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 of 2008. 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: his wife, Julie, and their adorable little girl, Abbey. Scott’s Catholic faith is the cornerstone of his life. Prior to the pandemic, his family delivered meals to a senior housing development (Julie had transitioned to working in the kitchen to prep the meals). He also supports charitable causes like Operation Smile, which helps children born with a cleft palate who can’t afford the corrective surgery, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. 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, a Chief Master Sargent in the Air Force, and their three children Cailyn, Tierney, and Elise. 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 Crofton, MD with her husband Wes, a Cybersecurity Specialist for the Defense Department, and children Ava and Derek and Labradoodle, Jax.
Peter has two twin sons, Patrick and Christopher. Patrick recently graduated from George Washington University and lives in Pallisades, CA, where he is a software engineer for Raytheon. He will graduate in December 2020 with a Masters in Computer Engineering from Georgia Tech. He and his fiancée, Anna, plan to marry in December 2021. Patrick’s twin brother, Christopher, graduated in May from Georgetown University. Chris recently bought a house in Annapolis, MD, and lives with his fat bulldog Chloe and works for Deloitte.
Peter graduated from Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. A former Big Brother, he has volunteered for numerous local initiatives and has coached youth soccer and basketball. On weekends, Peter 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 longtime trader of all things financial, 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, grace under pressure, and meticulous attention to detail.
“Johnny,” as he likes to be called, has more than 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. He keeps the stress level down by staying active and fit. On his time off, you might see Johnny tooling down a back-country road on his motorcycle with his long-time girlfriend, Kaila, riding behind him. He has completed the Rugged Maniac competition and is an avid fisherman as well. On his lunch break, Johnny takes to the trails behind BMM for a “quick 5k” and on the weekends, he is a DIY warrior, tackling landscaping and house projects with pride (and a little trial and error). Johnny has passed his Series 65 and is a registered investment advisor (RIA). More importantly, he and Kaila are animal advocates, so they fit right in with the Berkshire Money Management family. His dream is to travel to Hawaii and explore the many natural wonders there.
Zack Marcotte, CFP®, AIF®, AWMA®, CRPC®, RMA®, MS, Personal Financial Planning 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 as he is with a pen in hand.
Born and raised in the Berkshires, Zack began working at Berkshire Money Management during his senior year of high school. During 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 advisor. Zack takes continuing profesional education very seriously, racking up five credentials, including the Certified Financial Planner™, the golden standard in Financial Planning. Like so many American success stories, Zack began in the mail room, worked his way through operations, the compliance department, and as a financial advisor. Now he oversees BMM’s Financial Planning department. Recently, Zack earned an MS 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 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 more than 16 years of experience as an Executive Assistant for an investment advisory firms in the Berkshires. 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 services at the highest standard. 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 the youngest employees at BMM, and is a recent graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Resource Economics, concentrating in Managerial Economics, as well as a Psychology minor. She worked diligently to be able to graduate one semester early and to begin her career here.
Lauren has always had a passion for business and a knack for numbers, so a career in finance seemed like the perfect fit. She wanted a fulfilling career where she can directly work with, and help, people and families. She has observed that very few advisors identify as female, and that the industry itself lacks a large share of the populations’ perspective. This may account for female investors feeling neglected or not heard. Having this unique role as a female advisor has inspired Lauren to connect with other young women considering a career in finance.
Laurn is studying for the FINRA: Series 65 Uniform Investment Advisor Law Exam – the first of many future certifications. She lives in Lee, MA with her fiancé and their pup Penny.
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.
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 years old.
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 his CFP® designation.
Born and raised in the Berkshires, Nate loves outdoor pursuits from fishing to snowmobiling. His financial discipline goes out the window when it comes to fishing and snowmobiling. In college, Nate’s snowmobile was worth well more than twice what his 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 arrived at BMM with more than a decade as 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. In addition to writing, Nichole is a competitive boxer—alongside her daughter—and boxing coach. She has also trained Brazilian jiu jitsu with her son. Nichole travels quite a bit, and her most recent adventures have brought her to Italy with her children and Central Africa to visit extended family. In a former life, she was an English (and film studies and Spanish and history) teacher. She lives in Sheffield with her son, now a high school junior, and her daughter, who is in her second year at Clark University.
Jamie Smith, FPQP™ Client Success Coordinator
Jamie is our Client Success Coordinator (and a get-things-done ninja!). Jamie is also 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, Jamie 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!