Meet the Team

 
 
Managing Partner
 
 
Paul Blanco, LUTCF
Managing Partner
 
6 Corporate Drive
Shelton, CT 06484
 
Phone: (203) 513-6000
Fax: (203) 513-6080
E-mail: pblanco@metlife.com
 
 
 
 

Drawn by the desire to help people become more financially secure as well as the entrepreneurial nature of the business, Paul Blanco began his career in the financial services industry as a financial services representative with MetLife in 1991.

In just two years, Paul moved into management, taking over a small, seven person MetLife office in Trumbull, Connecticut.  As its Managing Partner, Paul oversaw the expansion of Barnum Financial Group to the industry leading firm it is today.  With 30 offices in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, Barnum Financial Group has clients in all fifty states and employs over 400 people.

In recognition of his efforts, Paul became the youngest inductee into the MetLife Managers’ Hall of Fame in 2003.  In 2006, he became the youngest winner of its Top of the Tower award, and in 2010, Paul became the youngest manager in MetLife’s history to reach Golden Laureate status. He achieved Platinum Laureate in 2015.

A consistant top performer, Paul has qualified for eight consecutive Management Leaders Conferences and fourteen America’s Council Conferences.  He received MetLife’s prestigious Triskelion Award for outstanding management leadership in 2004, 2007, 2010, and 2014.  Paul led the team at Barnum to be recognized as MetLife’s Firm of the Year in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012, and 2013.

In addition to his key role at MetLife, Paul has made substantial contributions to his industry.  He has contributed to GAMA’s Great Ideas book series and served on the GAMA Foundation’s Board of Trustees.  He has qualified for the Master Agency Award and the International Management Diamond Plus and Diamond Awards. GAMA has named his firm one of the top 100 U.S. financial agencies multiple times.

Paul has appeared on many radio and television programs as well as in national and local publications, providing advice on leadership, philanthropy, recruiting, and financial services. A noted industry speaker, Paul has presented at numerous MetLife and industry events and at GAMA International’s LAMP conference.

A prominent philanthropist in his community, Paul’s ultimate dream is for 100% of his employees to give back to the community in some way.  Barnum employees volunteer in support of “Bikes for Kids”, raising funds and running events which donate hundreds of new bikes and helmets annually to underprivileged children in New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.  Through the “Backpacks for Kids” program, over 75 disadvantaged children were provided with school supplies and clothing.  Paul and his team have volunteered with KaBoom! to sponsor and construct five playgrounds in Connecticut. 

Paul was named Philanthropist of the Year in 2007 by the Fairfield County Remodelers and Home Building Association, and he was inducted into the Connecticut Business Hall of Fame and Junior Achievement Hall of Fame. His firm was awarded  “Best Places to Work in Connecticut” by the Hartford Business Journal in 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, and Fairfield County Business Journal in 2012. Barnum Financial Group also won “Best Place to Work in Rhode Island” by Providence Business News in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.  He received the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce Business Growth of the Year award, the Westchester County Chabad Lubavitch Corporate Leadership Award, and the Valley United Way Community Impact Award.

Paul’s passion for sports and youth in the community has inspired him to support a local football camp, little league team, adult softball team, Junior Achievement, and the “Make a Difference Day” campaign.

In 2006, Paul and his wife, Mindee, started Foundation for Life, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization established as a vehicle through which Barnum volunteers could provide financial support to charities throughout their local communities. Since its inception, Foundation for Life* has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to support many local charities.

Paul and Mindee live in Fairfield, Connecticut with their three children, Jennee, Sydnee, and Paul and their dog, Sofee.

