Meet Our Team

 

Each of our team members has a unique story that sparked their interest in finance, whether it was buying their first stock at age 11 or starting an investment club at age 12. We enjoy working together as a team, leveraging our more than 175 years of combined experience, to take care of our clients during all manners of markets. Even more, we consider our clients family. We love what we do, and we enjoy being able to help our clients daily.

Scott Macolino

Michael Berard
Senior Vice President/Investments

 

Michael is one of the creators of The Founders Group. He works with a select group of high-net-worth individuals and institutions to develop and implement investment plans tailored to their specific objectives and risk tolerances. He believes that each client deserves a financial advisor who delivers highly personalized, well researched guidance and outstanding personal service while adhering to unbending standards of integrity.  With nearly 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, Michael focuses on providing comprehensive wealth management services with an emphasis on seeking portfolio growth and risk mitigation of capital.  He has been named to Forbes' “Best-In-State Wealth Advisors” list for three straight years.1  

Michael joined Stifel in 2020.  He graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1990 with a B.A. in Economics and holds Series 7, 63, and 65 securities licenses, as well as life and health insurance licenses (including annuities).

Outside the office, Michael enjoys spending time with his wife, Meredith, and his two boys, Austin and Remy.  Michael is an avid saltwater fly fisherman and enjoys playing tennis and golf.

1 Forbes “Best-In-State Wealth Advisors,” January 16, 2020, February 21, 2019, and February 15, 2018.  Rankings are based on the opinions of SHOOK Research, LLC, and were selected from a pool of over 29,000 nominations. Advisors are judged on individual contribution, but total team assets are shown, which can include one or more additional advisors.  Qualifying advisors met the following basic requirements: a minimum of seven years as an advisor, a minimum of one year at their current firm, recommended and nominated by their firm, completion of an online survey, over 50% of their revenue/production must be with individuals, and an acceptable compliance record.  The ranking algorithm is based on qualitative measures derived from telephone and in-person interviews and surveys; service models, investing process, client retention, experience levels, review of compliance records, firm nominations, etc.; and quantitative criteria, such as assets under management and revenue generated for their firms.  Investment performance is not a criterion.  Neither SHOOK Research nor Forbes receives compensation from the advisors or their firms in exchange for placement on a ranking.  The ranking may not be representative of any one client's experience and is not indicative of the financial advisor's future performance.  Forbes is a registered trademark of Forbes, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

Scott Macolino

Richard Dworsky
Senior Vice President/Investments
Portfolio Manager – Solutions Program

 

Co-creator of The Founders Group, Ricky has been in the investment industry since 1983 and joined Stifel in 2020.  As a portfolio manager in Stifel's Solutions Program, Ricky specializes in managing his clients' assets on a discretionary basis, with an emphasis on equity research, portfolio hedging strategies, and overall asset allocation.  He has been managing discretionary portfolios since 1986 and has been managing client portfolios for other financial advisors since 1993.  In his 35-year tenure, Ricky has gained extensive experience with options trading, technical/fundamental analysis, and equity selection.

Ricky graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in both Psychology and Philosophy in 1978.  He holds Series 7, 63, and 65 securities licenses, as well as life, health, and variable insurance licenses (including annuities).

Ricky loves trading and helping his clients manage their wealth, but when he leaves the office, he enjoys spending time and taking trips with his wife of 30 years, Diane.  Ricky also likes to cook, preparing everything from paella to Thanksgiving dinner.

 

 

 
Dale C. Teat

Frank Dworsky, CFP®
Senior Vice President/Investments

 

Frank specializes in constructing customized strategies designed to suit each individual client's needs.  He does this through a consultative process, where he gains a detailed understanding of each client's goals.  He then uses this information to build a comprehensive wealth management strategy.

Frank has more than 41 years of experience working with high-net-worth families. 
During his extensive tenure as a financial advisor, 22 years were spent as a Branch Manager and Divisional Manager.  Frank is passionate about what he does, and feels fortunate to be able to continue to work with such wonderful clients and colleagues.  He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Political Science.  Frank earned the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) certification from the College for Financial Planning and holds Series 7, 8, 63, and 65 securities licenses, as well as life, health, and variable insurance licenses (including annuities).


Frank loves working at Stifel and with The Founders Group. Outside the office, Frank likes to spend time with his wife, Carole, and their four children and seven grandchildren.  Frank also enjoys golfing and is a keen world traveler. Having traveled to four continents in the past few years, Frank and Carole hope to visit the other three soon.

