LOUIS W. PIERRO, Founding Partner, Pierro, Conner, & Strauss, LLC

Louis W. Pierro is the Founder and Principal of Pierro, Connor & Strauss, LLC, a law firm with offices in New York City, Albany, Long Island and additional locations, serving clients in the areas of Estate Planning, Estate and Trust Administration, Business Succession Planning, Elder Law and Special Needs Planning. Mr. Pierro is a frequent speaker across the country on legal issues relating to estate planning, elder law and business planning.

Mr. Pierro is also a Founder of ElderCounsel, a national membership organization of Elder Law and Special Needs law firms, where he now serves as a consultant. It provides proprietary document drafting software and education to over 1400-member firms in all 50 states. Most recently, he founded ApolloCare, LLC, a business that integrates home care coordination (EverHome Care Advisors), with connected home health technology (VivaLynx) providing seniors, families, and caregivers unique opportunities to live independently in their own home.

Mr. Pierro is selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2024 edition of  The Best Lawyers in America for Elder Law, and Trusts and Estates; his 16th year of recognition by Best Lawyers. He was also selected by his peers as Best Lawyers “2022 Lawyer of the Year” for Elder Law in New York’s Capital Region; an honor he also received in 2018 and 2014. He has been recognized by Best Lawyers for Elder Law and for Trusts and Estates and by Super Lawyers for 15 years, and has been selected to the Best Lawyers in America, The Best Lawyers in New York, Super Lawyers of the Hudson Valley, Top 25 Lawyers in Upstate New York, and New York Times Top Attorneys in New York. In addition, Mr. Pierro has maintained an AV preeminent rating from the Martindale-Hubbell since 2001.

Mr. Pierro is currently a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys; the American Bar Association, Probate and Trust Section; the NYS Bar Association Trusts and Estates and Elder Law Sections; and the Albany County Bar Association.

A graduate of Lehigh University and Albany Law School, Mr. Pierro was admitted to the New York State Bar in January of 1984, and is licensed to practice in all New York State Courts, the US Supreme Court and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

DAN NOLAN, President and CEO, Graypoint LLC

Dan is the CEO & President of Graypoint LLC and serves as a member of the Investment Advisory Council. Dan joined Hugh Johnson Advisors in 2010. Dan spent 28 years as a partner at The Ayco Company, L.P. providing tax, investment and financial planning advice to Ayco’s highest net worth clients. He founded and led the firm’s Special Investment Group, creating venture capital, private equity and hedge fund opportunities for the firm’s clients. Dan spent three years as Senior Vice President, Strategic Alliance at Goldman Sachs integrating Ayco into Goldman’s Private Wealth Management practice following the sale of Ayco to Goldman Sachs. He serves as trustee for Albany Law School and is a trustee of The College of Saint Rose and the Center for Disability Services Endowment Board. Dan received his undergraduate degree in Finance from the University of Albany and his JD from Albany Law School.

SEAN LEONARD, Chief Investment Officer, Graypoint LLC

Sean Leonard joined Graypoint LLC as the Chief Investment Officer in 2020 and is a member of the Investment Advisory Council. Prior to that, Sean was a Managing Director and the Chief Investment Officer for the Rockefeller Capital Management Family Office, where he worked with a wide variety of advisors, client families and institutions to solve client needs in a risk and tax efficient manner. Before Rockefeller, Sean was the Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer at Ayco, a Goldman Sachs Company, working with several hundred advisors to solve needs for a wide spectrum of clients starting with mass affluent up through ultra-high net worth. His previous experience includes 10 years as a buyside generalist small cap analyst. Sean earned a Bachelor of Arts of Mathematics with a concentration in Theoretical Mathematics from the University at Buffalo, an MBA from the University at Albany and is a Chartered Financial Analyst. Sean serves on the Board of Directors for the Saratoga Performing Arts Center and is a member of the JP Morgan Advisory Council.

NATHAN SCHROEDER, Senior Manager, Empire Valuation Consultants

Nathan is a Senior Manager at Empire Valuation Consultants, where he has worked since 2008.

Nathan has prepared a wide variety of closely held business valuations across a broad spectrum of industries. He has valued derivative instruments, carried interests, intangible assets, and equity and debt interests for diverse purposes, including those of tax planning and reporting, lending purposes, financial and Securities and Exchange (SEC) reporting (including ASC 350-20 impairment testing and ASC 820 fair value measurements), ESOP purposes, and other corporate planning and reporting purposes.

Nathan has extensive experience in valuing carried interests in private equity and hedge funds, as well as valuations of limited partnership interests in such funds.

Prior to joining Empire, Nathan worked as a senior analyst in the financial planning and analysis team at Investors Bank & Trust, where he was responsible for generating a rolling 3-year corporate forecast resulting in EPS guidance.

GARY SANCILIO, Partner, Affinity BST Advisors

Gary Sancilio has been in the financial services industry for thirty-four years and is transforming how wealth management is done. With a background in law, Gary brings his no-nonsense style and unique perspective to counseling his clients. He knows his clients have accumulated their wealth through hard work, but may not know how to manage their assets to their fullest potential. Unlike financial service professionals who focus on product knowledge, Gary focuses on knowing his clients personally and building lasting client relationships. From there, he works with each individual or family to develop a comprehensive financial strategy and plan, and – if appropriate – to implement investing or product strategies that help families accomplish their financial objectives.

