Advisory Board

James "Jim" Meehan, MSM


Penn Mutual Center for Veterans Affairs

Managing Partner

1847 Financial

As those who’ve served our country know, being in the military is all about teamwork. And since graduating from the Naval Academy in 1986, serving as a naval officer, and then launching a career in the financial services industry, Jim has been passionate about the value of teaming with others to achieve common goals and build strong relationships.

Jim joined Penn Mutual in 2011 as Managing Partner of its Philadelphia agency, 1847Financial, based in Conshohocken, PA. He has since received recognition for several outstanding achievements, including the GAMA International Management Award and the prestigious Penn Mutual Chairman’s Award. Under Jim’s leadership, 1847Financial is continually recognized as One of the Best Places to Work in PA by the Central Penn Business Journal. Jim has also been featured in The Wall Street Journal, ThinkAdvisor, and RIA Central Advisor Newsletter.

Currently, Jim serves as the Chairman of the the Board of The American College. He is also Chair of The American College Center for Veterans Affairs, which partners with Penn Mutual to award scholarships to military veterans and their spouses interested in pursuing a career in the insurance and financial services industry.

Jim graduated in 1986 from the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Science. After serving 5 years as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy, Jim joined CFG in Newtown Square, PA, where he was recognized as Associate Planner of the Year in 1990 and 1991, and appointed Sales Manager in 1992. In 2000, Jim was appointed co-managing Partner at Creative Financial Group and became President of the organization in 2006.

In 2008, Jim earned a Master of Science in Management (MSM) degree from The American College. He continues to be an advocate of the College and their efforts to partner with veterans. 1847Financial also actively supports area charities, including Believe and Achieve, a foundation that provides access to basic needs for at-risk youth in local neighborhoods. In addition, Jim is a member of the Naval Academy Alumni Association, The Philadelphia Union League, Overbrook Golf Club and the General Agents and Managers Association (GAMA).

Jim Petersen, PhD, MSM, MSFS, CFP®, CLF®, ChFC®, CLU®, RICP®, CRPC®, CAP®, CASL®, AEP®

Vice Chair

Penn Mutual Center for Veterans Affairs


First Command Financial Services, Inc.


Jim Petersen joined First Command Financial Services on March 25, 1983 and served in multiple positions in both the field and Home Office. A seasoned executive with almost 35 years of experience in the investment and financial services industries, Dr. Petersen is an expert in the fields of financial planning, retirement planning and leading large financial planning organizations.

Before joining First Command, Dr. Petersen was a commissioned officer in the United States Navy where he served seven years on active duty as a nuclear submariner and retired from the Naval Reserves as a Captain with almost 22 years of service. His expertise included many aspects of nuclear propulsion and submarine warfare.

Dr. Petersen received his Bachelor’s Degree from the United States Naval Academy and Master’s Degrees in Financial Services and Management from The American College. On June 1, 2017, Jim became the first financial services manager to be awarded a PhD in Financial and Retirement Planning from The American College of Financial Services. He is a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®), Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®), Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU®), Chartered Life Fellow® (CLF®), Chartered Advisor for Senior Living® (CASL®), Retirement Income Certified Professional® (RICP®), Chartered Advisor for Philanthropy® (CAP®), Accredited Estate Planner (AEP®), and a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC®). He is a member of Financial Planning Association (FPA), GAMA International, and the Tampa Bay Estate Planning Association. He is also President of the Alumni Board of The American College, Vice Chairman of The American College Penn Mutual Center for Veterans Affairs, and a Trustee for the GAMA Foundation. He serves as Chair of the GAMA Foundation, LAMP Committee. He and his wife, Louise, have three children.


Albert J. “Bud” Schiff, CAP®, CLU®, RICP®

Immediate Past Chair

Penn Mutual Center for Veterans Affairs

Managing Director & CEO

Alvarez & Marsal Executive Compensation and Benefits

Albert J. "Bud" Schiff is Managing Director and CEO of Alvarez & Marsal Executive Compensation and Benefits (A&M ECB).

