The Nautilus Group® is staffed by an elite team of professionals experienced in law, taxation, accounting, business, insurance, finance and philanthropic planning. As a Member of Nautilus, I have access to this exclusive resource and work with this team to help provide my clients with state-of-the-art planning strategies and customized case analyses designed to meet their complex objectives.
Mark Scozzafava, is a Vice President and CEO of The Nautilus Group. He is responsible for the estate planning practice at New York Life, helping to provide resources and tools to support agents working in the affluent and high net worth markets. Mark joined New York Life in 2006 and has had several roles throughout his career across multiple product lines and disciplines. Prior to joining New York Life, Mark had various financial planning and analysis roles. Mark earned his BA from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Columbia Business School. He has the series 7, 24, and 66 designations from FINRA and a certificate in management from the Harvard Business School.
R. Matthew Pate, JD, LL.M., joined The Nautilus Group in 2004 and currently leads the Nautilus Plus department, supporting New York Life’s top agents and their ultra-high net worth clients. He applies his extensive experience in estate, business, and philanthropic planning to provide creative and unique solutions to complex tax and insurance planning situations. Matt graduated from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and returned to his native Texas to obtain his Juris Doctor from the University of Texas and LL.M. in taxation from Southern Methodist University.
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, tax controversy, and general corporate matters. Michelle graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, and she holds a Juris Doctor from Pepperdine University School of Law in Los Angeles County. Michelle is a member of the State Bars of Georgia and Texas and 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. Prior to joining Nautilus, Kathryn worked as a manager at a local accounting firm where she assisted clients with various tax compliance issues. Kathryn received her Bachelor of Science in accounting from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, her Juris Doctor from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, and her LL.M. in taxation from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
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 in both corporate and private practice environments. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the Boston University School of Management, a Juris Doctor from the Suffolk University Law School in Boston, 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.
Roger B. Arnwine, JD, joined The Nautilus Group in 2022 as a professional consultant, bringing more than 20 years of experience in tax, estate, philanthropic and business planning in both private practice and corporate trust departments. Roger holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and recently completed an accounting certificate program through Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. He is a member of the Tennessee Bar and U.S. District Court.
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 Bachelor of Business Administration and a master’s degree in professional accounting from the University of Texas at Austin. He earned his Juris Doctor from Southern Methodist University in Dallas and his LL.M. in taxation from New York University in New York City.
Joon Cho, JD, joined New York Life in 2009 as an Advanced Planning Consultant. He was recruited to The Nautilus Group in 2014, where he has been assisting Nautilus members in identifying life insurance sales opportunities ever since. Joon has worked in the financial industry since 2000 and previously 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 Bachelor of Arts from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI, and his Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School in Boston. 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 helping clients establish 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 Bachelor of Arts in communications. She then completed her paralegal studies at the University of San Diego in 2010 and received her Certified Paralegal credentials in 2016.
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, he worked in private practice primarily focusing on estate, business, and tax planning matters for individuals, families, and business owners. His background includes more than ten years of experience in estate, tax, and business planning, as well as other legal practice areas, including real estate transactions, oil and gas negotiations, civil litigation, and probate administration. Scott earned his Bachelor of Arts in English at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth and his Juris Doctor from Texas A&M University School of Law.
Arthur Reed Snyder, Jr., JD, joined The Nautilus Group in 2019 as a professional consultant, bringing 30 years of experience as an accountant and 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 and assisted with various income tax matters, including income tax planning strategies and compliance as well as tax controversy representation. Reed earned his Bachelor of Science in accounting at the University of North Texas in Denton and his Doctor of Jurisprudence from Texas Tech University School of Law in Lubbock. 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 professional consultant, 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 Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Michigan in Washtenaw County, her Juris Doctor from Michigan State University College of Law in East Lansing, and her LL.M. in taxation from Wayne State University Law School in Detroit, MI.
Eva Stark, JD, LL.M., joined The Nautilus Group in 2014 as a professional consultant to assist member agents with the development of estate and business planning cases. Prior to joining Nautilus, Eva worked in private practice in tax controversy, business law, and litigation. Eva graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in economics and finance from The University of Texas at Dallas. She earned her Juris Doctor, with honors, from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, 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 in Washington, D.C.
David R. Toups, JD, MBA, CFA®, CFP®, CTFA, joined The Nautilus Group in 2016 and serves on the professional consultant team, where he contributes his training and experience in the analysis and explanation of multi-faceted estate, trust, and business planning strategies. Before joining Nautilus, he worked more than 14 years in the private practice of law focused on 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. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing from Texas A&M University in College Station; his Master of Business Administration, with a finance emphasis, from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX; and his Juris Doctor, with honors, from South Texas College of Law in Houston. David is a former U.S. Marine Corps artillery and infantry officer.
Geoffrey Turvey, JD, CPA, joined The Nautilus Group in 2020 as a professional consultant to assist agents with income tax planning strategies, business valuation, and general estate and business planning issues. Before joining Nautilus, Geoff worked in international public accounting firms in Oklahoma City and Dallas-Fort Worth, providing tax planning and compliance services to public and privately held clients in the energy and investment management industries. Geoff graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in business administration in accounting from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater and earned his Doctor of Jurisprudence from Vanderbilt University Law School in Nashville, TN. Geoff is a Certified Public Accountant licensed by the Oklahoma Accountancy Board and Texas State Board of Public Accountancy and is a Certified Exit Planning Advisor.