*Foundation for Life is not affiliated with MetLife or any MetLife affiliate

 

 

Managing Directors
 
 
Joe LoPresti, ChFC®, CLU®, CASL®, LUTCF
Managing Director
 
6 Corporate Drive
Shelton, CT 06484
 
Phone: (203) 513-6132
Fax: (203) 513-6080
E-mail: jlopresti@metlife.com
 
  •  
  •  
  • BS & BA – Nichols College (Specialization in Finance)
  • Earned ChFC®, CLU®, CASL®,  LUTCFdesignations
  • Registered Principal of MetLife Securities, Inc.
  • Eight-Time recipient of MetLife's Individual Distribution Managing Director of the Year
  • Member – National Association of Financial Insurance Advisors (NAIFA)
  • Member – GAMA International
  • Numerous Management Leaders & Chairman's Conference Qualifications
Joe is the Managing Director at Barnum Financial Group, An Office of MetLife.  When Joe started his career with MetLife 23 years ago as a Financial Services Representative, he gained extensive knowledge and experience assisting individuals, families and business owners with their financial goals and objectives.
 
As Managing Director, Joe leads a team of over 260 highly productive financial advisors (including million dollar+ advisors), sales managers, and managing sales directors throughout the tri-state area. Joe has been recognized a record eight times as the Number One MetLife Managing Director in the country, the highest honor awarded to a MetLife Managing Director. Joe was name as one of Fairfield County Business Journal's Top 40 Under 40 and has been nationally recognized by GAMA International along with many other industry groups as being a Platform Speaker on TOp Advisor Coaching & Firm Building Strategies.
 
Joe has a passion for building the strongest team of Financial Advisors in the industry by providing cutting-edge tools and coaching to assist these highly productive Financial Advisors in building a successful practice within the Barnum Financial Group.
 
Joe gives back to his community by coaching youth baseball and basketball and contributing time and resources to several local charities and organizations.  He has been serving the community with BFG’s Foundation for Life since its inception in 2006 and currently serves as its President.  He is an avid sports fan who lives in Woodbury, CT with his wife Amy and their four children Tanner, Kassi, Carli and Hannah.
 

 

 
Joe Kotula, LUTCF
Managing Director
 
200 Crossings Blvd, Suite 200
Warwick, RI 02886
 
Phone: (401) 243-8800
E-mail: jkotula@metlife.com
 
 
 
 
Joe is a Managing Director with Barnum Financial Group and a market leader for Rhode Island. In these roles, he dedicates his career to building the strongest team comprised of both experienced representatives as well as young professionals. He leads a team of more than 50 financial services representatives where he provides the necessary resources for the success of his team and their clients. Because of Joe’s strong leadership, Barnum has been awarded one of the “Best Places to Work in Rhode Island” for five consecutive years by Providence Business News.
 
Joe earned his Bachelor of Science from Arizona State University and has over 20 years of experience working in the financial services industry. He has been a perennial management Leaders Conference qualifier, is routinely ranked as one of the top managing directors at MetLife, and is a recipient of the Barnum Financial Group’s Management Award of Excellence.  Additionally, he is a member of NAIFA and GAMA International and has qualified for the GAMA Platinum award. His FINRA registrations include Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.
 
Joe resides in Connecticut with his wife and their daughter.  In his spare time, he enjoys playing golf, traveling, and mentoring.  In support of philanthropy, Joe and his office have been active in a variety of charitable events including Foundation for Life’s Bikes for Kids program at Pawtucket Red Sox games, Junior Achievement, St. Anthony’s Food Shelter in Providence, St. Mary’s Home for Children and the U.S. Marines Corps Reserve's Toys for Tots Program.
  • Earned LUTCF designation which provides in-depth knowledge of insurance in the context of financial planning
  • Member – National Association of Financial Insurance Advisors (NAIFA)
  • Member – GAMA International
  • Numerous Management Leaders & Chairman’s Conference Qualifiers

 


 

Managing Sales Directors
 
 
 
Maria Conlon, CLF®
Managing Sales Director
 
6 Corporate Drive
Shelton, CT 06484
 
Phone: (203) 513-6322
E-mail: mconlon1@metlife.com
 
 
 
 
As a member of the University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball team that won three Division I National Championships, Maria learned many lessons about the importance of focus, commitment, character, teamwork and accountability.  After realizing her dreams as a player, Maria took what she learned to help others realize their own goals, coaching the Southern Connecticut State University’s women’s basketball team to a National Championship in 2005. 
 
