Our Experts List

We had the pleasure of working with many experts to help inspire you. In this section, we have invited our experts to post their biographies and make it easy to find them, should you choose to connect or learn more. Please search for them by name or keyword using the search below.

Tam St. Armand

Tam St. Armand

Featured in Chapter Five: Crisis and Loss

It’s been a great journey.

A wide range of experience, interest and dedication to be fully in the world gives Tam St. Armand an exciting and remarkable perspective on life and business. As an advanced Risk Manager and Licensed Insurance Broker, Tam advises business owners, multinational corporations, individuals and high net worth families on managing their complex insurance programs. Tam is as intrigued and passionate about the people as she is about the issues and this is demonstrated in everything she does. Building productive relationships with prominent, high profile figures in Wall Street, film, fashion, sports, real estate, aviation, mining, hospitality, media, technology, and construction, Tam has established herself as a trusted advisor, an experienced leader and dynamic entrepreneur. She thrives on positive and conscientious business transactions and is a ‘roll up your sleeves’, hands-on leader who encourages everyone around her to embrace life and business in an energetic and exciting way.

As an inquisitive person who really cares about how things work, Tam continuously expands her horizons. Above all, in her work, Tam enjoys directly relating to people, listening to what they say and helping them through their greatest challenges. Tam’s unique ability to work collaboratively with others, along with her extensive network of global VIP’s, has led her to the unique position of being an effective connector who knows exactly how to reach extraordinary people in order to achieve great results. She has earned the trust of a wide range of clients and companies from all over the world.

Tam writes all lines of Property & Casualty Insurance and specializes in high risk and difficult to place risks such as Aviation, Kidnap & Ransom, Fine Arts Risk Management, Malpractice and Entertainment. Tam is a frequent speaker at seminars and workshops on topics related to P&C insurance. She has been published in Private Wealth Magazine, featured in MAR Magazine, quoted as an expert on Security & Risk in the book The Seven Pearls of Financial Wisdom; A Woman’s Guide to Enjoying Wealth and Power, she has been a frequent guest on radio programs such as Martha Stewart Radio regarding insurance related matters and she has written numerous articles regarding Insurance and Risk Management.

In addition to her role as CEO at Capstone Global Insurance Brokers, Tam has a boutique venture banking firm, St. Armand Ventures, which is also well known for providing extraordinary networking experiences for high level executives. Tam is most excited about the cross client opportunities that she is able to develop and work into her business model. Tam has reliable, dynamic partners in all of her businesses and she is excited about collaborating to continue forward with social consciousness, fulfillment and continued success. Tam is the mother of two sons, Seth and Barton, she is also a passionate outdoor enthusiast and a mountaineer. Tam recently climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa and has her sights set on some more of the world’s highest peaks.

Professional website: www.capstonebrokerage.com

Favorite charities: Water School, Catholic Charities, Dress for Success, AIDS Resource

Lt. Erica Arteseros

Lt. Erica Arteseros

Featured in Chapter Five: Crisis and Loss
Erica Arteseros is the Program Coordinator for the San Francisco Fire Department's Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT). Lt. Arteseros joined the Fire Department in December 1997. Since her appointment in March 2004, Arteseros has supervised the training of over 12,200 people in NERT’s disaster preparedness and response classes. In addition, she has expanded the advanced training classes offered to NERT graduates so volunteers can maintain and increase their skill levels.

Lt. Arteseros has also worked extensively with City agencies, the private sector, and individual citizens in pre-disaster planning and training. She has devoted particular effort to reaching underserved areas in San Francisco to offer NERT's free disaster preparedness training. To reach more San Franciscans with personal preparedness information, Arteseros developed a two-hour personal readiness for community resiliency workshop that emphasizes the most crucial aspect of NERT training – how to take care of oneself. NERT has partnered with San Francisco SAFE, Inc., working with organized Neighborhood Watch blocks in addition to individuals and families.
In 2009, Lt. Arteseros became chair of the California Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Workgroup, a group of CERT program coordinators throughout the state who meet quarterly to share best practices, to coordinate CERT needs with state representatives, and to ensure that the state’s CERT curriculum is current and consistent.

A San Francisco native from the Western Addition, Arteseros attended Presentation High School and graduated from Humboldt State University. Lt. Arteseros lives in San Francisco.
Professional website: www.sfgov.org/sffdnert

Favorite charity: Camp Unalayee, sending low income children to the Wilderness for over 60 years

Betsy Blumenthal

Betsy Blumenthal

Featured in Chapter Five: Crisis and Loss
Betsy Blumenthal is a senior managing director in the San Francisco office of Kroll’s Business Intelligence and Investigations Practice. For over 22 years, Betsy has worked on a substantial array of business transactions, many involving multinational corporations and private equity firms. Betsy frequently undertakes pre-transaction domestic and international due diligence investigations and business intelligence assignments.

