Hometown: Concord, California
Alma mater: St. MAry’s College of California
In his own words: “As an advisor at Bernstein, I wear multiple hats when I work with people. It keeps things fresh and new which is why I love what I do. One day I may be working on strategies with a family to maximize charitable giving or the transfer of wealth to a future generation. Another day I may be helping a client with how to coach their children who were born into a family of means. Still another day I may be helping to stop people from making mistakes stemming from anxiety due to market volatility. It takes a fluid mind and an ability to care for people as though you were in their shoes, but also the ability to divorce yourself from that emotion at times and be firm with your recommendations and advice. I honestly can’t think of a profession like this one that forces you to be so flexible. It keeps me on my toes and that is where I need to be.
“I am not sure if there was ever a choice in what I was going to do. I like making people happy and alleviating the stress and pain of others. I believe I had a blessed childhood, but I did see how finances can cause issues with family and friends growing up. To this day I have trouble spending money on myself because of this. This is not to say I don’t own toys, but I am not the type of person to make an impulse buy for myself, ever. I research, weigh the options, and make a financial decision from a position of confidence. My whole career has been helping others with this same process.”
Charitable involvement: “In the past I was involved with Make-A-Wish and various cancer charities in one form or another but have been more focused on local Jewish charities lately, which benefit education, youth programs and community outreach. I would expect this focus to continue into the future, but I have been looking for a charity that is focused on providing technology to the poor as well.”
On philanthropy: “The current environment is what has led me to be more focused on local Jewish charities lately. I don’t think there is one person or party responsible for where we are right now, but we as a nation do seem more divided than we have been in the past. These divisions have popped up in so many ways and one, unfortunately, has been religion. I just want to be one of the people building bridges across the gaps we are seeing. We should all be doing this for our children.”
When I’m not in the office, you can find me… “With my family at Little League game, or a birthday party, or a practice for baseball, ballet, etc. I love my kids, but they sure keep me busy. [With kids age] 8 and 4, I don’t have much free time. Luckily my kids are awesome, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Mentor: “I could not be where I am today without multiple positive influences and mentors. The most important ones would be my mother and my uncles. My parents divorced when I was young, and my mother managed to show me what true commitment and self-sacrifice meant. She worked multiple jobs at times to make sure my brother and I had everything we could have ever wanted growing up. She just recently retired from the college my brother and I went to — yet another example of her putting me and my brother first. She could have worked elsewhere and made more money, but then it would have caused my brother and I to take on an outrageous amount of debt to go to college.
I have a great relationship with my father, but right after my parents divorced, my uncles really worked hard to make the situation easier to deal with. They took us on countless adventures that I cherish. I am happy to know that a large part of who I am is because of the love and direction they showed me when I needed it most.”
Philosophy: “Live in the moment and don’t dwell on the past. Time moves in one direction for us all.”
Best piece of advice I’ve ever received: “One of my uncles told me to move away and strike out on my own in the world. I miss home, but everything I have is a result of my wife and I building something completely new and unique. It makes travel around the holidays a little tricky but we manage like we always have.”
App I can’t live without: “Reddit. I can’t find another way to get all the information I want and need so easily. Everything from financial news to funny stories can be found there. It is a massive trove of data to digest as one sees fit.”
Dream vacation: “Any place in the mountains with nice views. When I go on vacation I like to remember how small we all are individually. It helps ground me and keep me focused for some reason.”
Hometown: Concord, California
Alma mater: Princeton University
In his own words: “I am an Advisor with Bernstein Private Wealth Management. In my role, I have the opportunity to work in a field that is constantly changing and where every client and experience is different. Everyone has a different idea of what their money means to them and what they ultimately want it to provide. Whether we are working through complex estate planning decisions, philanthropic impact, or the dynamics of a business sale, I enjoy working to help families and institutions better understand the implications of decisions they might have to make today and put plans in place to help them achieve success. It is a great responsibility to take on and one that is as satisfying as it is challenging.
“I think I have always had this ongoing left-brain/right-brain struggle, and figuring out how to productively balance the types of things that I am good at and enjoy has been interesting. I think a lightbulb went off when I joined our Private Wealth practice and had the opportunity to interact more directly with clients that have significant complexity to their financial picture. There are so many opportunities to activate both sides of my brain. In our business you have to be technical and precise but also utilize other softer skills, and that can often be more art than science. It is really exciting to use the talents God has given me and work every day toward helping others be successful.”
