Watermark Wealth Strategies believes it is of the utmost importance that our clients guard their personal wealth. As financial advisors with years of experience, we’re sophisticated and qualified to help ease your tax burden, manage your 401k, and navigate complex financial issues. We pride ourselves on our ability to not only competently answer your questions, but to find answers when we don’t have them at hand. To get started, contact our Scottsdale financial professional today.
Our first priority is helping you take care of yourself and your family. We want to learn more about your personal situation, identify your dreams and goals, and understand your tolerance for risk. Long-term relationships that encourage open and honest communication have been the cornerstone of my foundation of success.
2151 East Pecos Road Suite 3
Chandler, AZ 85225
Mon-Thu: 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Fri: 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Aaron Gordon, MCEP®, CFP®
Partner, Financial Planner
Aaron moved from Chicago to Arizona as a young child. He attended Shadow Mountain High School, then served in the U.S. Navy. Following his four years of service, he entered college at Arizona State University, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance. After graduating, Aaron accepted a position with New England Financial, where he honed his expertise for 16 years.
A passion for helping others improve and maintain financial achievement is what led Aaron Gordon to Watermark Wealth Strategies. As a Partner, he has the privilege of joining individuals and families on their road to financial independence by way of all-encompassing, tailored strategies. He’s not only a valuable asset to our firm, he’s also a respected leader in the areas of estate planning and money management. In addition to his Masters in Certified Estate Planning (MCEP®) and Certified Financial Planning (CFP®) designations, Aaron is certified by the Supreme Court of Arizona as a Certified Legal Document Preparer (AZCLDP).
When away from the office, Aaron and his wife, Sara, are busy raising four children, Hunter, Aubrie, Ava, and Sophia. His hobbies range from playing guitar and attending sporting events to working on projects around the house. Aaron also volunteers with St. Mary’s Food Bank and is the Past Board President for The Arc of Tempe.
Allison, born and raised in California, has lived in the Valley since 2009 and has been affiliated with Watermark since April of 2011. She attended Scottsdale Community College and has a background in hospitality and tourism management. As Marketing Coordinator, Allison’s emphasis is client communications. Allison coordinates and arranges client seminars, educational meetings, and client events.
Allison lives in Scottsdale with her son, Sam.
Carmen G. Cercone
Founder Partner, Director Of Estate Planning
Carmen was born and raised in Western New York attended St. Theresa’s Grammar School, Orchard Park High School and the University of Buffalo. Carmen’s career spans 32 years as a Branch Manager with MetLife in Buffalo, NY and agency manager in Las Vegas NV, before co-founding Benefixx LLC. specializing in employee benefit planning affiliated with SunAmerica Securities in 2000.
In addition to his Certified Estate Planning designation, he is certified by the Supreme Court of Arizona as a Certified Legal Document Preparer (AZCLDP).
Carmen’s emphasis on Comprehensive Estate Planning, Wealth Transfer and Legacy Preservation compliments his securities registrations; Series 7 (General Securities), Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent), and Series 66 (Uniform Combined State Law).
Carmen lives in Scottsdale and has 4 children; Dara, Carly, Jake and Sam.
Casey Fox, AIF®
Growing up, financial advisor Casey Fox gained an early appreciation for the inner workings of small businesses at her family’s Midwest-based business. This informal education would ultimately guide her to choose a career where she could partner directly with closely held companies, helping entrepreneurs and their dedicated employees create secure futures.
Once she completed her degree in Economic Management from Gustavus Adolphus College, Casey founded her own practice centered on investment and financial consulting for individuals and locally-owned companies. In 2011, Casey joined forces with Christopher Dock and purchased three other advisors’ practices, establishing Manitou Advisors, LLC, a boutique financial advisory firm focused on retirement planning for small businesses. Constantly looking for ways to expand upon the services offered to their clients, Casey and Chris then merged with Watermark Wealth. Her most rewarding moments are those when she can contribute to others’ lives by assisting them in pursuing their personal and professional goals.
On the weekends, Casey loves to explore the outdoors, whether that involves running, hiking, swimming, fishing, or playing golf. As a former college athlete, she continues to nurture her competitive side on two club volleyball leagues. Casey also enjoys spending quality time with family and friends and expanding upon her already impressive culinary skills.