With a background in finance, politics, and non-profit organizations, Betsy provides her clients with a wealth of diverse experience and business perspective. Responsible for a significant portion of Kroll’s business development activity and client relationships, Betsy’s investigative and advisory expertise are frequently engaged by corporations and high net worth individuals.

Prior to joining Kroll, Betsy served as Deputy Finance Chair for the Democratic National Committee in Washington, D.C. Earlier in her career, Betsy worked in the special equities department at LF Rothschild and Home Box Office.

Professional website: www.kroll.com

Favorite Charities: International Rescue Committee & Legal Services for Children

Mela Garber

Mela Garber

Featured in Chapter Five: Crisis and Loss

A tax principal at Anchin, co-chair of the Firm’s Trust and Estate Services Group, and a member of the Firm’s Family Office/ High Net Worth Services Group, Mela has extensive experience handling all aspects of taxation and planning for high net worth families, their trusts and estates.
In the estate planning area, she utilizes sophisticated tools to ensure maximum savings for her clients. She also advises her clients in charitable gift giving and foundations.

In trust and estate administration, she works closely with trustees and executors, guiding them through complex tax laws and advising them on creative funding of bequests and tax efficient ways of distributing the assets.

In a career that has spanned over 25 years, Mela also has gained valuable experience handling tax and gift audits with the Internal Revenue Service and produces favorable results for her clients.

Mela is a member of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA), the Estate Planning Council of New York City Inc., The Financial Women's Association of New York, and 100 Women in Hedge Funds. She is a frequent panelist/ author on issues related to income and estate planning issues for women.
In addition to English, Mela is fluent in Russian.

Professional website:  www.anchin.com

Diane Giles

Diane Giles

Featured in Chapter Five: Crisis and Loss

Diane Giles, Vice President with Marsh Private Client Services, is responsible for developing new client relationships and introducing them to the Marsh
Personal Risk Management program, which provides asset protection consulting and insurance services for high net worth individuals and families. She has served the insurance needs of her clients for more than twenty years.

Diane began her career as a personal insurance broker and later moved into a management position with Chubb in Washington DC and Philadelphia. She was a “loaned executive” to Chase Manhattan Bank where she built the bank’s personal lines agency and most recently served as AIG’s Private Client Group Business Development Manager for the Mid-Atlantic Region. While completing a degree at the University of Delaware, Diane was active in community cancer fundraising.

Email: Diane.M.Giles@marsh.com

Favorite Charity: Make-A-Wish

Helen Jonsen

Helen Jonsen

Featured in Chapter Five: Crisis and Loss

Helen Jonsen is a leading communicator with a kaleidoscope career as a digital & social media strategist, journalist, blogger, commentator, speaker, advocate for girls and women

Most recently, Helen Jonsen was Director of Digital Media of Working Mother Media, a division of Bonnier Corporation. From March 2009-Feb. 2012, Jonsen held responsibility for overseeing the growth of workingmother.com, diversitybestpractices.com and nafe.com. She was Editor of the flagship, workingmother.com and charged with the business growth of all sites and digital extensions.

In addition to her business responsibilities, Helen proved an engaged journalist at writing about work-life and how it effects American households, family life, and the advancement of women. She launched and spearheaded workingmother.com’s signature series: Most Powerful Moms, focusing on top women in business and the Special Report: Kids with Cancer. Her interviews with high-profiled women included actress Emma Thompson, Susan Sarandon, BlogHer founder Lisa Stone and many more.

Helen has appeared on PBS’ To the Contrary, NPR, Good Morning America and local New York news, quoted in many publications and is a sought after speaker/host at conferences and events.

Prior to Working Mother Media, she was Executive Producer and Senior Editor of the award-winning Forbes.com Video Network, responsible for editorial oversight and the technical team creating daily news and feature production, from studios in New York and Silicon Valley. In 2 years, her team of video professionals and journalists created close to 5,000 videos. The team created market updates, breaking news interviews and discussions with journalists and business leaders, featuring many of the world disruptive thinkers. Steve Forbes introduced her as "our media guru."

Click here for a career resume.

Helen is as comfortable running the business of production as well as in front of the camera with premier guests. Among her roles, she hosted a weekly segment on life-work issues, called “Forbes.com Balancing Act,”  including Britain’s “First Lady” Cherie Blair, celebrity cook Paula Deen, designer Sigrid Olsen, and Accenture CFO Pamela J. Craig, along with feature interviews with Michael J. Fox, Intel's Andy Grove, other corporate CEOs, authors and business leaders.