Formerly, Mr. Schiff served as Chief Executive Officer of NYLEX Benefits, the executive benefits consulting arm of New York Life Insurance Company. Prior to that, he served as Senior Executive Vice President and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York (MONY).

Mr. Schiff is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and holds Pension Actuary (MSPA), Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU®), Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® (CAP®) and Accredited Estate Planner® (AEP®) professional designations.

In addition, Mr. Schiff formerly served in numerous insurance industry leadership roles, including: president of the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting (AALU), chairman of the International Million Dollar Round Table Top of the Table, current member of The American College Board of Trustees, past chairman and current member of The American College Foundation Board of Directors.

He is a recipient of The American College Huebner Gold Medal and its Distinguished Alumni Award. Mr. Schiff has testified as an expert Congressional witness numerous times before the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees and before the U.S. Treasury and Internal Revenue Service on behalf of the life insurance and financial services industries.

Mr. Schiff is a retired U.S. Navy Captain and he is a recipient of the U.S. Navy Supply Corps Distinguished Alumni Award. He is a current member of the U.S. Navy Supply Corps Foundation Board of Directors.

An avid offshore yachtsman, Bud and his wife Jayne reside in Greenwich, Connecticut. The Schiffs have two grown children, Matthew and Kara, and they have seven grandchildren.


Anthony “Tony” Boquet, CASL®, ChFC®, CLF®, CLU®, LUTCF

Vice President, Sales

The American College of Financial Services

Anthony “Tony” Boquet is a native of South Louisiana, and is currently a Vice President at The American College of Financial Services. He has earned the following credentials from The American College: Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU®), Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®), Chartered Advisor for Senior Living® (CASL®), Chartered Leadership Fellow® (CLF®), and Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow® (LUTCF®). He also holds the Series 7, 24, and 63 licenses. For over 30 years, he has been a leader in the financial services industry, much of which has been as a fee based Estate Planner and Financial Planner. He has extensive training in needs based analysis, financial security planning and leadership development. He has also served as an expert witness in insurance related court cases.

Tony has been happily married to his wife Toni Ann for 35 years. They have two children, Thomas and Tiffany. Tiffany and her husband, Mike, have given to them three adorable grandchildren: Madison, Blake, and Tyler. His hobbies are playing guitar, instructing TaeKwonDo and self-defense classes in HapKiDo, riding motorcycles, and reading.


Jessica Choi

Assistant Vice President of Distribution Talent Development

Penn Mutual

As assistant vice president of Distribution Talent Development, Jessica is responsible for leading adviser recruiting, retention, and sales leadership development. She is focused on supporting Penn Mutual’s strategic growth efforts by cultivating talent with passion and strong goals who can envision themselves growing and shaping their career at Penn Mutual; developing and engaging authentic leaders with a collaborative mindset; and promoting high performing culture with a shared sense of belonging.

Jessica has held various positions in diversity and inclusion, human resources, operations, sales, and other corporate functions with companies in the professional services and pharmaceutical distribution industries.

Jessica started her career with ARAMARK and worked in a variety of food service operations roles with increasing responsibilities before transitioning to a human resources function where she developed a high school internship program. Later, Jessica was in charge of leading strategic workforce planning before moving into a sales function where she managed large national account portfolios.

Jessica then became responsible for supplier diversity where she was charged with enhancing the ability to gain and retain business, promote capacity, and create policies that promote operational efficiency. She then led a global diversity and inclusion strategy and managed corporate partnerships with key external and industry organizations that aligned with business goals.

While with AmerisourceBergen, Jessica was the Director of Diversity and Inclusion where she was responsible for integrating global diversity and inclusion practices into business strategies as well as the enhancement of a diverse and high performing workforce.