Catherine has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Arizona. She joined Watermark in 2020 after previously working in the Financial Service industry for over 10 years.
During this time at Watermark she has implemented several systems and procedures that have helped increase efficiency and client satisfaction. She is currently pursuing her Series 7 license in order to elevate her client and advisor services to a new level.
As a Practice Manager Catherine works to implement the the client service model by maintaining strong relationships, day to day operations, routine client account maintenance and addressing client questions or concerns at the highest level.
Catherine has lived in Arizona for over 25 years. She enjoys spending time with her family, friends and attending sporting events.
Chris has worked as an investment and retirement consultant for over 28 years. Prior to starting his own practice in 1999, Chris worked for Deloitte & Touche, Watson Wyatt Worldwide / State Street Global Advisors and Ernst & Young.
Chris specializes in advising companies and individuals on the full spectrum of group and individual benefits: retirement plans and investments; asset-based income streams; medical, dental, and vision coverage; life insurance; and disability insurance.
Chris attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota where he graduated in 1988 with a degree in Mathematics and Economics.
Colin was born in Long Beach, California but has lived in Scottsdale, Arizona since 1993. He graduated from Arizona State University in 2011 and worked for Axon Enterprises in a technology sales consultant role for 6.5 years. Colin joined Watermark Wealth Strategies in 2021 and has enjoyed seeing how clients can benefit from an actionable financial plan and a relationship built on trust and integrity. He holds FINRA Series 7 (General Securities) and 66 (Uniformed Combined State Law) licenses and is also a licensed agent for life and health insurance.
Colin is married and has a 1 year old daughter, Isabella. He enjoys spending time with his family, trying new restaurants and keeping up with soccer, football and basketball leagues.
Jake Cercone, AAMS®
Jake was born in Western New York, has lived in the Valley since 1999 and has been affiliated with Watermark since 2012 after attending the University of Arizona. He is an Accredited Asset Management Specialist, a Registered Representative with Kestra Investment Services, LLC and an Investment Advisor Representative with Kestra Advisory Services, LLC.
Jake resides in Scottsdale.
Founding Partner & Director Of Estate Planning And Administration
James has been in financial services for more than twenty years and is a founding member and partner at Watermark Wealth Strategies, LLC, founded in January 2009. He and four of his partners created the Watermark brand of companies to offer independent and custom advice with investment vehicles and products that best meet their client’s needs and expectations.James was born and raised in Milan, Indiana. He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Indiana State University, where he studied finance with an emphasis in economics and risk management. He is married to Molly, and they have two sons, Tristan and Tanner, and a daughter, Ella.
He is an avid outdoorsman who loves hiking, camping, running, road and mountain biking and swimming. He has completed over 25 marathons and four Ironman triathlons and was the Arizona Individual Time Trial State Champion in 2012. What he loves most is taking his family on adventure trips to hike, bike, camp and explore from the Arizona desert to the northeastern coastline of North America, and everywhere in between.
James volunteers his time by coaching youth basketball and mountain biking. His basketball teams have won major basketball tournaments around Arizona as well as one Valley Championship in 2013. The mountain biking team he helps coach, Cactus Shadows High School Mountain Bike team, finished 3rd in High School State finals in the 2013 inaugural season through the National Interscholastic Cycling Association.
James began his career in the financial services business a stockbroker in 1994. He believes that no two clients are alike, so his process begins by performing a thorough analysis of the client’s current investment portfolio, a risk/reward performance summary and a complete review of their estate planning documents with the focus on beneficiary designations. Once the analysis is complete, he discusses every option that is available and makes recommendations based on the goals and objectives, specific to each individual client.
Before establishing the Watermark brand, James was affiliated with Householder Group for the previous thirteen years: September 1996 until January 2009.
James also specializes in estate planning and estate administration. He focuses on estate preservation through the proper utilization of the living trust and informs his clients on tax savings strategies for their estates and retirement accounts (IRAs, 401k, 403b, etc.). He works primarily with clients of high net worth, who appreciate being able to handle their affairs efficiently throughout their lifetime, and preserve their wealth as their estate passes on to their heirs.