Prior to Forbes, Helen was an award-winning television journalist working most of her years in New York with stints in New England and Australia – behind the scenes and on-camera covering business, policy and breaking news. She was most familiar on the air in New York City as a reporter for Fox 5 and WPIX 11; and has been on radio and TV nationally and internationally; and is the voice of many television and video projects.

Helen has also been a media consultant for corporations, non-profits, public relations and marketing firms.

She is comfortable in front of an audience and appears at conferences and event as host, keynote and moderator. She focuses on life-work balance, women’s leadership, and communications tools for women, always with a little humor thrown in.

Helen has been published in a variety of media and is the author of several books related to Australia and the English language. (See Books & Bylines)

Helen is a Fordham graduate with a BA in communications/journalism. She is involved with Girl Scouts and a number of charities surrounding childhood cancer awareness/fundraising. Tweet her @Helen_Jonsen

Learn more at helenjonsen.com

Favorite charities: Hope and Heroes (Children’s Cancer Fund), Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, Make-A-Wish Foundation Hudson Valley Chapter & Girl Scouts USA

Tania Neild

Featured in Chapter Five: Crisis and Loss
Dr. Tania Neild is the Founder and CEO of InfoGrate, Inc., a consulting company specializing in information technology solutions for the financial services sector. Dr. Neild has established successful web-based information exchange solutions for clients from the Fortune 100 down to start-ups. InfoGrate supports all aspects of holistic information management, including technology specifications, tool selection and design, data feed integration, operations, data warehousing, reporting, and maintenance.

Dr. Neild’s extensive web deployment experience enables her to consult on complex issues such as crossing applications for general ledger systems, analyzing security master attributes, modeling or tracking relationships, and managing tax or partnership accounting. Within technology infrastructure, InfoGrate has deep domain expertise with the design, customization, and implementation of new technologies and services to align strategic business objectives with tactical requirements, including compliance, disaster recovery, file management, security checks, and vulnerability assessments.

In addition to her work at InfoGrate, Dr. Neild has worked with boutique application service providers. As the CTO and COO of Private Client Resources, she built the technology and the team to implement, operate and service the aggregation, reconciliation and reporting platform. Under her oversight, PCR grew from a family wealth management prototype into a fully operational reporting system that tracked more than $6 billion in assets for over 300 families. While serving as the CTO and Managing Director of EnvestNet Asset Management, Dr. Neild built a separately managed account platform recognized by Forbes in 2001 as “Best of the Web.” Co-founded by Dr. Neild, EnvestNet went public in the fall of 2010.

Dr. Neild’s exception technical skills in distributed data integration and real-time data management result from 15 years of academic and professional applied research. Dr. Neild began her career as an applied scientist for the National Security Agency, which awarded her the prestigious National Physical Sciences Consortium Award to fund her research in heterogeneous database integration. She earned a PhD in computer engineering from Northwestern University and a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer sciences from Emory University.
Professional  website: wealth.infograte.com
Favorite charity: World Youth Alliance

Nancy Ward

Nancy L. Ward

Feauted in Chapter Five: Crisis and Loss
Nancy L. Ward was the Interim Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Ageny (FEMA), hand-picked by her predecessor, R. David Paulison, to serve in his place after retiring on January 21, 2009.[ Prior to her selection by Paulison, Ward served as the FEMA regional director for region IX (which serves AZ,  CA, Guam, HI, NV, CNMI, RMI, FSM and American Samoa).  She returned to this position in May 2009 after Craig Fugate was appointed as Administrator. Ward had served as the regional director for region IX since October, 2006. Prior to that, ,she had served as the administrator of FEMA's Response and Recovery Division in the same region for almost six years.

Ward has served in two details at FEMA headquarters as the Deputy Director of the Recovery Directorate during FEMA's response and recovery operations for the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons. She also served in various senior management positions in more than 20 disasters, most recently during the March and April 2006 severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides in California, and the earthquake in Hawaii. Ms. Ward has received awards for special accomplishments at FEMA, including the 2007 Award for Excellence for her leadership during the California wildfires.
Before joining FEMA, Ms. Ward was Chief of the Disaster Assistance Branch and Deputy State Coordinating Officer for the California Office of Emergency Services. She administered the state’s Natural Disaster Assistance Act  program assistance provisions, which provide disaster assistance funding to local governments for state-level emergencies and disasters.
Professional Website: www.fema.gov

Vikki Ziegler

Vikki S. Ziegler

Featured in Chapter Two: Romance and Marriage and Chapter 5: Crisis and Loss
Vikki S. Ziegler, Esq. is a multi-layered talent: a practicing attorney of matrimonial law and civil litigation; a television personality known for her commentaries on high-profile cases; an active volunteer for women’s and children’s charities; and the innovator of a unique and realistic approach to “divorce management.” Bringing together her insights as a divorce attorney, her childhood experience of her own parents’ divorce, and years of careful listening to clients and friends, Ziegler’s approach seeks to de-stigmatize divorce by allowing its empowering aspects to triumph. Her concrete pre-marital tips help couples avoid the pitfalls that can lead to divorce, and her step-by-step impact-management guide will prevent emotional and financial devastation for those facing the inevitable. Capable, qualified and compassionate, Ziegler holds a folio of accomplishments that speak for themselves.