Jessica was recently recognized as the 2017 LIMRA’s Rising Stars in Distribution. She serves as an Ambassador to the Elevate Leadership Forum by the University of California San Diego, a member of the Board of Directors for the US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce, a committee member of Women’s Business Enterprise Council, and a member of Partners of Excellence with the Women in Insurance and Financial Services. She holds a B.S. from the Pennsylvania State University and an MBA from University of Phoenix.


Michael Corey

Managing Partner

MJC Ventures

With more than 40 years of experience in executive search, Mike Corey is a recruiting industry icon. He specializes in financial services and all lines of insurance, and has recruited over 3,000 executives and consultants worldwide in the private sector, as well as consulting firms, not-for-profit organizations and PE portfolio companies.

Mike is currently the Managing Partner of MJC Ventures, an advisory firm dedicated to the financial services industry worldwide. His activities range from executive search, strategic and succession plan consulting to capital raising for new insurance focused ventures. Prior to creating MJC Ventures in 2011 Mike was formerly with Caldwell Partners helping build their US search practice from scratch. He previously held leadership roles at executive search firms Heidrick & Struggles and Highland Partners, Lamalie & Associates and Ward Howell. From 1984 to 1995, Mike was the sole owner, CEO and senior business developer for the Chicago Search Group, which was the largest insurance-focused boutique, retained search firm in the country. He was involved in the recruitment of insurance executives in all product lines including employee benefits. His major client for many years was Towers Perrin, where he recruited 400 consultants and was responsible for recruiting CEO's and senior executives in the life/P&C/health lines of business as well as numerous PE portfolio companies.

Mike was significantly involved with the Actuarial Foundation as a trustee and a trustee emeritus. He currently serves as a Trustee on the board of The American College. He created and continues to run an event called the Clambake, an annual event for The American College that raises donations for scholarships for Veterans and their spouses at The American College. He formerly served as a board member of Irish Life Assurance Company.


Colonel Gregory D. Gadson

Managing Partner

Patriot Strategies, LLC

Colonel Gregory D. Gadson, a Chesapeake, VA, native, served our nation in the United States Army for more than 26 years. Gadson’s service culminated as the Garrison Commander of Fort Belvoir, where he oversaw the daily operations of the post, a strategic sustaining base where more than 50,000 military personnel and employees provide logistical, intelligence, medical, and administrative support, and command and control for a mix of more than 140 commands and agencies for the Department of Defense.

A 25-year career Army officer, Gadson’s life is a portrait of courage in the face of great adversity. In May 2007, as commander of the 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery, Gadson’s greatest challenge came in Iraq, where an improvised explosive device (IED) attack cost him both legs above the knees and normal use of his right arm and hand. Despite this, Gadson remained on active duty in the Army and continued to inspire many with his message of courage, perseverance, determination, and teamwork. Refusing to be defined by the proverbial “hail of bullets,” he has since drawn upon the lessons of pride, poise, and team, learned as a West Point linebacker, and applied them to his life, career, and family.

Commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant of Field Artillery in 1989 from the United States Military Academy at West Point, Greg served in every major conflict of the past two decades, including Operations Desert Shield/Storm in Kuwait, Operation Joint Forge in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Greg served in various assignments throughout the world. He dedicated himself to leading the soldiers, civilian employees, and family members in living the Army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage. Greg is a passionate advocate for wounded warriors, veterans, and those with disabilities; on several occasions, he has testified before Congress on issues related to these groups.

Greg continues a very energetic and dynamic lifestyle where he continues to serve his nation as an entrepreneur and managing partner of Patriot Strategies, LLC, a government services company. He continues acting, currently in The Inspectors, a family television series on CBS. Greg is also an accomplished photographer/artist and remains active in cycling, skiing, and scuba.

Greg’s military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit (2), Bronze Stars (3), Purple Heart; the Meritorious Service Medal (3) and the Army Commendation Medal (3). He is a graduate of Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and holds masters’ degrees in Information Systems from Webster University, and Policy Management from Georgetown University. He holds an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Webster University.


