The Nautilus Group® is an exclusive membership based resource accessible to an elite group of approximately 200 experienced insurance and financial industry leaders who are firmly committed to a team planning concept. Nautilus Members work with affluent, high net worth and business owner clients, professional athletes, professional entertainers, farmers and ranchers, physicians, corporate executives and retired executives.
Nautilus provides a range of consultative services and technical case design to support its Members in presenting estate, business, charitable, insurance and retirement strategies to their clients and their clients’ advisors in these key areas:
Working hand in hand with the Nautilus staff, Member Agents present their clients with state-of-the-art planning strategies and customized case analyses designed to meet the clients’ sophisticated planning objectives. The one-on-one case design process used by Nautilus is tailored to the unique requirements of each client, achieving a better understanding of the complex needs and goals of each individual. The Nautilus team is dedicated to smart thinking, sound analysis, and experienced financial insight.
Brooke Zrno Grisham, ChFC®, CLU®, AEP® is the Chief Executive Officer of The Nautilus Group. She joined Nautilus in 1999 and started one of its most innovative departments – Model Office – which grew from an ancillary support resource for Nautilus Members’ staff to a comprehensive practice management consultancy. In 2010, Brooke assumed the role of Chief Operating Officer, supervising seven individual departments and managing a staff of more than 35 people. She became CEO in 2013. Brooke attended Boise State University and The University of Texas at Dallas, where she earned her BA in business communications.
Nautilus Plus Professional Consultants
R. Matthew Pate, JD, LL.M. joined The Nautilus Group in 2004 after receiving his masters in law in taxation from Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law. Matt leads the Nautilus Plus department, where he applies his extensive experience in estate and business succession planning, tax issues involving closely held businesses, asset protection, and charitable planning arrangements to support a select group of Nautilus Members. Matt employs a customized and high touch approach to suit the unique circumstances of the specific client’s objectives. He received his BA from Georgetown University and graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 2001.
Michelle M. Kenyon, JD, CLU® joined The Nautilus Group in 2009 to provide personalized consultative services for Nautilus
Plus Members. Michelle’s professional experience includes estate planning, mergers and acquisitions, taxation, and general corporate work. Michelle graduated magna cum laude with a BBA in accounting from Texas Christian University, and she holds a JD from Pepperdine University School of Law. Michelle is a member of the State Bar of Georgia and the State Bar of Texas, and she is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant by the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy.
Kathryn Rodgers, JD, LL.M. has been with Nautilus since 2007. As a member of the leadership team, she oversees the professional consultants and works with Nautilus Members to develop sophisticated estate distribution and business planning presentations for high net worth clients. She also provides research on personal, estate and business planning issues. Kathryn received her BS in accounting from Louisiana State University, her JD from St. Mary’s University, and her LL.M. in taxation from Southern Methodist University. Prior to joining Nautilus, Kathryn worked as a manager at a local accounting firm where she assisted clients with various tax compliance issues.
Robert Ahearn, JD, LL.M., CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®, CRPC® joined The Nautilus Group in 2016 as a professional consultant, bringing substantial business, legal, and tax experience to assist Nautilus Member agents with the development of advanced planning strategies for their clients. Prior to that, Robert worked with high net worth individuals, closely held businesses, farmers and ranchers, private foundations, and public charities. He earned a BS in business administration from the Boston University School of Management, a JD from the Suffolk University Law School, and a LL.M. in taxation from the Boston University School of Law. Robert is a member of the state bars of Arizona, California, and Massachusetts, and a member of the Estate Planning Council of North Texas. He holds the FINRA Series 7 and 66 licenses.
Randolph J. Buchanan, JD, CPA, LL.M. joined the Nautilus Group in 2021 as a case consultant. Prior to that, he worked in private practice drafting various estate planning and corporate formation documents. Randolph also has worked at the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, where he drafted numerous tax court litigation documents, and at two public accounting firms, where he assisted clients with various tax compliance issues. Randolph graduated cum laude with a BBA and a master’s degree in professional accounting from the University of Texas at Austin. He earned his JD from Southern Methodist University and his LL.M. in taxation from New York University.
Joon Cho, JD serves The Nautilus Group as head of financial planning. He joined New York Life in 2009 as an Advanced Planning Consultant, advising and working closely with agents throughout the United States. Joon began working in the financial industry in 2000, initially advising a real estate investment group with property acquisitions and then venturing into the field of financial services, where he ran an advisory practice for affluent and high net worth clients. He also served as a Commissioner for the Fairfax County, VA, Human Rights Commission for two terms. Joon earned his JD degree from Suffolk University Law School and his bachelor of arts degree from Calvin College. He currently holds FINRA Series 7 and Series 66 licenses.
Tiffany Delaney, CP joined The Nautilus Group in 2016 as a paralegal. Prior to that, she worked in private practice in California assisting clients in establishing comprehensive estate plans. Her experience includes estate and business planning, estate administration, probate, and a background in class action employment law. Tiffany graduated from San Diego State University with a BA in communications. She then completed her paralegal studies at the University of San Diego in 2010 and received her Certified Paralegal credentials in 2016.