Ziegler is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she studied Political Science, Sociology and Spanish, and Quinnipiac College School of Law in Hamden, Connecticut. While a student, she served as judicial law clerk to the Honorable Jerome Hornblaas in the Criminal Part of the State Supreme Court of New York and, in Rhode Island, worked for the Public Defender’s office in the Domestic Violence Unit and volunteered at a Battered Women’s Shelter.

Following law school graduation in 1998, Ziegler returned to her home state of New Jersey, where she served as a clerk to the Honorable Michael K. Diamond, presiding Judge in the Family Division of the Superior Court in Passaic County. While under Diamond’s tutelage, she trained as a mediator in small claims and landlord tenant matters, knowledge she has applied to her work as a divorce lawyer. Viewing mediation and settlement as the most beneficial outcome for all, she has successfully settled 99% of her cases to date.

In 1999, Ziegler entered private practice, specializing in the areas of matrimonial and civil litigation. She is a member of the Passaic County, Essex County and New Jersey State Bar Associations, as well as a member of the Northern New Jersey and Family Law Inns of Court. Over the course of her career, honors and distinctions have made steady arrival. She was nominated and appointed by the Supreme Court of New Jersey to the District XI Ethics Committee for Passaic County, a four year term of which she has completed as the Chairperson. In 2006, she was chosen as one of the “Top 40 Lawyers under 40” by the New Jersey Law Journal followed by the same recognition in 2008 by New Jersey Business News for her professional excellence and her commitment to her community. In 2011 and 2010, she was recognized as a rising star in the Super Lawyers Magazine and was named Top 50 Women in Business by the New Jersey Business News in March 2010. For the past eight years she has served as an Executive Panel Chair in Passaic, Morris and Essex Counties, assisting with recommendations for divorce settlement solutions. She also has volunteered her time and expertise to sit as a Moot Court Judge for Rutgers law students. She is currently an Adjunct Professor at Fordham Law School. She was featured in Image Magazine as the "local spotlight" for her achievements in New Jersey.

As an authoritative and motivational speaker, Ziegler shines. She has spoken on how to cope with the pressures of working for a judge and the law clerks role for their tenure at the law clerk “Boot Camp” for the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (New Jersey Chapter), on the First Amendment at the Institute of American and Talmudic Law for Continuing Legal Education for Attorneys, and on divorce and money for numerous accounting firms, including Merrill Lynch. In fact, Ziegler has been chosen to speak at a CPA convention where top accountants are gathering to discuss litigation tactics when facing forensic accountants in the context of trial. She also has taught the two day Family Law Practice seminar for the Institute For Continuing Legal Education with the Honorable Michael k. Diamond for over 150 lawyers. She spoke at the State Bar Convention on Social Media in 2011, for the American Bar Association on Social Media and Divorce, as well as a key note Speaker at the Annual Women's Empowerment Summit this summer. She is a teacher for the Marino Legal Group education new attorneys on Family Law Basics offering CLE credit for participants. She also speaks throughout the country all legal topics.

She is often called on to give her expert advice on television, radio and print for the past several years. She is on HLN/CNN, Fox News and Fox Business Channel weekly. She has been on CNBC, MSNBC, Fox 5, TAlk Soup on E!, ESPN and many other networks. She is also contributing to top publication such as People Magazine, Ok!, Life and Styles as well as www.popeater.com , www.thehuffingtonpost.com and www.hollywoodlife.com. She has been quoted in the NY Times, Washington Times, momlogic.com, E!news.com, yahoo.com, NY Post, Daily News and many others. Her vast media experience has made her a premiere legal expert.

Ziegler currently is awaiting publication of her next book entitled " The Pre-Marital Planner, "A Complete Legal Guide". Her movie entitled “Love, Lies and Litigation” a chick-lit legal thriller will be out in theaters in 2012. Her current published book “Premarital Survival Guide” for those approaching marriage to stay in it for the long haul which is available on her website and on Amazon.com. She also has co-authored legal articles for NY Divorce Magazine and the New Jersey Law Journal, titled “How Can I Keep My Legal Fees Down During My Divorce?” and “Know Your Limits,” respectively.
Professional Website: www.vikkiziegler.com
Favorite Charity: Make a Wish Foundation