Thomas H. Harris, ChFC®, CLU®, FLMI

Executive Vice President & Chief Distribution Officer

Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company

Tom Harris, a member of Penn Mutual’s Executive Team, is the executive vice president, Distribution and chairman, Hornor, Townsend, & Kent, Inc., a wholly owned broker/dealer subsidiary of Penn Mutual. In this role, he is responsible for profitably growing Penn Mutual’s life and annuity businesses through strong relationships with our career agents as well as independent producers, who value a direct relationship with the carriers they represent.

Tom leads Penn Mutual’s two distribution channels, the Career Agency System and the Independence Financial Network. His additional responsibilities include Annuity Distribution, Advanced Marketing, Relationship Management, the Life & Annuity Sales Desk, Professional & Practice Development, and Practice Management.

Tom’s career spans more than 28 years in all facets of distribution leadership. Previously, as senior vice president, Prudential Select Brokerage, he was responsible for growing life insurance sales through independent producers. He joined Prudential Select Brokerage in 2002 as vice president, Independent Producer Distribution. In 2004, Tom became senior vice president, responsible for Prudential Select Brokerage, where he grew Prudential’s share of life business written through Brokerage General Agents.

Prior to joining Prudential Select Brokerage, Tom was vice president, Field Sales Support. His team provided advanced marketing, product and promotional support for Prudential’s Individual Life Insurance operation.

Tom is a graduate of Temple University, with a bachelor’s degree in Actuarial Science. He is very active in the industry as a member of the AALU, NAIFA, chair of the ACLI Distribution Committee, co-chair of the ACLI Producer Licensing Task Force, trustee for The American College, and former chair of the LIMRA Brokerage Committee.

Tom and his family reside in Doylestown, PA.


Mark Heinrich, RADM, SC, USN (Ret.)

President and COO


Retired Rear Admiral Mark Heinrich, U.S. Navy, is a General Manager at Microsoft. He leads a multi-billion dollar supply chain which is building Microsoft’s Intelligent Cloud. Microsoft’s mission is to “empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”

Prior to joining Microsoft, Admiral Heinrich was the CEO of AAMSI, an aerospace manufacturing and repair firm located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Additionally, he was a Managing Director with the consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal, which is the premier independent global professional services firm with a reputation for providing leadership, problem-solving, and value creation to underperforming and robust companies across the industry spectrum.

Admiral Heinrich’s naval career spans more than 30 years of leadership experience in operations, finance, logistics, and supply chain management. In his final assignment in the Navy, he served as the Commander (CEO equivalent) of the Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) and the 46th Chief of Supply Corps, where he led 25,000 members of the Navy’s global supply chain practice.

Admiral Heinrich’s professional career has culminated with a focus on creating world class supply chain, manufacturing, and operational excellence. He understands the importance of a mission, a vision, and a set of guiding principles that enable people to be successful. His strengths are in controlling costs, leading large scale operational projects, managing large operating budgets, and getting the best out of people.

In addition to his assignment as Commander of NAVSUP and the 46th Chief of Supply Corps, Heinrich commanded the Defense Logistics Agency’s aviation center of excellence in Richmond, Virginia, and served as the Chief Operating Officer (J-3) of the Defense Logistics Agency in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. In 2008, Heinrich deployed to the Middle East as Director of the United States Central Command’s Deployment and Distribution Operations Center in Kuwait, where he applied deployment and distribution expertise to plan and execute joint and combined force military operations.

A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis with a bachelor’s degree in engineering, Heinrich also holds an MBA from the University of Kansas, as well as a Master of Science in Petroleum Management. In 2012, he was inducted into the University of Kansas School of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Hall of Fame. He also attended the Kellogg Graduate School of Management's Advanced Executive program. He retired from the Navy in November 2013.


