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Putting
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Get to know our leadership team

Leadership at the Capital Region of Albany office is dedicated to doing good for our clients, employees and community.
Get to know our management team.


Alex J Tronco headshot

Alex J Tronco

CLU, CFP, ChFC, CLTC

Managing Partner


Alex was born in Sicily in 1974 and came to the United States when he was 8 years old. He attended Colonie High School and then Siena College, where he graduated in 1997 with a degree in Business Administration, with a specialty in Marketing. Alex began his business as a Financial Representative after graduation....  

Alex was born in Sicily in 1974 and came to the United States when he was 8 years old. He attended Colonie High School and then Siena College, where he graduated in 1997 with a degree in Business Administration, with a specialty in Marketing. Alex began his business as a Financial Representative after graduation. He has met rigorous professional standards and achieved the highest designations in our industry, including CFP® CLU®, ChFC® and CASL®. In 2009 Alex was selected as one of the company’s youngest Managing Partners, where he continues to demonstrate a capacity for inspiring and enabling his staff and expert team of financial planners toward success. His office has been named in the top 5 for Financial Planning and Wealth Management Firms in the Capital Region, as well as the number one Internship Program in the Capital Region by the Albany Business Review. Tronco Financial Group has been recognized as a “Top Workplace” by the Times Union for seven consecutive years, and one of the “Best Places to Work” by the Albany Business Review. In addition to Alex’s many responsibilities in management, Alex serves on the Foundation Board of Directors for the Center for Disability Services and the Board of Advisors at Siena College. Alex also does extensive charitable work with the Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center, The Ronald McDonald House of Albany, Proctors Theatre in Schenectady, and Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Alex resides in the Capital Region with his wife Gina and their three daughters.  


Ryan Hungershafer headshot

Ryan Hungershafer

CLU, CFP, ChFC

Managing Director/Wealth Management Advisor


Ryan Hungershafer serves as Managing Director of the Northwestern Mutual Albany District Office and is in his fifteenth year as a Wealth Management Advisor. His career began in Northwestern Mutual’s internship program in 2002. Ryan has met rigorous professional standards and achieved some of the highest designations...  

Ryan Hungershafer serves as Managing Director of the Northwestern Mutual Albany District Office and is in his fifteenth year as a Wealth Management Advisor. His career began in Northwestern Mutual’s internship program in 2002. Ryan has met rigorous professional standards and achieved some of the highest designations and certifications in the industry including, CFP® CLU®, ChFC® and AEP® and FINRA Series 7, 6, 63, 66 and 26 Licenses. He’s recognized as one of Northwestern Mutual’s Top National Financial Advisors. Ryan is a seven-time Forum qualifier as well as Four-Star Pathfinder in the 2017-2018 Awards Year. Ryan holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Siena College, and is still an active alumnus and donor. Ryan serves on the Board of Directors of the New York Chapter of Folds of Honor and he and his family are actively involved with the Albany Medical Center Foundation. Ryan is a lifetime resident of the Capital Region and resides in Clifton Park with his wife, Marisa and son, Jack.  


Paul A Phelps headshot

Paul A Phelps

AEP, CLU, ChFC, CASL, MSFS

Managing Director/Wealth Management Advisor


Paul Phelps is Managing Director in the Mid-Hudson Valley with offices in Newburgh and Poughkeepsie, NY. He was appointed to this role December 1, 2015. Paul has represented Northwestern Mutual as a Financial Advisor since 1993. Paul holds a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from Castleton University...  

Paul Phelps is Managing Director in the Mid-Hudson Valley with offices in Newburgh and Poughkeepsie, NY. He was appointed to this role December 1, 2015. Paul has represented Northwestern Mutual as a Financial Advisor since 1993. Paul holds a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from Castleton University and a Master of Science in Financial Services from The American College. Paul has also earned and maintains the following designations: CLU® (Chartered Life Underwriter), ChFC®(Chartered Financial Consultant), AEP® (Accredited Estate Planner), CASL® (Chartered Advisor for Senior Living), and RICP® (Retirement Income Certified Professional). Paul holds the following FINRA Series Licenses: 7, 6, 63, 66 & 26 (Licensed in 32 States). Paul and his wife Susan live in Wappingers Falls, NY. When not spending time in Vermont, Paul and Susan enjoy travelling, golfing and visiting their daughters Kaely and Meaghan who reside in New York City.  


Thomas C Farnan headshot

Thomas C Farnan

District Director/ Financial Advisor


Tom came to Northwestern Mutual with over 17 years of management experience in the automotive industry. In his dual role at Northwestern Mutual as both a District Director, as well as a Financial Advisor, he is able to combine his love of being a leader and working with a team, with his passion for inspiring financial...  