 

 

 

Photo of Maryann Distasio in Stifel blue and orange

David Bomar
Vice President/Investments
Portfolio Manager – Solutions Program

 

David has nearly 15 years of experience in the financial services industry and began his wealth management career in 2005.  He works with high-net-worth clients and is responsible for developing tailored asset allocation strategies, implementing client portfolios, selecting money managers, guiding clients on both the overall market and individual securities, and other investment-related decisions. Prior to this role, David was an analyst, participating in overall business development by customizing financial plans/asset allocation proposals, analyzing investment portfolio holdings, and designing tailored reporting for new and existing clients.

David joined Stifel in 2020.  He graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication and holds Series 7, and 66 securities licenses, as well as life, health, and variable insurance licenses (including annuities).

David enjoys spending time with his wife, Brooke, their three young children, Jack, Logan, and Wes, and is passionate about UNC Football and supporting efforts to find a cure for Pitt Hopkins Syndrome.

 

 

 

Photo of Maryann Distasio in Stifel blue and orange

Vanessa Haythorn, CFP®
Financial Advisor Associate


Vanessa focuses on building client and prospect relationships and assisting the team in developing customized investment plans suited to clients' financial goals. Working in a collaborative environment, Vanessa strives to consider individual and family needs through an in-depth discovery process in an effort to provide an optimal path for each client.  She utilizes fact-finding tools to account for financial strengths and weaknesses, culminating in a calculated approach to investment planning and wealth management.


Vanessa has over 11 years of experience in the financial services industry and joined Stifel in 2020.  She holds Series 7, 9, 10, and 66 securities licenses, as well as life, health, and variable insurance licenses (including annuities).

In her free time, Vanessa enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband, Michael.  They also have two dogs, Dallas and Sydney, who they enjoy spoiling together.  Her other interests include reading and relaxing on the beach.

 

 

 

Photo of Maryann Distasio in Stifel blue and orange

Gayle Bomar
Financial Advisor Associate

 

Gayle has more than 40 years of experience in the financial services industry, both as a Branch Manager and Financial Advisor.  He has a passion for what he calls the “F's” in his life:  Faith, Family, Friends, Financial markets, his Founders Group partners, his favorite sport, Football, and the Future!  He believes strongly in the phrase:  “Do what you say you're going to do, and make your word your bond.”  He also says often:  “Doing business with honesty and integrity, and always putting our clients first, is the mantra of every member of our team.”

What Gayle likes most about his role on the team is spending time developing relationships with clients and their families, some of whom he has worked with for more than 25 years.  He also enjoys spending time researching different companies and investment strategies to help clients pursue their goals while mitigating as much risk as possible.

 

He was a three-year football letterman while at UNC, quarterbacking the Tar Heels in the late 1960s and was named Co-Captain and MVP of the 1968 team.  He joined Stifel in 2020 and holds Series 7, 63, and 65 securities licenses, as well as life, health, and variable insurance licenses (including annuities).
 

Gayle is passionate about his clients and his work, but when he's not working, he enjoys spending time with his wife of nearly 50 years, Margie, his four adult children and their spouses, and their 11 grandchildren.  In his leisure time, Gayle loves playing golf and watching other sports, especially football.

 

 

 

Charlie Sampson
Portfolio Analyst

 

Charlie has been providing outstanding client service within The Founders Group since 2012. She primarily assists with investment research and is responsible for a wide range of administrative and operational support duties.  She is known as our clients “go-to,” and is essential in making sure our team stays organized and runs smoothly and efficiently.

Charlie enjoys spending time with her family, and she loves to cook.  While she loves her college town of Chapel Hill (Go, Heels!), you will often find her enjoying and exploring her current home near Downtown Raleigh.  She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2012 with a B.S. in Psychology and holds Series 7 and 66 securities licenses, as well as life, health, and variable insurance licenses (including annuities).

 

 

 

Megan Prendergast
Senior Registered Client Service Associate

 

Megan performs a wide range of administrative and operational support duties for our group alongside Charlie and Maria.  She provides exceptional client service, and is well rounded in all team-related duties. She is essential in keeping our team organized and efficient.

Megan is a native of Baltimore and loves the Orioles and eating crabs. She also enjoys spending time with her family (especially her dog Callie) and going to the beach.

Megan just joined the team in June 2019, but has been in the industry since 2013.  She is registered with her FINRA licenses Series 7 and 66, as well as life, health, and variable insurance licenses (including annuities).

 

 

 

Maria Storozheva
Registered Client Service Associate

 

Maria began with The Founders Group in 2018 and joined the team with Stifel in 2020.  Originally from Russia, she moved to the United States and graduated from East Carolina University.  Maria was also a Division 1 Athlete at ECU, received a full scholarship to play tennis, and was a team captain during her senior year.

Maria has always wanted a career in the financial industry.  Her experience as captain of the ECU tennis team gave her exemplary team building and leadership skills, both of which complement her position within The Founders Group.  She is dedicated, a quick learner, and works alongside both Charlie and Megan.  She holds the Series 7 and 66 security licenses.