With her background as a highly successful athlete and coach, Maria is uniquely positioned to offer financial professionals an environment where they can develop and grow the type of business they want.  Adept at attracting creative, self-motivated and resourceful people, Maria leads a highly productive team of Financial Services Representatives dedicated to serving the investment and protection needs of individuals and corporations.  Through a combination of business coaching and personal development, Maria enables her team members to leverage their strengths and interests to attract and retain a strong client base.  She also supports her advisors by showcasing the broad and deep capabilities at Barnum Financial Group, helping them integrate the resources and tools available into their personal marketing plans.  In addition, she also plays a fundamental role in the growth and success of Barnum’s Direct Distribution and Auto & Home businesses providing leadership and sales mentoring to our internal specialists.
 
Her drive and persistence in her athletic and professional career has lead Maria to being recognized as one of the best and brightest business leaders under the age of 40 by the Fairfield and Hartford County Business Journals. Maria is a lifelong learner and has earned a number of industry certifications focusing on leadership and organizational development skills.  In addition to her Bachelor of Science degree from The University of Connecticut, Maria is licensed to sell Life, Accident and Health Insurances and has her Series 6, 7 & 63 Securities registrations.  A member of Women in Insurance and Financial Services, she is consistently recognized for her success as a financial advisor and as a leader by Barnum’s parent company MetLife. 
 
Maria is a part of the 2013 Inaugural Class for the Seymour High School Hall of Fame. She resides in Derby, CT with her husband Carmine and daughter Layla. Maria has s deep commitment to her community and is a volunteer for a number of charitable organizations.  She is the president and founder of the Maria Conlon Humanitarian Donor Advised Fund at the Valley Community Foundation. Maria is also a board member for the Foundation for Life Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the people and families within our community.  
 

 

 
George Gerhard III, CLF®
Managing Sales Director
 
565 Taxter Road, Suite 625
Elmsford, NY 10523
 
(914) 372-2893
ggerhard@metlife.com
 
 
 
 
 
 
George leads an elite team of highly motivated, experienced financial services representatives dedicated to serving the investment and protection needs of individuals and their families and corporations and their employees.  Additionally, he works with a select group of clients, offering comprehensive financial advice and investment management services.  His goal with each of his personal clients is to help preserve and grow their wealth.  This includes retirement planning and income generation, savings and tax minimization strategies, and estate planning.  George and his advisors are supported by a team of consultants experienced and trained in individual and business planning strategies.
 
As a Managing Sales Director in Barnum Financial Group’s Elmsford, New York office, George empowers his advisors to leverage their strengths and interests to attract and retain clients and grow their practices.   He also helps them utilize the broad capabilities and resources Barnum offers to deepen client relationships and support their client acquisition efforts.
 
George is uniquely positioned to help financial advisors take their practice to the next level.  With over 15 years in the financial services industry, he brings considerable experience and knowledge to his team.  George began his career at Barnum as a student intern.  He joined the firm as a financial services representative in 2005 and was named “Rookie of the Year”, the firm’s top award for new associates.  Over the years, he has continued working directly with clients while expanding his leadership role.  As a result of his work with both clients and advisors, George has been recognized by MetLife with membership in its Leaders Conference for 5 consecutive years.
 
In December 2010, George was named a Five Star Wealth Manager by Connecticut Magazine, a prestigious award given to only seven percent of professionals in a given industry and market area based on being raked on of the highest in overall satisfaction based on research with clients, peers and industry leaders.* George’s dedication to professional and personal develop was recognized by the Fairfield County Business Journal which selected him as one of their "40 under 40" for 2011.  In 2014, he received the Diamond GAMA Agency Award which recognizes excellence in traditional and contemporary field management throughout the financial services industry.  Showcasing the best of the best, GAMA International’s Leadership Awards are a trusted mark of outstanding performance and proven success.    
 