Tom came to Northwestern Mutual with over 17 years of management experience in the automotive industry. In his dual role at Northwestern Mutual as both a District Director, as well as a Financial Advisor, he is able to combine his love of being a leader and working with a team, with his passion for inspiring financial security through his work with his clients. He has been recognized and awarded within the company for the success of his financial planning business, as well as outside the company as a qualifier for the Million Dollar Round table in 2013; a global, independent association for the world's leading life insurance and financial services professionals. As a Troy native and resident, Tom takes great pride in supporting the monumental health care changes in Rensselaer County, and is a member of the consolidated Northeast Health & Seton Health Foundation Board. Tom is a 1993 graduate of LaSalle Institute, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and Management from Siena College, Class of 1997. Outside of the office, Tom spends his time with his wife and two children, Jack & Grace.  


Eric J Hungershafer headshot

Eric J Hungershafer

CLF, CLTC

District Director


Eric began his career at Northwestern Mutual in 2005 as a Financial Advisor, after graduating Siena College with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing. His older brother, Ryan Hungershafer, had already been an advisor with Northwestern Mutual for several years, and brought Eric on board. He quickly realized that the...  

Eric began his career at Northwestern Mutual in 2005 as a Financial Advisor, after graduating Siena College with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing. His older brother, Ryan Hungershafer, had already been an advisor with Northwestern Mutual for several years, and brought Eric on board. He quickly realized that the income potential, flexibility, and entrepreneurial opportunities made being a Financial Advisor a great fit for him. He spent almost 7 years as a financial representative, 4 of which he was a Field Director. Eric also spent 6 years as the Chief Development Officer. He enjoys being able to contribute to the new Financial Representative’s progress and growth. Eric is currently the District Director In the Network Office. Eric is a life time Capital Region resident, and enjoys time with his wife Amy and three daughters, Ellie, Quinn and Harlow. He is actively involved with Siena College, serving on their Board of Advisors as well as the School of Business Advisory Council. A strong believer in giving back to his community, Eric supports the Center for Disability Services, Albany Medical Center, Siena College Athletics, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, and several other charities throughout the year.  


William Joseph Newman headshot

William Joseph Newman

CFP, CLU, ChFC, CASL

Field Director/Wealth Management Advisor


Bill joined Northwestern Mutual in 1982 after graduation from the University at Albany with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry. In 1996, Bill opened the Albany District Agency for Northwestern Mutual; successfully serving as Managing Director and growing the agency for over a decade. In his current capacity...  

Bill joined Northwestern Mutual in 1982 after graduation from the University at Albany with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry. In 1996, Bill opened the Albany District Agency for Northwestern Mutual; successfully serving as Managing Director and growing the agency for over a decade. In his current capacity as Wealth Management Advisor, Bill is committed to building enduring relationships that inspire financial security for his clients, team, and community. In additional to running his successful personal practice, Bill serves as the Growth and Development Director for the Albany office and leads the successful development of the team by focusing on the recruitment, coaching and retention of new financial representatives within the company. Always furthering his education, Bill has earned his Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), Certified Advisor of Senior Living (CASL®), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®) and Chief Financial Consultant (CFC®) designations. Bill has also earned numerous company accolades including The Northwestern Mutual Forum which represents the top segment of our industry leading field force. He is a 2018 Northwestern Mutual Community Service Award recipient for his work with Girls Inc. of the Greater Capital Region. Bill and his wife Linda have been active volunteers and donors with the organization, inspired to join by their own daughters. Bill also has endowed scholarships at both the State University of New York at Albany and Siena College.  


Daniel M Reisner headshot

Daniel M Reisner

CFP, CLU, RICP

Field Director/Wealth Management Advisor


Dan began his career at Northwestern Mutual in 2006. He is a Siena College graduate and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing Management. Over his career Dan has continued his education, earning multiple designations which includes obtaining his Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) designation back in...  

Dan began his career at Northwestern Mutual in 2006. He is a Siena College graduate and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing Management. Over his career Dan has continued his education, earning multiple designations which includes obtaining his Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) designation back in May of 2013. In addition to his personal practice, Dan serves as a mentor to younger representatives growing their financial services careers and also serves as a product specialist in the office. Personally, Dan sits on the Board for the local Best Buddies chapter which helps promote inclusion and friendships for people dealing with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In his free time Dan stays very active between his workouts at Albany Crossfit, Metabolic Meltdown, and training for Spartan Races.   


Jonathan Hernandez headshot

Jonathan Hernandez

Field Director/Financial Advisor


Born and raised in Loudonville, Jonathan started his career at Northwestern Mutual in 2014 and now holds a dual role as financial advisor and field director. He credits his entrepreneurial and business mindset from his studies at Northeastern University in Boston. After chasing and living out some of their dreams...  