Charitable involvement: “I do most of my charitable work with organizations supporting type 1 diabetes (T1D). I’ve been fortunate to find some really great ones. I am a coach for the Sam Fuld T1D Sports Camp, dedicated to helping young athletes affected by T1D experience the benefits of sports and physical activity while dealing with the rigors of managing the disease. All the coaches are former college or professional athletes that also have T1D. These types of camps are invaluable opportunities for a kid who may be the only person in their class, school, or even town living with T1D to spend time with others just like them and get a chance to feel “normal.” SLAMT1D is another organization that I work with that sponsors wiffle ball tournaments raising money to directly support sending kids with T1D to camps like Sam’s.
“I have also more recently become involved with the efforts of the Tampa chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), which serves a multitude of functions, including funding research for a cure for T1D. And for a home-grown cause, the last few years I’ve been helping to coordinate volunteers for the annual Tampa Pig Jig. There is a Jesuit connection there, and it’s obviously a great event to be a part of.”
On philanthropy: “I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) in my mid-20s. Prior to that, I probably hadn’t seen the inside of a doctor’s office since high school. For a period of time I felt very alone in the challenges I was facing, so I sought out ways that I could connect and get involved with others in the T1D community. I found an amazing network of people who are supportive and passionate about lifting each other up and finding a cure for T1D. It is a chronic and exhausting disease that most people know at least a little bit about but commonly misunderstand it. Raising awareness and money for something that has directly touched and altered my life and the lives of my family is so important to me. Fighting T1D is a forever effort, and putting myself in a position to show others with it that it can be done brings me great satisfaction.”
When I’m not in the office, you can find me: “Running all over town with my family. We have three boys — 6, 4 and 2 — that are a ton of fun and a ton of work. We are always moving from one event to the next. My wife, Alexis, is a master of efficient use of time and is great at planning out the logistics of our family calendar so that no minute is left for the couch. If I’m not coaching baseball, or helping with Cub Scouts, or volunteering at school, Alexis is scoping Fastpasses for Disney World, her other obsession. All in a day’s work at the Ocho’s!”
Mentor: “The ‘village’ that raised me has so many. But my parents, in their own ways, have given me so much to admire and aspire to be. My father is the epitome of the American Dream. He fled Cuba as a teenager with nothing. He worked to put himself through school, served in the Army, and built a business and a great life for himself and family. He taught me how to work with my hands, how to think and become a problem-solver.
“My mother has a tenacious spirit, and many of the intangible strengths I have were taught or demonstrated by her. She helped me to love and appreciate family, have a generous heart, develop my work ethic, to be involved, to never quit, and to give maximum effort. Any successes that I have achieved make their way back to these building blocks.”
Philosophy: “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”
Best piece of advice I’ve ever received: “‘Sometimes you are going to fail. Don’t let it be because you didn’t give everything you could.’ This came from my mother.”
Favorite thing about Tampa: “I think Tampa really mixes the best of so many worlds. We have friendly people, nice weather, great beaches, pro sports, busy concert venues, and a unique food and cultural scene. And of course, the best airport in America. It may not be all things to all people but it’s got a lot of boxes ticked for me. The overall quality of life here is hard to find and I think that’s why we are such a growing, vibrant city and region.”
Favorite book: “‘Freakonomics’ by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven Levitt. This book changed my whole perception of social science and how complicated and interconnected real life can be. It’s pretty good at scratching both the left-brain and the right-brain!”
App I can’t live without: “I’ve got one I can’t live without, and one runner-up. Dexcom, to help manage my T1D, I wear a continuous glucose monitor, which feeds information directly to my phone that I use to help me regulate my blood sugar. I think people use the phrase ‘life-changing’ too often. This technology and app will help me literally add years to my life through more precise decisions. Chick-fil-a gets an honorable mention. Because order ahead curbside pick-up: Wow.”
Dream vacation: “Our vacations are always on the move. I’d like to take my family to travel around Europe. But be able to stay long enough in each location to feel like you live there and really explore before moving on.”