He is certified by the Supreme Court of Arizona as a Certified Legal Document Preparer (AZCLDP) and is registered in securities with his series 7 (general securities), series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law/Blue Sky), and series 66 (Uniform Combined State Law/Registered Investment Advisor) and offers securities through Kestra Investment Services, LLC. As a result of working with a Registered Investment Advisory firm (Kestra Advisory Services, LLC), James is able to provide not only estate planning advice but also financial and investment planning strategies.
Joanne has an associate degree from Erie Community College in New York, has lived in the Valley since 2008, and has been affiliated with Watermark since January 2009. As Practice Manager, Joanne is responsible for coordinating day-to-day operations of the office, including routine client account maintenance and addressing client questions or concerns at the highest level. Joanne routinely utilizes her degree in marketing, business, and graphic design, along with her 13 years of experience in the financial services industry, toward managing strategic processes for efficient operation.
Joanne resides in Scottsdale with her husband, Pat, and has two children, Patrick and Kerri.
Kevin W. Hostert, CFP®
As a Financial Advisor with Watermark Wealth Strategies, Kevin works with individuals, families and business owners and specializes in wealth accumulation, asset protection, and retirement planning.
“I really enjoy taking something complex and making it simple,” says Kevin. “For example, planning for retirement income. I love walking clients through different distribution strategies, helping them understand their options, and best optimizing their finances.”
Before joining Watermark, Kevin served as a financial analyst with a commercial lending firm, where he worked with business owners on financial goals and forecasts.
“I grew up working for my family’s excavating business, doing everything from operating heavy equipment to managing the office,” says Kevin, “so I experienced the challenges and rewards of small business first hand. Working in the family business, and then getting to know so many business owners in my earlier positions, has helped me understand the needs and concerns of my business clients.”
When he’s not working, Kevin enjoys traveling, hiking, skiing and spending time with his wife and daughter (or “munchkin”, as he calls her). He also enjoys restoring antique tractors and classic cars.
“As a kid, I always spent time working with my dad in his shop,” says Kevin. “We restored old farm tractors and classic Mustangs. Then I got into it myself.” Right now, his collection includes three ’50s Farmall tractors, two ’69 Mustangs and a ’53 Ford pickup.
Kevin graduated from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, with a B.S. in Finance. He is a Certified Financial Planner™ professional, holds FINRA Series 7 (General Securities) and 66 (Uniformed Combined State Law) licenses and is also a licensed agent for life and health insurance.
Visit https://calendly.com/kevinhostert to Schedule a call.
REGISTERED ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
Kimberly joined Watermark in 2014 with 31 years of experience in practice management and customer service. Also, Kimberly also owned and operated an independent business for 9 years. Besides holding FINRA Series 6 (Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Representative) and 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law) registrations, Kimberly has her AZ Life, Health, and Variable Annuities licenses. She was also licensed and certified by the State of AZ as a Private Fiduciary for 7 years and assisted CPAs and EAs with tax preparation for 8 years. Before her experience in the financial services industry, Kimberly spent 17 years managing a dental practice and was also a small business owner for 9 years. She prides herself in establishing and maintaining relationships with clients and being a liaison in servicing their needs.
Away from work, Kimberly loves spending time with her family at different sporting events and volunteering for various charitable organizations.
Kyle Richardson, CFP®
Founding Partner, Financial Advisor
Founding partner, Certified Financial Planner™ Professional, and financial planning Fiduciary of Watermark Wealth Strategies, LLC, Kyle has over 25 years of experience in the financial industry. He specializes in developing customized retirement and legacy continuance plans, prioritizing fiscal well-being. Kyle has successfully completed the Series 7, Series 24, Series 63, Series 65, Series 66, and SIE examinations, has professional registrations with Kestra Financial, and holds Life, Health, and Variable Annuity licenses with the state of Arizona and 30 other states.
Kyle prides himself on the long-term relationships that he fosters with his clients. By creating a foundation based on the understanding of each person’s unique needs and objectives, Kyle can help his clients visualize their goals. Kyle avails himself to working with integrity, objectivity, and transparency to help clients and families pursue financial independence and actualize their dreams.