Born and raised in Loudonville, Jonathan started his career at Northwestern Mutual in 2014 and now holds a dual role as financial advisor and field director. He credits his entrepreneurial and business mindset from his studies at Northeastern University in Boston. After chasing and living out some of their dreams in New York City, Jonathan and his wife Chelsea have now settled into their first home in Latham with their son Jonathan Louis. He is active in his community, serving as board member for the Capital District Latinos, a youth soccer coach at St. Pius X Parish, a volunteer teacher at Junior Achievement, amongst other support.  


Matthew Earl Haye headshot

Matthew Earl Haye

Field Director/Financial Advisor


Matt grew up in the greater Albany area and pursued his studies at the University of Albany. Hard work has been instilled in him as a young child, so he continued working through college to pay for his education. He feels privileged to have found a career with Northwestern Mutual, where he can utilize his strong...  

Matt grew up in the greater Albany area and pursued his studies at the University of Albany. Hard work has been instilled in him as a young child, so he continued working through college to pay for his education. He feels privileged to have found a career with Northwestern Mutual, where he can utilize his strong work ethic while fulfilling his dream of helping people. He also uses his story and experience to guide others, serving as a Field Director. In this role, Matt is responsible for coaching, team building, culture development, and training of financial representatives. Matt lives in Colonie with his wife Allison and their three children.  


Kevin M Caccomo headshot

Kevin M Caccomo

Field Director/Financial Advisor


Kevin came to Northwestern Mutual in 2012. He has a Bachelor's of Science from Mercy College. He holds a dual role as both a Financial Advisor and Growth and Development Director(GDD) at Northwestern Mutual. Growth and Development Directors(GDDs) are responsible for marketing and building units in network offices...  

Kevin came to Northwestern Mutual in 2012. He has a Bachelor's of Science from Mercy College. He holds a dual role as both a Financial Advisor and Growth and Development Director(GDD) at Northwestern Mutual. Growth and Development Directors(GDDs) are responsible for marketing and building units in network offices – a critical aspect of future growth at Northwestern Mutual. While developing personal leadership skills, GDDs attract, develop, and help financial representatives and financial representative interns off to a fast career start. Kevin leads a team of 5 full time representatives, and 8-10 interns from the local colleges and universities. Kevin and his wife have been together since 2009. They are set to have their first child in June of this year. They are active in the community with the Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, and CrossFit.  


Frank Tan headshot

Frank Tan

Field Director/Financial Advisor


In his early 20s, as part of a graduation gift from his parents, Frank visited the United States and eventually decided to make his stay permanent. He continued his career as a medical technologist while in the United States, but he eventually became interested in the world of finance and found his way to Northwestern...  

In his early 20s, as part of a graduation gift from his parents, Frank visited the United States and eventually decided to make his stay permanent. He continued his career as a medical technologist while in the United States, but he eventually became interested in the world of finance and found his way to Northwestern Mutual in 2013. He fell in love with the company and its philosophy of enriching peoples' lives by helping to secure their financial well-being. Frank is a member of the Board of Finance at St. Mary's Church in Albany, NY and is often involved in fundraising efforts for Alex's Lemonade Stand. He enjoys visiting his family back in the Philippines and travelling the world as time allows. Frank and his wife, Jasmin, reside in Rensselaer, NY with their golden retriever, Julia, and their cocker spaniel, Toffee.  


TJ Popolizio headshot

TJ Popolizio

College Unit Director/Financial Advisor


TJ is a Financial Advisor and College Unit Director at Northwestern Mutual. He has worked in financial services industry in various Investment Banking and Capital Markets roles since his graduation from Brown University in 2012. He returned to the Capital Region and Northwestern Mutual in 2017, where he was a...  

TJ is a Financial Advisor and College Unit Director at Northwestern Mutual. He has worked in financial services industry in various Investment Banking and Capital Markets roles since his graduation from Brown University in 2012. He returned to the Capital Region and Northwestern Mutual in 2017, where he was a previous college intern. He is now running a planning-focused practice and helping his clients with all aspects of their financial lives. Previously, TJ was an accomplished athlete. He was a two sport Division 1 athlete and captain at Brown, competing in soccer and wrestling. After graduation, he attended Indiana University, as a MBA candidate at the Kelley School of Business. In his final season as a competitive athlete, TJ won Division 1 National Championship in Soccer. Athletics continue to play an integral role in his life, coaching in both soccer and wrestling. He is passionate about helping families plan for the costs of college.  


Nicholas Liverio headshot

Nicholas Liverio

College Unit Director


Nick has been with Northwestern Mutual for three years and is passionate about helping clients reach their goals. He also serves as a College Unit Director, helping college financial representatives build their brand and become full time advisors. Nick is passionate about the Upstate NY area. He was born and...  