Chad Whitfield, JD, joined The Nautilus Group in 2020, where he assists Nautilus members in the practical application of estate planning techniques, asset protection strategies, and succession planning structures. He has more than 20 years of experience in tax, planning, and design expertise within the estate, trust, and wealth planning niche. He received his Juris Doctor from St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami Gardens, FL, and his Bachelor of Arts in political science and English from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City. 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.
Rob Shapard, CLU®, joined The Nautilus Group in 2013 and serves as leader of the technology 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 has more than 25 years of experience leading customer sales/service operations, managing projects, and analyzing data for the financial services industry. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.
Ashley Ellis, MBA, joined The Nautilus Group in 2023 as the Corporate Vice President of Financial Operations, bringing more than six years of accounting, finance, and analytical experience in the life insurance industry. She graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s in marketing and an MBA concentration in finance from Southern Illinois University.
David Ball, CNA, joined The Nautilus Group in 1995 and is 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 a senior technician and worked for more than 12 years as a field service technician.
Daphna Freeman, MA, joined The Nautilus Group in 2022 as a senior associate with the information technology department. She has more than 10 years of experience in IT support from the public and private sector and has worked with large corporations supporting as many as 1000+ users. Daphna is a graduate from Dallas Baptist University with a Master of Arts in management information systems and a Bachelor of Science from The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. She has several IT certifications.
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.
Cassie Garrett joined The Nautilus Group in 2022 as a senior specialist, bringing a strong background in client relations and hospitality management. Cassie primarily supports the case development team by ensuring final proposals meet quality standards. Additionally, she provides guidance and technical support to Nautilus members in submitting cases via Nautilus Gateway and utilizing Nautilus technical content. Cassie has an Associate’s degree in applied science from McLennan Community College in Waco, TX.
Michelle Martinez joined Nautilus in 2014 as a liaison for clients, callers, and visitors. She has a strong background in customer service and has worked with clients in the service industry and training other offices in client service areas. In addition to assisting guests and management in an administrative capacity, Michelle also supports the case development team by ensuring final proposals meet quality standards. Additionally, she provides guidance and technical support to Nautilus members in submitting cases via Nautilus Gateway and utilizing Nautilus technical content.
Ashley Riley, ALMI joined The Nautilus Group in 2023 after serving seven years at the New York Life Dallas General Office as a new business case manager. She primarily supports the case development team by ensuring final proposals meet quality standards. Additionally, she provides guidance and technical support to Nautilus members in submitting cases via the Nautilus Gateway and utilizing Nautilus technical content. Ashley is a published author, has a bachelor’s degree in history and education from the University of Texas at Dallas, and has earned the Associate, Life Management Institute designation from LOMA.
Tiffany Threadgill, returned to The Nautilus Group in 2022 as a senior specialist after working here between 2004 and 2013. She has a strong background in operational excellence and best practices for customer service and an affinity for troubleshooting complex situations and resolution of service issues. Tiffany primarily supports the case development team by ensuring final proposals meet quality standards. Additionally, she provides guidance and technical support to Nautilus members in submitting cases via Nautilus Gateway and utilizing Nautilus technical content.
Heather L. Davis, JD, CLU®, ChFC®, CAP®, has been with New York Life since 1999. She is part of the leadership team at The Nautilus Group where she heads the Marketing, Meetings, and Model Office departments. Prior to this role, Heather managed a team of consultants at New York Life’s Advanced Planning Group and was a member of the special cases unit at Nautilus where she created customized business and estate analyses for high-net-worth clients. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa and as a Superior Scholar from the University of Nebraska, where she received both her Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor. She is also a member of the Texas State Bar Association.
Darla L. Bean, ALMI, started at Nautilus in 2001 to help develop the Model Office program. In 2010, her focus shifted to working on company-wide marketing initiatives and advisor events, meetings planning, and assisting member agents and their staff with Nautilus marketing assets. She also serves as editor for all Nautilus publications. Darla graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in mass communications from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, TX.
Megan Hogan, MA, is a Senior Associate in the Marketing, Meetings, and Model Office department. She joined The Nautilus Group in 2020 and since then, her primary focus has been on supporting the Model Office program and organizing meetings for Nautilus members, their associates, and internal staff. Megan graduated from Texas Tech University in Lubbock with a Master of Arts in communication studies and a Bachelor of Arts in communication studies with a concentration in corporate communication.
Jasmine C. Johnson, MA, is an associate in the Marketing, Meetings, and Model Office department. She joined The Nautilus Group in 2022, bringing journalism and marketing experience. The Dallas native earned her Master of Arts in journalism from the University of North Texas in Denton and her Bachelor of Arts in journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.
Maggie Riley, MBA, is an associate in the Marketing, Meetings, and Model Office department. She joined The Nautilus Group in 2022, bringing marketing and administrative experience. Maggie earned a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing from Angelo State University in San Angelo, TX.
Sarah Frances Trampe, MBA, joined Nautilus in 2010 and manages 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 a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in marketing management from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, and a Bachelor of Science in international trade and finance from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.