Allen Harris, CEPA, CVGA, CVB, CEO & Chief Investment Officer
Allen Harris, founder and owner of Berkshire Money Management (BMM), is a 20-year professional investment management veteran. His knowledge and expertise led to the founding of BMM in 2001, to help people achieve a common goal—make money with investments while protecting those portfolios in the most serious of downturns.
Allen’s experience spans the powerhouse of Smith Barney (now known as Morgan Stanley) to CIO of a boutique investment advisory firm, to founder of the 16,000-paid-subscriber Navigator Newsletters property (now sold). Throughout his career, Allen has skillfully guided clients through challenging periods—recessions, bear markets, technology and commodity bubbles, and the “Great Recession.” Despite these obstacles, Allen and BMM not only helped clients stay on course with their retirement plans, but also helped them to both capitalize on return opportunities and risk control strategies. Beyond his professional work, Allen is passionate about the well-being of animals. He is an avid supporter of spay and neuter efforts, shelter fundraisers, and animal rescue. He has personally fostered scores of pets in his own house as he tried to find them “forever homes.” Dedicated to community engagement, Allen is also a strong supporter of both economic revitalization and the arts in the Berkshires. Past initiatives include support of First Fridays Artswalk, Shakespeare in the Park, and Taste of the Berkshires. Additionally, Allen and our BMM team also contribute generously to enriching the holiday season for local families. Allen earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics, Finance and Accounting from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA).
Scott C. Little, CEPS®, Vice President
Scott has been with Berkshire Money Management since the company’s infancy, working successfully to help clients. His dedication is exemplary and has resulted in delivering a top-tier level of service and professionalism that clients can rely on.
Scott earned his B.S. in Business Administration and Economics at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA). A self-described family man and Berkshire local, he graduated with honors and was inducted into the Greek honors societies Alpha Chi and Delta Mu Delta for excellence in Business.
Scott has passed the Series 65 exam and is an Investment Advisor Representative, licensed in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He also has earned the CEPS® (Certified Elder Planning Specialist) designation. Ask him about his most proud accomplishment, however, and he will say it’s his family, comprised of his wife, Julie and having their adorable little girl, Abbey. Scott and his family reside in Adams, MA.
Peter Coughlin, CSA®, Certified Senior Advisor and Executive Director
Born and raised in Pittsfield, Peter joins Berkshire Money Management with 30-years of investments and wealth management experience. Previously associated with UBS Private Wealth Management and Wells Fargo Advisors, he possesses the ability to create trusting and lasting relationships with families, entrepreneurs and corporate executives. He is highly regarded on our team for his knowledge, persistence and commitment to clients.
Peter resides in Pittsfield with his wife Sheila, a registered dental hygienist with Dr. Paul Gamache, D.M.D. Peter’s oldest daughter, Tara, is an alumnus of UMass Amherst and is an executive recruiter living in Las Vegas with her husband Brian and their two children Cailyn and Tierney. His other daughter, Audra, graduated from Springfield College and is an Occupational Therapist working with special needs children for the Annapolis school department. She lives in Annapolis with her husband Wes and children Ava and Derek. Peter has two twin sons, Patrick and Christopher. Patrick recently graduated in May from The George Washington University and lives in Los Angeles, where he is a software engineer working for Raytheon. Patrick’s twin brother, Christopher, graduated in May from Georgetown University. Chris lives in the Washington, DC area and is an analyst with the Federal Government. Peter graduated from Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. A former Big Brother, Peter has volunteered for numerous local initiatives and has coached youth soccer and basketball. On weekends, he can be found on his bike or hiking the Appalachian Trail. He has recently earned his Certified Senior Advisor designation (CSA®) as well.
John Bielski, Supervisor of Capital Trading
John Bielski is in the House. This 40 year-old trader of all things financial, has joined Berkshire Money Management as the company’s chief trader and all around go-to guy. Some of us have worked with him before in another life and have long admired his experience, calmness under fire, and meticulous attention to detail. That’s what you need in a trader today.
