sales representatives.  She collaborates and works with all members of the leadership team to tailor marketing programs and initiatives to drive both the firm's and individual advisor's revenue.  Delivering success in fast-paced, rapidly changing environment is about understanding the market and seizing opportunity when it presents itself.  Courtney also manages all aspects of marketing and digital communications for the firm.

From 2013 through 2016, as a Regional Marketing Strategist, she served four separate sales offices, each with independent leadership. Her primary responsibilities included creating and enhancing standard strategic marketing initiatives. Tailoring market development curriculums and programs to meet the unique and changing needs of each office. 
 

Prior career experience includes marketing communications for an international high tech, radio frequency identification manufacturer headquartered in Marseilles, France.  Additionally, she spent five years as an executive assistant to 5 senior executives where she was responsible for direct sales support in addition to handling and growing premier vendor relationships.

While working a full-time position, Courtney graduated Summa Cum Laude, from Delaware Valley College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a major in Marketing.  Growing up in a military family, she's lived in all parts of the country but finally settled in the Lehigh Valley when she met her husband.  Courtney and her family currently reside in Bethlehem.   She passionately supports dog rescue organizations through making and donating blankets to foster dogs.  A avid exerciser and shopper, she loves spending time with friends and going out to eat!  

 

Nicole LaSorsa

Agency Technology Specialist

Nicole is primarily responsible for implementing and managing the use of technology within the firm.  This encompasses the setup, rollout, maintenance and oversight of specific technology requirements, practices and equipment.  It also includes the oversight of effective, secure and compliant agent system and software usage.  She trains both advisors and administrative staff on how the tools provided to us through the company's technology offerings can help them more effectively and efficiently run their business and service their clients. 

Nicole started with PennWood Financial Group in 2009 as an agency assistant to the Managing Partner.  She quickly showcased her technology skillset in addition to her ability to increase the effectiveness and efficiencies of existing processes and procedures and was subsequently promoted to Agency Technical Specialist.   Prior to starting her career in the financial services industry, she was a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations, otherwise known as a stay at home mom.

Nicole was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology where she studied film and animation.  She and her family currently reside in the Lehigh Valley.

Check the background of this financial professional on FINRA's BrokerCheck
Check the background of this financial professional on FINRA's BrokerCheck