Prior to joining The Nautilus Group in 2020 as a member of the case development team, Joshua Dietz, JD, LL.M. focused his career on estate, business, and taxation planning for individuals and small business owners. His legal experience includes real estate, oil and gas, and insurance coverage litigation. Josh earned his B.S. in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Texas at Arlington, his JD from the Texas A&M University School of Law, and his LL.M. in taxation from Boston University School of Law. He is licensed to practice law in Texas and Florida.
Karen Fishell, CLU® has been with The Nautilus Group since 1998. She works with Nautilus Members to provide detailed client presentations for corporate executive benefit arrangements, including non-qualified deferred compensation plans for companies and nonprofit organizations as well as executive bonus plans. Prior to joining Nautilus, Karen worked 11 years for one of the nation’s largest COLI and executive benefits organizations, providing support to top financial professionals across the country with their executive benefits planning design needs.
Scott Garrison, JD joined The Nautilus Group in 2015 as a professional consultant. Before joining Nautilus, Scott worked in private practice with a primary focus on estate, business and tax planning matters for high net worth individuals and small business owners. Scott attended Texas Christian University where he earned his B.A. in English, and earned his JD from Texas A&M University School of Law. His background includes more than ten years of experience in estate, business and tax planning as well as real estate, oil and gas, civil litigation and probate administration.
Arthur Reed Snyder, Jr., JD joined The Nautilus Group in 2019, bringing more than 20 years of experience as an attorney in private practice where he served the estate and business planning needs of high net worth clients. As part of his practice, Reed also assisted with various income tax matters, including income tax planning strategies and compliance as well as tax controversy representation. Reed earned his bachelor’s in accounting at the University of North Texas and his JD from Texas Tech University School of Law. Reed is licensed to practice law in Texas and is admitted to practice before the bar of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, U. S. Tax Court, and the Supreme Court of the United States. He is a former Marine.
Rebecca Solomon, JD, LL.M. joined The Nautilus Group in 2020 as a member of the case development team, bringing more than 25 years of experience in the areas of estate planning, estate and gift tax compliance, business planning, and philanthropic services, in both private law practice and public accounting. She has been a frequent speaker at national conferences on estates and trusts, and she is a past instructor in the Certified Financial Planner™ education programs at two universities. Rebecca earned her B.A. in political science from the University of Michigan, her J.D. from Michigan State University College of Law, and her LL.M. in tax from Wayne State University Law School.
Eva Stark, JD, LL.M. joined The Nautilus Group in 2014 to assist with the development of estate and business plans. She also performs advanced tax research. Eva graduated summa cum laude with a BS in economics and finance from The University of Texas at Dallas. She earned her JD, with honors, from Southern Methodist University, where she served as a student attorney and chief counsel at the SMU Federal Taxpayers Clinic. She received her LL.M. in taxation from Georgetown University Law Center. Prior to joining Nautilus, Eva worked in private practice in tax controversy, business law, and litigation.
David R. Toups, JD, MBA, CFA®, CFP®, CTFA joined The Nautilus Group in 2016 after more than 14 years in the private practice of law focused in estate, trust, guardianship, and business planning and litigation. Prior to practicing law, he managed money professionally as an investment portfolio manager for several national corporate fiduciaries. As a member of Nautilus’s professional consultant team, David contributes his training and experience in the analysis and explanation of multi-faceted estate, trust, and business planning strategies. He earned his BBA in marketing from Texas A&M; his MBA, with a finance emphasis, from Sam Houston State; and his JD, with honors, from South Texas College of Law. David is a former U.S. Marine Corps artillery and infantry officer.
Geoffrey Turvey, JD, CPA joined The Nautilus Group in 2020 as a member of the case development team to assist agents with income tax planning strategies, business valuation, and general estate and business planning issues. Before joining Nautilus, Geoff worked for global professional services firms in Oklahoma City and Dallas-Fort Worth, providing tax mitigation and compliance services to public and privately held clients in the energy and investment management industries. Geoff graduated cum laude with a B.S.B.A. in accounting from Oklahoma State University and earned his J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School. Geoff is a Certified Public Accountant licensed by the Oklahoma Accountancy Board and Texas State Board of Public Accountancy.
Chad Whitfield, JD joined The Nautilus Group in 2020, bringing more than 20 years of experience in tax, planning and design expertise within the estate, trust and wealth planning niche. Chad assists Nautilus members in the practical application of estate planning techniques, asset protection strategies, and succession planning structures. He received his JD from St. Thomas University School of Law, Miami, in 1996, and his BA in political science and English from East Tennessee State University in 1993. Chad is a former board member and past president of the Tri-Cities Estate Planning Council and served as general counsel of the Johnson City Chamber and Johnson City Chamber Foundation for nearly 10 years. He is a member of the Florida Bar, the Tennessee Bar and the U.S. Tax Court.