He holds his Juris Doctor degree from St. John’s University of Law. Upon admission to the New York Bar, he served as an Appellate Court Attorney, an Assistant District Attorney in New York City, and an attorney in private practice. His years of legal experience provide him with a keen awareness of integral parts of comprehensive planning: this list includes financial and estate analysis, wealth management and transfers, elder law care planning, estate administration, estate and gift taxation, and business and succession planning. He also collaboratively works with clients’ tax and legal counsel to form cohesive financial management plans. Though he is no longer a practicing attorney, he remains a member of the Trusts and Estates Section of the New York State Bar Association.

Gary began his financial services career working for John Hancock and AYCO, now a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs. In 2002, Gary created The Affinity Group, LLP, with Nick Preddice to create a new approach to client service and to provide a more comprehensive financial planning experience. Now Affinity BST Advisors, Gary continues to provide a strong and steady presence for clients.

Gary is dedicated to serving the community by supporting several local charitable organizations with his time and financial support. His current philanthropic endeavors are channeled through his active participation in the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which was established to grant wishes to children with life-threatening conditions.


John is a Principal in the Tax Department. He joined MMB + CO as an independent consultant in August of 1999. He has over 20 years of experience in providing accounting and tax service to high-net worth individuals, families, small businesses, charities and corporate executives as well as physician offices and physicians, construction and development companies, retail and hospitality, and the entertainment industry. John graduated from The College of Saint Rose with an Accounting degree in 1998 and received his Masters of Taxation from The State University of New York at Albany in 1999. Prior to joining MMB + CO, John was a Principal (Owner) of ADK Tax LLC of Clifton Park. Before that he was a Tax Director with Ayco for nearly a decade, and a Tax Manager for firms in Atlanta, GA and Myrtle Beach, SC.

John is a native of Schenectady, he currently resides in Clifton Park with his two sons.

FRANK MELIA, Division Manager, Contour Mortgage

Frank Melia has worked in the financial services industry since 1990, working as a financial advisor for the first 10 years of his career.

Since 2000 he has built a successful track record as a mortgage loan originator, with a focus on both residential and commercial lending. In 2007, Frank received his Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist designation from the CMPS Institute.

Today, he offers guidance on a range of lending products, such as purchase and refinance loans, irrevocable trust borrowing options, reverse mortgages, & construction loans.

Viewed as an expert in the mortgage industry, Frank can be heard on “Ask the Lawyer with Mike Connors,” a weekly radio program broadcast on AM 970 The Answer and AM 570 WMCA in New York City.

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Jacob D. Verchereau, Associate Attorney, Pierro, Conner, & Strauss, LLC

Jacob Verchereau joined the Capital Region office of Pierro, Connor & Strauss, LLC as an associate attorney in 2022. He practices estate and trust litigation, special education advocacy, business planning and labor and employment law.

Jacob has been selected by his peers for the first time with recognition by Best Lawyers as 2024 Ones to Watch in America® in the practices of Education Law and Elder Law.

After graduating from college, Jacob began his career as a Special Education Advocate & Paralegal. For over seven years he worked for a reputable Manhattan-based law firm that advocates for students with special needs. As an Advocate, Jacob would often attend Committee on Special Education (“CSE”) meetings alongside parents, providing them with assistance in the development of their children’s Individual Education Programs (“IEP”) and/or 504 Plans. When disputes arose with local school districts, Jacob assisted attorneys in all phases of the administrative due process procedures provided by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”). This often involved impartial hearings and appeals to the State Review Officer.

Following several years working in New York City, Jacob returned to his hometown of Troy, New York in 2015. In law school, he was active in the interscholastic moot court program. Jacob competed on the ABA Negotiations Team and ABA Client Counseling Team. He was an Editor of the Albany Government Law Review and held several notable internships including the New York State Education Department’s Office of State Review, Albany Law School’s Community Development Clinic, and Prisoners’ Legal Services of Albany.

After law school, Jacob served as Counsel to the School Administrators’ Association of New York State (“SAANYS”), working as a public-sector, labor-side Labor & Employment attorney. In that capacity, he represented public school & BOCES administrators and civil service employees in a wide range of employment-related matters. Jacob is experienced in contract negotiations & collective bargaining, disciplinary matters, grievances, appeals to the Commissioner of Education, matters involving the Public Employment Relations Board (“PERB”), Article 78 proceedings, and a wide range of other human resource and employment-related matters.

Jacob is devoted to educating parents about the rights of their school-aged children with disabilities to make meaningful progress in their education and has given presentations to organizations including Best Buddies and Hi-5 Sports. He is also a regular host of the Firm’s weekly radio program, Life Happens on Saturday’s at 11am, WGY iHeart Radio.

At home, Jacob is a new father of a daughter Keira born in April 2022! He enjoys yoga, traveling with his wife, and playing with their two cats, Wynn and Leo. He is also an avid snowboarder and enjoys spending his free time in the mountains.

Theresa Skaine
THERESA SKAINE, Corporate Planning, Pierro, Connor & Strauss, LLC

Theresa Skaine practices in the areas of corporate law and commercial real estate law. Her clients are small to medium size companies, real estate developers, banking institutions and economic development entities.

Ms. Skaine counsels her clients in the areas of business formation and expansion, merger/acquisition transactions, contract negotiation, leasing, property purchases, financing and not-for-profit corporate regulatory compliance. Prior to her work with Pierro, Connor & Strauss, Ms. Skaine formed Skaine & Associates and was a Member of the law firm Lemery Greisler LLC and acted as managing member from September 2009 to April 2014. There she played an instrumental role in the development of several large-scale projects in the Capital Region, including the Luther Forest Technology Campus and the Great Escape Indoor Water Park.

Ms. Skaine earned a J.D. (cum laude) at Boston University School of Law and a B.A. in Political Science and French at Colgate University.

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