 

 
Michael V. Kane
Managing Sales Director
 
565 Taxter Road, Suite 625
Elmsford, NY 10523
 
(914) 372-2969
mkane@metlife.com
 
 
 
 
Michael takes the lessons he learned as a successful financial advisor and uses them to empower other advisors to build and grow their own successful financial services practices.  Today he shares his expertise with an elite team of financial services advisors located in New York City, northern New Jersey, and Westchester County, New York. 
 
His management style respects the entrepreneurial nature of the business.  He looks at each individual advisor’s or advisor team’s strengths, developmental opportunities, and areas of focus and expertise.  He then partners to develop specific plans of action to help them be more effective with clients and more efficient in their practice.
 
Michael’s team includes advisors with a wide range of business focuses including individuals and their families, corporations, not-for-profit organizations, medical professionals, and families with dependents with special needs.  Their services range from comprehensive financial planning, asset and risk management, investment advisory services, corporate employee education, and benefits plan programs and consulting.
 
An advocate of life-long learning, Michael encourages and supports his advisors as they enhance their skills by pursuing various industry designations that strengthen their value proposition with their clients.  He participates in a variety of coaching and education forums to continually improve his own skills and knowledge.
 
Prior to joining Barnum, Michael was a financial advisor with New England Financial, an office of MetLife.   He is a member of GAMA, which is committed to supporting the professional development of field leaders in the insurance and financial services industries. He is also a member of the Million Dollar Round Table, whose members demonstrate exceptional professional knowledge, strict ethical conduct, and outstanding client service.  In recognition of his achievements, Michael is a five time qualifier for MetLife’s Leaders Conference. 
 
A proud graduate of Virginia Tech with a degree in financial management, Michael is an active member of their alumni association.  He enjoys golf, tennis, traveling, and cheering on the Virginia Tech Hokies football team.  Since moving to New York City, Michael and his wife Mara have developed a passion for exploring new restaurants with each other and good friends.  
 

 

 
Matthew Sawyer, ChFC®, CLTC
Managing Sales Director
 
200 Crossings Blvd, Suite 200
Warwick, RI 02886
 
(401) 243-8859
msawyer@metlife.com
 
 
 
 
Matthew began his career as a financial advisor, building a successful practice helping individuals and business owners preserve and grow their wealth.  MetLife recognized his work on behalf of his clients by naming him to their Leaders Conference.  Today, he is a Managing Sales Director at Barnum Financial Group helping advisors at all stages of their careers establish, develop, and sustain their businesses.
 
He utilizes a highly personal approach, taking the time to understand each advisor’s way of working with their clients, their areas of expertise, and their selling and service style.  He then helps them develop strategies to better attract new clients, retain existing relationships and deepen the level of service they provide.  He also works extensively with people just beginning their careers in financial services, helping them acquire the knowledge and skills they need to succeed.
 
Matthew is committed to life-long learning, both for himself and the advisors he works with.  He participates in much of the training his advisors are enrolled in and works to leverage their learnings through on-going coaching and strategy implementation.  He has earned the Chartered Financial Consultant®(ChFC®) designation, whose recipients gain in-depth knowledge of the key financial planning disciplines including insurance, income taxation, retirement planning, investments and estate planning.  He is also Certified in Long-Term Care, which provides professionals with the critical tools necessary to discuss the subject of longevity and consequences on their client's family and finances.
 
A graduate of the University of Connecticut with a degree in finance, Matthew currently resides in Norwich, Connecticut where he is an active member of the Waterford-New London Business Networking International Chapter.
 

 

 
Derrek Metz, CRPC
Managing Sales Director
 
225 High Ridge Road, East Building, 1st Floor
Stamford, CT 06905
 
(203) 658-1940
dmetz1@metlife.com
 
 
 
 
Derrek  currently manages Barnum's Stamford, Connecticut office. With over 12 years of experience in the financial services industry, his areas of focus are coaching elite advisor teams, training on financial planning, and specializing in wealth preservation and estate strategies.
 
