LOUIS W. PIERRO, Founding Partner, Pierro, Connor & 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.

LEE SLAVUTIN MD, CLU, AEP (Distinguished), Stern Slavutin-2 Inc.

Lee Slavutin has been in the life insurance business since 1983. Born in Australia, Lee practiced as a surgical pathologist until he came to New York as the chief resident in pathology at Lenox Hill Hospital where he worked as a staff pathologist until changing his career. Lee’s unique medical qualifications are an important part of his specialty, which is serving high net worth individuals seeking substantial life insurance policies. Lee is a well-known public speaker and educator for the legal and accounting professions including the American Law Institute/American Bar Association and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.  He has written and published over 150 articles on the complex legal and technical aspects of securing life insurance for estate tax planning. His text book published by Thomson Reuters, A Guide to Life Insurance Strategies, is in its 11th edition. Lee has served as a director of the Association of Advanced Life Underwriters and the Estate Planning Council of New York. He is on the editorial advisory board of Tax Hotline and is a member of the CCH Estate and Financial Planning advisory board. Lee testified before the New York State Senate in 1990 and worked with the United States General Accounting Office on the effectiveness of the insurance company rating firms.

“Our greatest source of pride in business is supporting our clients to make decisions after they understand all the facts. The client’s best interest comes first; there is never a question about that for us. We pride ourselves in providing technical expertise for those who sometimes need to make irrevocable estate planning decisions.”

Lee lives in New York and East Hampton with his wife Dee. They have two grown children. He enjoys learning the Torah and Tanya (the spiritual roadmap of life based on Jewish mysticism).

RICHARD OREMUS CPA, Partner, Farkouh Furman & Faccio

Rich joined the Farkouh Furman & Faccio team in 1997 and has spent his entire career with the firm. Originally a staff accountant, he worked hard to rise through the ranks to his current role. As a partner, he performs both tax and audit work. Rich specializes in providing full-service accounting for families and small- and medium-size businesses.

A hardworking professional, Rich strives to be attentive to the needs of those around him—both his clients and his teammates. He entered the accounting field because of a desire to help others financially. Rich believes that “hard work beats skill if skill does not work hard.” He credits his career success to his devotion and hard work.

Raised in Highland, New York, Rich currently lives in New Paltz with his family. He likes the area for its abundance of open space. In his free time, Rich enjoys playing sports, competing, and walking.

– Certified Public Accountant (CPA) – New York

– American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
– New York State Society of CPAs

– Pace University, Master of Science in Taxation (2004)
– Clarkson University, Bachelor of Science in Accounting (1996)


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.

JEFFREY CORLISS, CLU®, ChFC®, CASL®, CFP®, Managing Director & Partner, RDM Financial Group

Jeffrey L. Corliss is the Managing Director and Partner of RDM Financial Group at Hightower. He brings over 35 years of financial service experience in both management and direct client services. Jeff upholds RDM Financial Group’s philosophy of comprehensive wealth planning while focusing on the development and implementation of company initiatives.

Prior to joining RDM Financial Group, Jeff spent five years as the Financial Planning Director at Barnum Financial Group, one of the largest financial services companies in Connecticut. He built the organization’s Wealth Strategies Division, providing the financial plans for the clients of more than 150 financial representatives. He also served two terms on MetLife’s National Quality of Advice Committee, which monitors and reviews the quality of financial plans delivered to MetLife’s clients nationwide.

Prior to Barnum Financial Group, Jeff was a Financial Planner at Robert J. Reby and Co., a wealth management practice with offices in three states. He was also Vice President JP Morgan Chase, Chase Investment Services, and Advanced Planning Consultant at Wealth Consultants, Inc., a provider of insurance-based tax-efficient services and estate tax savings solutions. During his early career, Jeff held positions as Senior Financial Consultant at Quick & Reilly (FleetBoston Financial); Agency Director / Field Underwriter at The MONY Group. He was also a Project Management & Industrial Engineer at Grumman Aircraft Systems.

He is a member of the Estate Planning Council of Lower Fairfield County, Inc. He is a former member of the board of the Financial Planning Association of Connecticut, Fairfield County Chapter.

Jeff has been ranked as a top wealth advisor by Forbes and Barron’s. His most recent rankings include placements on the Forbes 2023 “Best-In-State Wealth Advisor” list and the Barron’s 2023 “Best-In-State Wealth Advisors” list. In 2021, he was ranked on Barron’s 2021 list of “Top 100 Independent Wealth Advisors” in America.

Jeff received his Master of Business Administration degree from Adelphi University. He holds Certified Financial Planner®(CFP®), Chartered Life Underwriter®(CLU®), Chartered Financial Consultant®(ChFC®) and Chartered Advisor for Senior Living®(CASL®) designations. Jeff also holds his Series 7, 24, 53, 63 and 65 licenses.

RUTH GRETZ CPA, PFS, CFP®, Executive Director, RDM Financial Group

Ruth L. Gretz works directly with our clients offering advice, guidance and objective, personalized strategies and comprehensive financial planning across the spectrum of wealth management. RDM’s clients include high-net worth individuals, affluent families, and successful business enterprises.