Gary R. Sitzmann, CLU®

Sitzmann, Morris & Lavis Insurance Agency

Gary R. Sitzmann, CLU® began his insurance career in 1965 and is recognized as one of the industry’s leading professionals in a number of areas. Gary is recognized as one of the leading insurance planning professionals in the United States, assisting numerous clients in the design and implementation of strategies to preserve and transfer maximum wealth to future generations as well as accomplish successful business continuity plans. Gary has established a national reputation as an industry leader through his leadership roles to Top of the Table, Million Dollar Round Table, California Association of Life Underwriters, and local underwriter associations as well as a guest lecturer to nearly every major insurance association in the country. He served on the M Financial Holdings Board of Directors during 1999-2000 and he was also the Chairman of the M Program Development Committee. Gary has a Charter Life Underwriter® (CLU®) designation from The American College of Financial Services. He currently lives in Orinda, California with his wife, Lindy. Gary has two adult children, Jennifer and Matthew, and four grandchildren, Will, Mac, Marianna, and Chloe.


John "Boomer" Stufflebeem

Independent Consultant

John "Boomer" Stufflebeem is a 30-year U.S. military veteran and former professional football player. Since 2008, he has been an independent consultant advising Fortune 100 companies. He is a noted speaker, mentor, crisis manager, and strategic advisor.

Prior to retiring from the U.S. Navy as an admiral, John was the commander of the U.S. Sixth Fleet and deputy commander of all naval forces in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. He led multi-national forces in combat in Lebanon, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations in Pakistan, and security operations in Africa. He served as the commander of a task force in the Iraq war, and as a war planner in the Pentagon where he was the face and voice to the world via international press on operations against the Taliban in Afghanistan following the attacks of 9/11. Additionally, he honed critical leadership skills serving in the White House carrying the nuclear football for President George H.W. Bush as his military assistant during the crises in Panama and Kuwait. He furthered them in the Pentagon as the chief operations officer for the U.S. Navy as well as global operations director on the Joint Staff.

Stufflebeem was a career warrior and aircraft carrier fighter pilot deploying more than 11 times and eight years to trouble spots around the globe. He is a graduate of the Navy Fighter Weapons School and TOPGUN, flew over 200 combat missions, and landed more than 1,000 times on aircraft carriers. He built his career in positions of ever increasing responsibility until becoming a corporate chief executive as an admiral putting together teams of increasing complexity dealing with international crises in remote locations of the world often with few resources, little guidance, low initial support, and high expectations of delivering success.

John espouses the U.S. Navy SEAL saying, “individuals play the game, but teams beat the odds.” He measures his success today in making others better at their profession ranging from corporate governance to personal performance.


Allen Thomas JD, CFRE, CAP


Thomas Charitable Advisors, LLC

Allen Thomas JD, CFRE, CAP, Planned Giving Officer, has served for the past 32 years as a senior executive in the not-for-profit community with the Devereux Foundation and The American College of Financial Services. He is a fund raising professional who has personally raised more than $54 million of complex gifts in the past 14 years. In his role as Vice President of Advancement, Allen has provided key leadership to a successful $50 million campaign at The American College that concluded at the end of 2014. They have engaged campaign counsel to prepare for a new campaign expected to be approximately $25 million. Allen is a nationally recognized consultant and speaker on philanthropic best practices. He has a particular specialty in gifts of real property and frequently lectures on this underutilized opportunity of giving.

Allen earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from American International College and his Juris Doctor Degree from Western New England University.


Lieutenant Colonel (Ret) Allen B. West

Former Member

U.S. House of Representatives

Media Personality

Lieutenant Colonel (Ret) Allen B. West is a Christian constitutional conservative, combat veteran, and former Member of the US Congress. His life has been defined as one of service, sacrifice, and commitment to this Republic, the United States of America. He believes it will be conservative, free market policies, not politics that secures a sound economic future for Americans – with growth, opportunity and returning the promise of the American dream for this generation and those to come.

Allen West was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia in the same neighborhood where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once preached. He is the third of four generations of military servicemen, all combat veterans, in his family.