His team of over 20 professionals includes a diverse spectrum of advisors looking for exit strategies, successful veterans looking to grow, to entry level junior advisors.  Whether the advisors are on teams or individual practitioners, Derrek prides himself on coaching each advisor on how to deliver comprehensive, client-centric advice unique to each practice. Derrek empowers his advisors to leverage their strengths and interests to attract and retain clients and grow their practices.  He helps them utilize the broad capabilities and resources Barnum offers to deepen existing client relationships and support their client acquisition efforts.
 
In addition, Derrek works to identify candidates who want to be part of a highly motivated, highly productive organization.  His recruiting efforts span the gamut of seasoned financial professionals with an established business to individuals looking to change careers to recent college graduates looking to begin their careers in financial services.  Derrek's recruiting process gives each incumbent an in-depth view of all of the ways Barnum and its resources can help them grow or establish their business.  For experienced financial services representatives, Derrek works to assure an efficient on-boarding process and make sure all of the resources they need are aligned to support their business. For those new to this business, he serves as coach and mentor as they participate in Barnum’s Advisor Pro program, an innovative comprehensive approach to professional development. 
 
As a cum laude graduate of Bucknell University, Derrek earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and currently holds his Series 4, 7, 24, 51 and 66 securities licenses. Derrek’s previous work experience includes 10 years with Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. in the roles of financial advisor, advisor coach, district manager, branch manager, and field vice president. 
 
While originally from farm country located in central Illinois, Derrek currently lives in the Silvermine neighborhood of New Canaan, Connecticut with his wife Polly, who teaches in Darien, Connecticut, and their two sons Jack and Grant. As avid skiers, the whole family actively enjoys chasing powder, but sailing, tennis, and traveling are also passions. Derrek belongs to the New Canaan Land Trust, Fairfield Country Financial Planning Association, Silvermine Community Association, Kiwanis Club, and is on the board of the Foundation for Life Inc. 
 

 

 
Lorraine Caggiano
Managing Sales Director
 
90 Crystal Run Road, Suite 101
Middletown, NY 10941
 
(845) 703-1127
lcaggiano1@metlife.com
 
 
 
 
Lorraine is proud to lead an elite team of highly motivated, experienced financial services representatives dedicated to serving the investment and protection needs of individuals and their families and corporations and their employees. 
 
As the Managing Sales Director in charge of Barnum Financial Group’s Middletown, NY office, Lorraine empowers her advisors to leverage their strengths and interests to attract and retain clients and grow their practices.  She also helps them utilize the broad capabilities and resources Barnum offers to deepen client relationships and support their client acquisition efforts.
 
Lorraine’s advisors follow a disciplined process that helps each client quantify their personal goals and address the four key elements of a comprehensive wealth preservation and growth plan.  
Lorraine is uniquely positioned to help financial advisors take their practice to the next level.  With over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, she brings considerable experience and knowledge to her team.  Prior to her current position, Lorraine served 15 years as a vice president and regional sales manager at M&T Securities in the Metro New York division of M&T Bank. Her area of responsibility encompassed the overall training and development of licensed advisors in the banking and securities department.
 
Throughout Lorraine’s tenure, she has received several industry accolades. She has also received various industry awards throughout her career.
 
Lorraine currently lives in Harriman, NY with her husband Norbert. Her younger daughter Amanda is currently living in California and her older daughter Allyson is married and recently welcomed a second baby boy into their family. Outside of the office, Lorraine loves spending her time cooking and reading.  She is also a sports enthusiast. Lorraine enjoys giving back to her community by volunteering with various charitable organizations including the Diabetes Foundation and Muscular Dystrophy Association.
 