He has over 18 years of experience, including those rough and tumble times of the Dot.Com boom and bust at the beginning of the century, as well as the 2008-2009 Financial Crisis. “Johnny,” as he likes to be called, keeps the stress level down by staying active and fit. On his time off, you might see him tooling down a back-country road on his motorcycle, his long-time girlfriend, Kaila, behind him. He finished his first Rugged Maniac competition last year and is an avid fisherman as well. Like most of us, Johnny has passed his Series 65 and is a registered investment Advisor. More importantly, he and Kaila are animal lovers, so they fit right in to our family at Berkshire Money Management.
Zack Marcotte, CFP®, AIF®, AWMA®,CRPC®, RMA®, Financial Planner
Zack is a “once in a lifetime” employee. Horatio Alger has nothing on him. Commonly referred to as “Zack of all trades,” this young man is equally at home with a screwdriver or pen in hand.
Born and bred in the Berkshires, he began working at Berkshire Money Management during his senior year of high school. Over the next 11 years, he has witnessed and participated in the building of our firm from startup to success. His tech-savvy and versatility make him an important part of the Berkshire Money Management family. Zack’s time working side-by-side with BMM’s professionals has provided the kind of on the job training that no college ever could and led to his desire to become a financial expert. Zack has taken continued education very seriously, racking up 5 credentials, including the Certified Financial Planner™, the golden standard in Financial Planning. Like so many American success stories, Zack started in the mail room, worked his way through operations, the compliance department, and as a financial advisor. Now he oversees the firm’s Financial Planning department. From here Zack has his eye set on earning a master’s degree in personal financial planning. In his free time Zack enjoys wood working, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and venturing into the wilderness with his dog, Dexter. Zack just recently joined the Foundation for Financial Planning, offering free financial plans for domestic abuse victims, cancer patients, and wounded veterans.
Joanne Wandrei, Client Care Specialist
Joanne Wandrei has over 16 years of experience as an Executive Assistant for an Investment Advisory Firm in Williamstown, MA. Joanne acts as a liaison with Berkshire Money Management’s dedicated support team at Charles Schwab and our clients to handle account matters. Her depth of knowledge and experience in the back office keeps client service at the highest of standards. Joanne and her husband, Dennis, reside in Adams, MA. They are avid bowlers and the proud parents of two sons, Derek and Jason.
Lauren Russo, CVB, Financial Advisor
Lauren is one of our newest employees at BMM. Freshly out of the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a Bachelor’s Degree in Resource Economics, concentrating in Managerial Economics, as well as a Psychology minor, she worked hard to be able to graduate one semester early and to start working sooner rather than later.
Lauren has always had a passion for business and a knack for numbers, so a career in finance seemed like the perfect fit. In the meantime, she is studying for the FINRA: Series 65 Uniform Investment Advisor Law Exam – the first of many future certifications. She has lived in Pittsfield her entire life, and is thrilled to stay local and take advantage of BMM’s philanthropic ways to give back to the community. Lauren is a proud aunt to four, and loves spending free time with her family. She dreams to use her newfound financial skills and previous business management knowledge to one day open a nonprofit organization in the area. For now, she is BMM’s freshest face and cannot wait to gain experience and bring value to our company/family.
Nate Tomkiewicz, CRPC®, Financial Advisor
Nate Tomkiewicz is Berkshire Money Management’s youngest team member, and is the firm’s 6th graduate of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA). He has earned the nickname “Stay late Nate.” Nate graduated a semester early from MCLA’s business program, while working and learning at BMM. He is a testament to “growing our own” and began his career here as an intern when he was just 19.
Nate is skilled at identifying opportunities within 401(k), 403(b) and 457 plans, particularly for hospital employees. Once terrified of public speaking, Nate now loves the opportunity to present and educate those looking for guidance on how to build their retirement. Nate has a series 65 like the rest of the advisors at BMM, and his area of focus is in retirement planning. Nate has earned the Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor designation (CRPC®) from the College for Financial Planning, and is now working towards the CFP® designation.
Born and raised in the Berkshires, Nate loves outdoor pursuits from fishing to snowmobiling. “My financial discipline goes out the window when it comes to fishing and snowmobiling. In college, my snowmobile was worth well more than twice what my car was, despite the fact Massachusetts winters don’t always deliver snow.”
In addition to these hobbies, Nate also enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, golf and perfecting his steak recipe.