Prior to joining RDM, Ruth had over twenty years of experience providing tax and financial planning solutions to wealthy individuals and their businesses, including family offices, C-Suite executives and investment firms (including hedge funds and private equity funds), as well as mid-tier firms. She has held a variety of positions with some of the world’s leading accounting firms, including Arthur Andersen, Deloitte and as a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch. At RDM, Ruth leverages her broad knowledge of tax, financial planning, and investments to create and deliver comprehensive customized financial plans, investment management and other financial solutions for our clients including insurance, trustee and business valuation services.

Ruth is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), a Certified Financial Planner TM (CFP®), a Personal Financial Specialist TM (PFS) with the AICPA, and holds the Series 7 and 63 licenses and Insurance Producer license. She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. Ruth currently serves on the Advisory Council (Member-at-Large) and the Investment Committee for the Connecticut Society of CPAs. She is also a member of the American Institute of CPA’s (AICPA), the Connecticut Society of CPA’s (CTCPA), the New York State Society of CPAs (NYSSCPA), and the Financial Planning Association (FPA).

Richard Rothberg, high net worth estate planning attorney in new york
RICHARD S. ROTHBERG, ESQ. Senior Counsel, Pierro, Connor & Strauss

Richard’s years of experience as a trusts and estate attorney and leader of professional and not-for-profit organizations have honed his ability to understand the needs of his clients and provide advice tailored to the individual and family needs of clients.

He is a preeminent attorney in the estate planning field, honing his ability to understand the needs of his clients and provide advice tailored to their individual and family needs.

Richard joined the Firm in 2023 with more than 35 years in practice areas including personal wealth transfer planning; estate and trust administration; estate, gift and generation-skipping tax planning; fiduciary income tax issues; estate and gift tax dispute resolution; wealth transfer litigation and charitable planning.

He also counsels clients on marital planning, including legal and financial planning in the context of marriage and the marriages of children and other family members and the preparation and negotiation of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.

Mr. Rothberg has been selected for inclusion in the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America for Trusts and Estates; making this the 27th year he has been honored. Recognition in Best Lawyers® is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor, conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers. He holds a A-V Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell and has also been named to the “Super Lawyers of New York.”

In addition, he has written and lectured extensively on topics related to gift and estate taxation, including contributions to legal and tax journals on the subjects of federal and state estate taxes, retirement plan benefits, S Corporations and the valuation of family businesses.

PETER J. STRAUSS, Senior Partner, Pierro, Connor & Strauss, LLC

Peter Strauss has practiced trusts and estate law since 1961 and has special expertise in the legal problems of aging and persons with disabilities, end of life issues and the capacity of persons with disabilities to execute legal documents with respect to health care. He is a founding member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, a Fellow of the American Academy of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Law at the New York Law School, where he teaches Elder Law and is director of the guardianship clinic.

Mr. Strauss has been selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2024 edition of  The Best Lawyers in America for three practice areas: Elder Law, Litigation – Trusts and Estates, and Trusts and Estates; it is his 16th year of this recognition. He was the recipient of the New York State Bar Association “2019 Attorney Professionalism Award,” given to one attorney in the State each year. He has been honored from 2007 to 2019 as one of the New York Metropolitan area’s “Best Lawyers,” and “Super Lawyer” from 2007 to 2016.

Mr. Strauss is a prolific author and has written articles for various publications including the New York Law Journal and Bottom Line Personal and has addressed many national professional and consumer organizations. He is the author of the consumer book, “The Complete Retirement Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Safeguard Your Money, Your Health and Your Independence,” (Facts-on-File, Inc. 2003).

Mr. Strauss presently serves on the Executive Committee of the Elder Law & Special Needs Section of the New York State Bar Association, the Board of Directors of End of Life Choices New York and JALBCA (Judges & Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert) and the Steering Committee of the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine.

CAROLYN M. GLYNN, ESQ. Counsel, Pierro, Connor & Strauss

Carolyn M. Glynn is Counsel to the firm’s Estates & Trusts Practice Group and specializes in advising high net-worth clients and business owners in the preservation and transfer of wealth.  Based in the New York office, Carolyn develops and implements lifetime and post-mortem estate planning strategies that reduce estate, gift, GST, and income taxes while efficiently carrying out the client’s goals.

Carolyn’s clients include

  • Corporate executives
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Principals at private equity firms and hedge funds,
  • The younger generation of some of New York’s most prominent families

Carolyn has vast experience creating multigenerational wealth plans using a variety of trusts, including GRATs, ILITs, QPRTs, lifetime and testamentary CLTs and CRTs, dynasty trusts, intentionally defective grantor trusts, SLATs, DPTs, and QDOTs, among others.

Carolyn also represents corporate and individual trustees and executors with respect to the probate and administration of complex estates and trusts, IRS estate tax proceedings, Surrogate’s Court matters, trust modifications, and fiduciary accountings.

Carolyn regards every client as unique and believes that a genuine bond based on trust between client and counsel is essential to the success of any legal technique.  In that regard,  Carolyn provides each client with a customized and personalized wealth plan to achieve the client’s financial legacy efficiently and elegantly and continuously nurtures each client relationship with compassion, professionalism, integrity, and accessibility.

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.

Over the past 17 years, he has built a successful track record as a loan officer, with a focus on both residential and commercial lending. In 2007, Frank received his Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist designation from the CMPS Institute in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Today, he offers guidance on a range of lending products, such as purchase and refinance loans, reverse mortgages, commercial financing, construction loans, and portfolio lending programs.

Viewed as an expert on 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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