 

 
Christine Ferreira
Managing Sales Director
 
45 Glastonbury Blvd, 1st Floor
Glastonbury, CT 06033
 
(860) 218-2888
caraujo1@metlife.com
 
 
 
 
 
 
As a Managing Sales Director, my goal is to develop a premier team of dedicated financial services representatives serving the investment and protection needs of individuals and their families as well as business owners and their employees. To accomplish this, I provide coaching on prospecting, networking, leveraging centers of influence and other areas of importance.  I serve as an advocate for my team, getting them the resources they need to attract and retain clients.  From target marketing strategies to client engagement techniques to delivering excellent service and support, I strive to give my team the skills and tools they need to run highly successful financial advisory practices.
 
In addition, I work to identify candidates who want to be part of a highly motivated, highly productive organization.  My recruiting efforts span the gamut of seasoned financial professionals with an established business to individuals looking to change careers to recent college graduates looking to begin their careers in financial services.  My recruiting process gives each incumbent an in-depth view of all of the ways Barnum and its resources can help them grow or establish their business.  For experienced financial services representatives, I work to assure an efficient on-boarding process and make sure all of the resources they need are aligned to support their business. For those new to our business, I serve as coach and mentor as they participate in Barnum’s training program, an innovative comprehensive approach to professional development.  
 
Christine’s multi-faceted career has leveraged her strengths as a leader, entrepreneur, coach, and sales professional.  She joined Barnum after working with American Income Life in a number of capacities.  She began her career with their Canadian organization serving as a human resource manager specializing in recruiting and staffing, performance management, and counseling.   She then became a corporate trainer, focused on skill development, increasing technical expertise and selling techniques.  Drawing upon the knowledge she had developed, she transitioned her career and became a general agent, selling insurance while training new agents.  Christine then became a master general agent responsible for recruiting, training and developing new agents as well as driving activity to increase revenue and grow their franchise.  She has also been a business director and owner.
 
A graduate of Ryerson University in Canada, Christine also earned a Montessori Teaching Diploma and studied at the Randolph Academy of Performing Arts.  Singing in both Portuguese and English, she has recorded several successful albums.  In addition to writing and producing music, Christine is an avid sports and fitness fan. She and her husband Michael Ferreira live in Berlin, Connecticut.
 

 

Danielle Giordano-Plotkin
Managing Sales Director
 
200 Park Avenue, 32nd Floor, Suite 3200B
New York, NY 10166
 
(212) 578-9824
dgiordano@metlife.com
 
As a Managing Sales Director, my goal is to develop a premier team of dedicated financial services representatives serving the investment and protection needs of individuals and their families as well as business owners and their employees. To accomplish this, I provide coaching on prospecting, networking, leveraging centers of influence and other areas of importance.  I serve as an advocate for my team, getting them the resources they need to attract and retain clients.  From target marketing strategies to client engagement techniques to delivering excellent service and support, I strive to give my team the skills and tools they need to run highly successful financial advisory practices.
 
In addition, I work to identify candidates who want to be part of a highly motivated, highly productive organization.  My recruiting efforts span the gamut of seasoned financial professionals with an established business to individuals looking to change careers to recent college graduates looking to begin their careers in financial services.  My recruiting process gives each incumbent an in-depth view of all of the ways Barnum and its resources can help them grow or establish their business.  For experienced financial services representatives, I work to assure an efficient on-boarding process and make sure all of the resources they need are aligned to support their business. For those new to our business, I serve as coach and mentor as they participate in Barnum’s training program, an innovative comprehensive approach to professional development.  
 
Prior to joining Barnum, Danielle worked at Empire Wealth Strategies.  She began her career there as a financial advisor, helping her clients address their complex financial needs.  She then became an assistant vice president focused on hiring and mentoring talented individuals committed to providing quality advice and service to their clients. 
 
While at Empire, Danielle joined a chapter of Business Network International (BNI), a business and professional networking organization whose primary purpose is to exchange qualified business referrals to its members.  She has served as president of her chapter and is on their membership committee. Before joining Empire Wealth, Danielle was a senior account executive with Equinox Fitness.
 