Marketing, Meetings, & Model Office
Heather L. Davis, JD, CLU®, ChFC®, CAP®, AEP® has been with New York Life since 1999. She leads the marketing, meetings, and Model Office teams for The Nautilus Group® and oversees the Center of Influence initiative for New York Life, where she serves as executive director and host of the Advisor Symposium and the Advisor Webinar series. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Nebraska where she received both her bachelor of arts and Juris Doctor degrees. Heather earned her CLU®, ChFC® and CAP® designations from The American College of Financial Services and is past-president of the college’s Alumni Association. She is a member of the Texas State Bar Association and the Dallas Estate Planning Council, and holds an AEP® designation from the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils.
Darla L. Bean, ALMI started at Nautilus in 2001, working with Brooke Zrno Grisham to develop the Model Office program. In 2010, Darla moved to the High Net Worth Market unit, assisting Heather Davis with company wide marketing initiatives and advisor events, and helping member agents with Nautilus marketing collateral. She also serves on the meetings planning team, and as editor for Nautilus publications. Darla graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s of science degree in mass communications from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, TX, and holds the Associate, Life Management Institute designation from LOMA.
Megan Hogan, MA joined The Nautilus Group in 2020 as an associate in the Model Office, meetings and marketing departments. Megan’s primary focus is assisting Sarah Frances Trampe with the Model Office program as well as Heather Davis with meeting planning and marketing. Megan is a graduate of Texas Tech University with a master’s in communication studies and a bachelor’s of communication studies with a concentration in corporate communication.
Sarah Frances Trampe, MBA joined Nautilus in 2010 and leads the Model Office program. She assists Nautilus Members and their associates in developing back office efficiency, annual business planning, and strategic marketing. Additionally, she works with Nautilus Members and associates in locating general human resources and staff development materials. Sarah Frances holds an MBA with a concentration in marketing management from The Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor of science degree in international trade and finance from Louisiana State University.
Rob Shapard, CLU® joined The Nautilus Group in 2013, bringing more than 20 years of experience leading customer sales/ service operations, managing projects, and analyzing data for the financial services industry. In his current role as the leader of the IT team and head of financial operations, he supports Nautilus members and various internal departments working with the IT team to maintain and develop technology solutions within Nautilus systems, bridging the conversation between technology and the business areas, and providing business and financial analytics. Rob graduated from Texas Christian University where he received a BBA degree in finance.
David Ball, CNA joined The Nautilus Group in 1995 and works in the information technology department. He has more than 30 years of computer and network experience. Since joining Nautilus, David has been primarily responsible for maintaining and implementing new technologies into the network systems and giving Nautilus a presence on the Internet. Before becoming a Nautilus staff member, David was the senior technician at Q.M.S. Inc., and worked for more than 12 years as a field service technician.
William Micoff started at New York Life’s Advanced Planning Group in 2006 and joined The Nautilus Group in 2011. He has more than two decades of experience as a systems technician and Microsoft SQL DBA, Visual Basic, VB.NET, ASP. NET, Flash, and HTML developer. Prior to joining New York Life, he worked for Intuit on its flagship business tax software and for Lacerte as a developer and software support engineer. Bill has been a member of the Microsoft Developer Network since 1998.
Tening Nkem, MBA, CSM® joined The Nautilus Group in July 2019 as a Business Systems Analyst. Prior to that, he worked for consulting firms in Boston and Maryland, providing information technology services to small, mid-sized and Fortune 500 companies nationwide. Tening works in the technology department providing technical solutions to The Nautilus Group and its member agents. He graduated with an MBA in business management from Cardiff Metropolitan University. He’s also a Certified Scrum Master and a member of the National Black MBA Association.
Michelle Martinez joined Nautilus in 2014 to serve as a liaison for clients, callers and visitors. Her professional level of expertise in customer service has been honed over several years of working with clients in service industries and training other offices in client service areas. She also has experience in the insurance industry, having worked as an agent for two years prior to joining Nautilus. In addition to assisting management with administrative functions and managing correspondence, Michelle also works in the production department.
Christina Thomas joined The Nautilus Group in 2010 as an administrative assistant. As manager of the production unit, she is primarily focused on system workflow enhancements and quality assurance of all cases produced by The Nautilus Group. In addition, she assists Nautilus Members with time management and navigating the Nautilus Gateway for case submissions in their Model Office 360 sessions. Christina has more than 18 years of experience as an office administrator in a quality assurance role.
We offer a wide range of consultative services and technical case design, specializing in complex estate, business, charitable, insurance and retirement planning strategies.
We work hand in hand with you, your attorneys, accountants, trust officers, and other advisors. We are committed to this team approach in order to meet your unique financial needs.
Our approach involves identifying goals and analyzing potential gaps, exploring strategies and solutions, and then helping you implement your chosen course of action.
The clients we help best are those who highly prioritize financial security, family protection, business continuity, and leaving a legacy for future generations.
For more than 170 years, New York Life has preserved its heritage while evolving, innovating, and remaining strong through the economic ups and downs of our nation.
Our mission is to get to know you, to understand your dreams and aspirations, and to offer you state-of-the-art strategies designed to help turn your goals into reality.
The Nautilus Group® is a service of New York Life Insurance Company. New York Life Insurance Company and its affiliates and agents and employees thereof do not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. Individuals should consult with their own tax, legal or accounting professionals before implementing any planning strategies. SMRU 1693683 Exp. 4/20/2023
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