Nichole Dupont, Community Development Director
Nichole is a freelance writer, editor, and communications consultant whose work has appeared in multiple regional and national publications including Berkshire Magazine, The Take, Rural Intelligence, the Berkshire Eagle, Newsday, and the Huffington Post. She has also helped businesses and non-profits—Simon’s Rock college, Emma Willard School, the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, and many others—‘find’ their stories and bring this unique content to their branding vision, as well as websites, local and national media, and other public platforms.
Nichole earned her Bachelor’s in History from Clark University, and has done extensive post-graduate work at Yale University and Middlebury College. She is a native of the Berkshires, and returned to the area to raise her children, Anna and Lucian, who are now teenagers. In addition to writing, Nichole is an avid boxer—alongside her daughter—and also trains Brazilian jiu jitsu with her son. She travels quite a bit, and her most recent journey brought her to Central Africa to visit extended family. In a former life, she was an English (and film studies and Spanish) teacher. “In order to accomplish our mission of helping people lead spectacular lives, we have to let them know everything we can do for them,” BMM founder and CEO Allen Harris said. “Everyone comes to us for investment advice, but we do so much more. Nichole worked with us as a consultant for nearly three years, and she sees the passion we have for what we do. We always work well together, and seeing that she really gets us, we wanted her to join the BMM family.”
Jamie Smith, FPQP™, Client Success Coordinator
Jamie is our new Client Success Coordinator. She is is the friendly face that greets all visitors to BMM. Jamie will also be responsible for all accounting operations, as well as assisting Joanne with client onboarding, scheduling, and other client service needs.
Prior to joining Berkshire Money Management, Jamie was an executive assistant at Atlas Private Wealth Management in North Adams for nearly six years. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts with a concentration in accounting and a minor in mathematics. Jamie also attended the College of Financial Planning and earned her designation as a Financial Paraplanner Qualified Professional™.
As a result of growing up in a military family, she was able to live in numerous states, graduating from high school in Ohio. She returned to the Berkshires — where her family is originally from — to attend college. Jamie now lives in Adams, MA with her husband, daughter, and one cat. She is currently researching and piecing together her family tree as far back as possible.
Natalie Wheeler, Operations Manager
Prior to joining Berkshire Money Management, Natalie was the Director of Office Operations at Atlas Private Wealth Management for nine years. During her time at Atlas, Natalie helped spearhead organizational goals and procedures to ensure that all general office and personnel operations ran smoothly across multiple offices. Her professional versatility provided all employees with the necessary tools, training and resources they needed to be successful. Natalie also managed employee benefits and all human resource questions and concerns.
Natalie has always had a passion for leading team members to be efficient, productive and effective. Natalie currently resides in Southern Vermont with her children Tre and Gianna and fiancé Ryan. Natalie is a member of the American Legion Auxiliary Post 29. In her free time, you’ll find her playing frisbee with her four year old black lab Sofia, playing a round of golf, participating in the color run or climbing obstacles at an inflatable 5k. Natalie is excited to bring her multiple years of office operations to BMM.
Tammy Gaherty, Administration Specialist
Tammy is at the helm of scheduling for advisors, managing content distribution, and helping with the flow of operations throughout the firm. Prior to joining BMM, she worked for nearly two decades as an administrative assistant with the Dalton Housing Authority.
Tammy is a Berkshire native, and graduate of Monument Mountain Regional High School. She has been the volunteer secretary and president of the Friends of the Lanesborough Public Library, and an active participant there for fundraisers to support library programming. She enjoys hiking, reading (including Tarot cards!), numerology and music. Tammy lives in Lanesborough with her husband Dan and their daughter Tarryn. She also has three stepdaughters Callie, Kirby, and Carly.
Larry: 8 years old, tri-color is the charmer of the pack!
Edith: 10 years old, very shy and always on guard. She takes a while to warm up to strangers, but then she’s a sweetie pie!
Henry: 7 years old. Happy, happy, happy! Loves everyone. Henry is the happiest dog you’ll ever meet.
Titus: 11 years old, happy dog who loves attention, especially when there are treats involved!
Dexter: 3 1/2 years old, lover of all things…seriously, he even oddly likes getting in trouble!