Danielle graduated from the University of Rhode Island where she was a member of Sigma Delta Tau.  She lives in Brooklyn with her husband Matthew Plotkin and their children Elle and Nico.  She is actively involved in Cycle for Survival, a national movement that raises money to beat rare cancers, and NY Cares, the city’s largest volunteer management organization.  In addition to spending time with her family, Danielle enjoys sports, rock climbing, and traveling.
 

 

James Cooney
Managing Sales Director
 
565 Taxter Road, Suite 625
Elmsford, NY 10523
 
(914) 372-2989
jcooney1@metlife.com
 
 
 
As a Managing Sales Director, my goal is to develop a premier team of dedicated financial services representatives serving the investment and protection needs of individuals and their families as well as business owners and their employees. To accomplish this, I provide coaching on prospecting, networking, leveraging centers of influence and other areas of importance.  I serve as an advocate for my team, getting them the resources they need to attract and retain clients.  From target marketing strategies to client engagement techniques to delivering excellent service and support, I work to give my team the skills and tools they need to run highly successful financial advisory practices.
 
In addition, I work to identify candidates who want to be part of a highly motivated, highly productive organization.  My recruiting efforts span the gamut of seasoned financial professionals with an established business to individuals looking to change careers to recent college graduates looking to begin their careers in financial services.  My recruiting process gives each incumbent an in-depth view of all of the ways Barnum and its resources can help them grow or establish their business.  For experienced financial services representatives, I work to assure an efficient on-boarding process and make sure all of the resources they need are aligned to support their business. For those new to our business, I serve as coach and mentor as they participate in Barnum’s Advisor Mastery program, an innovative comprehensive approach to professional development.  
 
James’ career underscores the importance of ongoing professional development, hard work and mentoring by experienced and successful individuals.  At National Life Group, he was named the firm’s “Investment Rookie of the Year”.  From the early base of success, he grew his own financial services practice including working as a financial services representative with Barnum Financial Group.  Today, he takes the skills he’s acquired and the lessons he’s learned and helps others develop and grow their practices. 
 
A graduate of Providence College with an undergraduate degree in Marketing, James recently earned the Financial Services Certified Professional® (FSCP®) which provides candidates with “superior product knowledge, exceptional sales skills, and an understanding of how to build a business”.* A resident of Brooklyn, New York, he enjoys listening to live music and watching the Giants, Rangers, Yankees, Knicks and the Providence College Friars..
 

 

Alex Gisolfi
Managing Sales Director
 
6 Corporate Drive
Shelton, CT 06484
 
(203) 513-6140
agisolfi@metlife.com
 
 

 

Management Team

 
 
Elizabeth Hiza
Cheif of Staff
 
6 Corporate Drive
Shelton, CT 06484
 
(203) 513-6174
ehiza@metlife.com
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
Mindee Blanco
 
Wealth Strategies
 
6 Corporate Drive
Shelton, CT 06484
 
(203) 513-6010
mblanco2@metlife.com
 
 
 
 
 

 

Pessie Wong
Finance

6 Corporate Drive
Shelton, CT 06484
 
(203) 513-6224
pwong3@metlife.com
 
 
 
 

 

 

Tara Bennett
Operations

 
6 Corporate Drive
Shelton, CT 06484
 
(203) 513-6062
tbennett6@metlife.com
 
 
 
 

 
 
Michelle Hite
Human Resources
 
6 Corporate Drive
Shelton, CT 06484
 
(203) 513-6390
mhite@metlife.com
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
Lynn Waldvogel
Marketing
 
6 Corporate Drive
Shelton, CT 06484
 
(203) 513-6172
lwaldvogel@metlife.com
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
Natalie DeMeis
Barnum Benefits
 
6 Corporate Drive
Shelton, CT 06484
 
(203) 513-6146
ndemeis@metlife.com
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
Scott Sokolowski
Talent Acquisition
 
6 Corporate Drive
Shelton, CT 06484
 
(203) 513-6276
ssokolowski@metlife.com