Along with numerous service awards recognizing his dedication to the needs of his clients and practice, Kyle's business acumen and expertise has also been recognized by multiple appearances on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street, broadcasts on Bloomberg radio, and an article featured in Forbes Magazine.Outside of the office, Kyle loves spending time with his family and is an active member of local charity group Chandler Compadres. He has a long bucket list of lifetime challenges he hopes to conquer and enjoys traveling and experiencing new activities.
Marketing and Office Manager
Monica moved to Arizona in 1994 from Michigan, with a bachelor's degree in public relations/marketing, and an associate's degree in audio-visual production from Ferris State University. She joined the Watermark team in 2014, and has been instrumental in the firm's success in providing top-tier client relation services. Monica is dedicated to ensuring that each person who walks through the door is given the time, attention, and respect they deserve.
Monica manages the daily office operations, marketing aspects, social networking, and the coordination of events. She takes special delight in creating fun. enriching, and interactive client events, such as recognition dinners, monthly happy hour events, educational workshops, and spectator sporting events. Giving clients a memorable and one-of-a-kind experience is her primary objective.
Monica enjoys cooking, concert going, reading, spending time with family and friends, and being a mom to three college-attending daughters, and a wee handful of a dog named Mayzee.
Rich Liberante, CPA, MPA, CFP®
PARTNER, FINANCIAL ADVISOR
As a partner at Watermark Wealth Strategies, Rich Liberante’s role is to facilitate the harmonization of our clients’ financial lives. Nothing excites him more than to see an uncoordinated mix of investments transform into holistic plan that accounts for all the complex issues of retirement. This involves taking the pieces of the puzzle and rearranging them to connect clients with their complete financial picture.
After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Arizona State University, Rich went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Professional Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin. He began his career as a CPA with Price Waterhouse, but has since grown his expertise to include a CFP® designation, as well as Series 7 (General Securities), 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law), and 65 (Uniform Investment Advisor Law) registrations.
Formerly a financial wholesaler, Rich spent two decades consulting with advisors on planning product solutions. It was during this time he noticed many of the firms he visited lacked the ability to effectively aid clients in all the areas they needed – investments, taxes, and estates. He set out to remedy an underserved market through the creation of Watermark’s retirement practice.
Those who know Rich best can speak to his adventurous spirit. He is an avid hiker and cyclist who also enjoys water skiing and the occasional helicopter skiing trip to Canada.
Ron earned his Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from The United States Coast Guard Academy. After serving for 11 years as an officer in the Coast Guard, Ron attained the rank of Lieutenant Commander before resigning his commission. With over twelve years in the financial services industry, Ron is enthusiastic about utilizing his estate tax reduction and wealth maximization strategies to help benefit clients. While developing financial plans designed to help, build and preserve wealth, Ron also provides personal service in estate and tax planning, risk management, retirement income planning, and asset protection.
Outside of the office, Ron is involved with his church and also enjoys playing golf, basketball, and coaching youth sports teams. Ron also loves to spend time with his wife of 14 years, Michele, and their four children, Zane (22), Gage (18), Mason (12), and Makayla (8).
Ron has his FINRA Security Registration Series 7 (General Securities), 66 (Uniform Combined State Law), and Life and Health Insurance registration.
Sara is an Arizona native and has over two decades of experience in Marketing and Account Management. As Practice Manager, Sara is responsible for coordinating day-to-day operations including routine client account maintenance and addressing client questions or concerns at the highest level. Sara works closely with our Trust department, and our clients, in the creation of Trust documents. Coordinating enriching, fun and interactive events for our clients is a passion for her. Sara is committed to establishing a warm, friendly and hospitable atmosphere, with the belief that building lasting relationships is the most important thing you can do in business.
Tyler Brilinski, CFP®
Tyler Brilinski has over 25 year’s experience in the financial services industry. He is a graduate of Grand Canyon University and has earned professional financial designations of a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) professional.
Tyler enjoys helping people to plan their retirement by utilizing simple yet proven strategies of wealth accumulation and distribution. He tempers the emotions typically involved in retirement preparedness with customized, logic, and the experience of helping hundreds of similar people pursue the retirement they’ve always hoped for.
Before becoming a financial advisor, Tyler played professional baseball as a member of the Oakland Athletics. Originally from Seattle Washington, he has lived in Arizona for more than 30 years. He and his wife Lorrie enjoy cycling, backpacking, traveling, and spending time with their families.