Nick has been with Northwestern Mutual for three years and is passionate about helping clients reach their goals. He also serves as a College Unit Director, helping college financial representatives build their brand and become full time advisors. Nick is passionate about the Upstate NY area. He was born and raised in Amsterdam and attended Hobart and William Smith Colleges. While there, he played football and Majored in Political Science and Minored in Law and Society. Nick loves to travel, attend sporting events, and stay updated on politics. He also supports Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and the Ronald McDonald House.  


Connor Ferris headshot

Connor Ferris

College Unit Director/Financial Advisor


Born and raised in Albany, Connor played football for Albany Academy before attending Alfred University. He graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor's in both Accounting and Marketing. After graduation, Connor moved to North Carolina for warmer weather and to pursue a career in sales. Connor joined the team at Northwestern...  

Born and raised in Albany, Connor played football for Albany Academy before attending Alfred University. He graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor's in both Accounting and Marketing. After graduation, Connor moved to North Carolina for warmer weather and to pursue a career in sales. Connor joined the team at Northwestern Mutual after making the decision to move back to the Albany area to be closer to family. Connor currently lives in Latham with his girlfriend Riley and their daughter Ava. Outside of the office he enjoys spending time with his family, cooking, hiking, working out and traveling, and giving back to the community mentoring the youth of Albany.  


Sandy Harding headshot

Sandy Harding

Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer


Sandy began working at Northwestern Mutual in 2009 as a part-time bookkeeper and her role quickly evolved, ultimately being named Chief Operating Officer as well as Chief Financial Officer in 2017. Sandy oversees the planning department, financial function, and human resource needs for the general agency and the...  

Sandy began working at Northwestern Mutual in 2009 as a part-time bookkeeper and her role quickly evolved, ultimately being named Chief Operating Officer as well as Chief Financial Officer in 2017. Sandy oversees the planning department, financial function, and human resource needs for the general agency and the district offices. Sandy earned her undergraduate degree at the University at Albany, majoring in Psychology, and began her career in the banking industry. She later pursued her MBA in accounting at Union College in anticipation of a new career path. Sandy is involved with Hannah’s Hope Foundation and supports fundraising efforts of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. She also has a passion for animals. Sandy and her husband have four rescue dogs.   


Mary Kay Murphy headshot

Mary Kay Murphy

Chief Recruitment Officer


Mary Kay is responsible for the strategy, training, and development of our recruiters, as well as overseeing our Top Ten internship program. She is an alumnus of the State University at Potsdam, and currently lives in Delmar with her husband Pat. She has four children.


Richard Youmans headshot

Richard Youmans

Director of New Financial Rep Development


Rich joined Northwestern Mutual in 2010 and has worked with new financial representatives to develop their budding businesses through encouragement and accountability. He is a father of 3 boys and longtime resident of Saratoga. He is actively involved with the mission of Living Waters of the World, which delivers...  

Rich joined Northwestern Mutual in 2010 and has worked with new financial representatives to develop their budding businesses through encouragement and accountability. He is a father of 3 boys and longtime resident of Saratoga. He is actively involved with the mission of Living Waters of the World, which delivers water filtration systems to impoverished communities in need of clean water. Rich is also an avid Ultra-distance runner and has covered distances up to 100 miles.  


Brian E Topping headshot

Brian E Topping

Director of Network Office Supervision


Brian supervises activities of financial representatives and their employees with respect to laws and regulations of various agencies including FINRA, SEC, MSRB, and State Securities or Insurance Commissioners. His roll monitors activities with respect to Company policies and procedures pertaining to insurance...  

Brian supervises activities of financial representatives and their employees with respect to laws and regulations of various agencies including FINRA, SEC, MSRB, and State Securities or Insurance Commissioners. His roll monitors activities with respect to Company policies and procedures pertaining to insurance and securities sales practices. Brian joined Northwestern Mutual in 2007 with the Investment Operations department. Brian is Series 6, 7, 63, 65, 9, and 10 registered and also holds his CLU from The American College. Brian lives in Niskayuna, NY with his wife Jennifer and their two daughters.  


Maria D'Amelia headshot

Maria D'Amelia

Chief Marketing Officer


Maria is responsible for providing strategic marketing direction to the Tronco Network office and individual Financial Advisors. She manages firm-wide marketing initiatives, delivers marketing education and training, and coordinates sponsorships and events with local organizations. Maria brings nearly 20 years...  

Maria is responsible for providing strategic marketing direction to the Tronco Network office and individual Financial Advisors. She manages firm-wide marketing initiatives, delivers marketing education and training, and coordinates sponsorships and events with local organizations. Maria brings nearly 20 years of experience in public relations and broadcast media. She lives in Colonie with her husband Dan and two children.  


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