West was commissioned through ROTC at the University of Tennessee as a Second Lieutenant (2LT) on July 31, 1982. He entered active duty service in the U.S. Army on November 1, 1983 at Fort Sill to attend the Field Artillery Officer Basic Course. He later attended airborne and jumpmaster training at Fort Benning. West’s first assignment was as an airborne infantry company fire support team leader and battalion training officer in the 325th Airborne Battalion Combat Team. In 1987, he was promoted to Captain and attended the Field Artillery Officer Advanced Course.

He was then assigned to the 1st Infantry Division, where he commanded Bravo Battery, 6th Field Artillery Regiment and was a Battalion Task Force fire support officer for 2d Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment. While with the 1st Infantry Division, he participated in Operations Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.

After redeployment from Kuwait, West served as an ROTC instructor at Kansas State University from 1991 to 1994. In January 1995, he was assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division Support Command as the Assistant Operations/Combat Plans Officer. During that time, West was promoted to Major and selected for attendance to the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and graduated in 1997. Afterward, he became the Operations Officer of the 18th Field Artillery Brigade (Airborne), followed by assignment as the Executive Officer of the 1st Battalion (Air Assault), 377th Field Artillery Regiment. Upon completion of these positions, West was assigned to the II Marine Expeditionary Force in Camp Lejeune, and selected to serve as an Army exchange officer to this headquarters from 1999 to 2002.

West’s culminating assignment to his career was as Battalion Commander of the 2d Battalion 20th Field Artillery, 4th Infantry Division. He assumed command of this unit on June 6, 2002. He deployed with his unit during the Iraq War in 2003 and continued to command his battalion until his retirement from the Army in 2004 after 22 years of honorable service in defense of the Republic.

West's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star; Meritorious Service Medal (two Oak Leaf Clusters); Army Commendation Medal (three Oak Leaf Clusters, one Valor Device); Army Achievement Medal (one Oak Leaf Cluster); Valorous Unit Award; Air Assault Badge; and the Master Parachutist Badge. Lt Col West proudly wears the Army Master Parachutist Badge, the Army Air Assault Badge, the Navy/Marine Corps Parachutist Insignia, the Italian Parachutist Wings, and the German Proficiency Badge, bronze award.

After his retirement from the Army in 2004, Allen taught high school in South Florida for a year before volunteering and deploying to Afghanistan as a civilian military adviser to the Afghan army, an assignment he finished in November 2007.

In November of 2010, Allen was honored to continue his oath of service to his country when he was elected to the United States Congress, representing Florida's 22nd District. As a member of the 112th Congress, West introduced seven major pieces of legislation, and was the original sponsor of H. R. 1246 which reduces costs at the Department of Defense, was passed unanimously (393-0), and signed into law by President Obama as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. Congressman West voted for the Balanced Budget Amendment, and voted for over 30 different bills designed to empower small businesses, reduce government barriers to job creation, boost American competitiveness, encourage entrepreneurship and growth, and maximize American energy production.

West holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and two Masters, one from Kansas State University and another from the US Army Command and General Staff Officers College.

He is a Fox News Contributor, contributing columnist for, and author of Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Family, Faith and Freedom.

He is the former Executive Director of the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas Texas.

West is an avid distance runner, a Master SCUBA diver, a motorcyclist, and in his spare time he enjoys cheering his beloved Tennessee Volunteers.

Lt. Col. West is a legacy life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, life member of the Association of the United States Army and the Society of the First Infantry Division, life member and is a Board of Directors member of the National Rifle Association. Lieutenant Colonel West is an inductee into the University of Tennessee Army ROTC Hall of Fame. He is on the Board of Advisors of Amegy Bank, Dallas Region. In 2016, Lt. Col. West was appointed by Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission. He is married to Dr. Angela Graham-West, a financial adviser, and they have two daughters, Aubrey, who recently graduated with her Masters from Southern Methodist University, now attending Physician Assistant school in West Virginia, and Austen, a college junior in South Florida, enrolled in Army ROTC seeking her Commission upon graduation.


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