We Know How Important Your Financial Stability Is to You
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 uniquely qualified to help ease your tax burden, maximize 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 experts today.
Contact Us Today
Find a New Path to Increased Financial Success
11333 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ, USA
Meet Our Highly-Skilled Financial Advisors
Carmen G. Cercone, CEP®
Founding 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 3 children; Dara, Carly, and Jake.
Tyler Brilinski, CFP®
Phone: 602- 635-7297
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, Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), and Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU).
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 objectivity, logic, and the experience of helping hundreds of similar people achieve 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.
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 unbiased 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.
Thomas Lundgaard, AIF®
Tom graduated from Arizona State University in 1979 with a B.S. in Business Administration, and moved back to Scottsdale in 1994 after living in Vail, CO for 13 years, having spent 8 of those years as a business owner in Vail.
Tom has been married to his wife Libby for 38 years. Their son Thomsen, also a graduate of Arizona State University, lives locally and works in the Technology Industry.
Tom began his work as a Financial Planner in 1996 and has earned his Series 7, 63 and 66 Registrations and works as a full service Financial Planner and is an Investment Advisor Representative of Kestra Investment Services and is a Member at Large of the Financial Planning Association and a Founding Partner of Watermark Wealth Strategies, LLC. Tom has also earned the certification of Accredited Investment Fiduciary®.
Tom also works with small business owners to help them develop and implement their group retirement plans, and works directly with their employees to help them maneuver into and around their group plans.
In his spare time he enjoys Golf, Swimming, and Travel. Tom and his wife were both All-American Swimmers at ASU and remain active in their support of both programs at the University.
“Many individuals say that Financial Planning is just about the numbers. I say it is much more than that. It is also about trusted relationships with a knowledgeable advisor who takes the time to get to know each of his clients and their particular wants and needs. For many individuals that may not know just what their needs are, is where the planner can play his or her biggest and most important role. I feel it is my unwavering belief that every client’s needs are important, and they should be met with the highest levels of care, trust and knowledge. As Investment Advisor Representatives of Kestra Advisory Services, LLC we are bound by a duty of loyalty to our client’s and we must always strive put their needs first and foremost.”
“In my practice, I focus on the key areas of financial concern and develop solutions to best help the individual client reach their financial goals. I also work with small business owners and help them develop and implement their group retirement plans, and work directly with their employees to help them maneuver into and around their group plans.”
“Ultimately, no planning is successful without implementation. “I help each of my clients initiate and fully implement any recommendations we agree as satisfactory and of value to them. Together we will monitor their progress regularly to help ensure that we stay on track towards each of their individual goals.”
“I would personally like to welcome you to our firm and thank you for putting your trust and faith in us to help you reach your goals and I look forward to working together with you for many years to come.”
Aaron Gordon, MCEP®, CFP®
Partner, Financial Planner
Phone: (480) 442-3989
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.
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.
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.
Kevin W. Hostert, CFP®
Visit https://calendly.com/kevinhostert to Schedule a call.
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 and helping them understand their options.”
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. On one assignment, he was selected to work on-site in Australia as part of a special team tasked with implementing a new finance system for a large, local affiliate.
“I grew up working for my family’s excavating business,” 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 golfing. He also enjoys restoring antique tractors and classic cars.
“Growing up, I always spent time working with my dad in the shop,” says Kevin. “We restored old farm tractors and classic Mustangs. Then I got into it myself.”
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.
Matt earned a Bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Arizona. After spending 8 years at Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., he joined Watermark to expand upon ways he can better serve his clients. Matt has a passion for the markets and building long, loyal relationships with his clients. Pride and integrity are Matt’s strengths, which drives the relationship, helping each client reach their individual goals.
Matt is a native of Phoenix, Arizona where he met and was recently engaged to his beautiful fiancé, Kacey. Matt enjoys spending time with Kacey, family, and friends.
Matt holds the FINRA Security Registration Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law), 66 (Uniform Combined State Law), 7 (General Securities) licenses, and Life and Health Insurance Registration.
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 6 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.
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.
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, Samuel.
Executive Assistant to Tom Lundgaard & Tyler Brilinski
Laura Grewe has been in the financial services industry for over 20 years. Laura is a graduate of Indiana University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art and a Minor in Art History. She has also earned her Series 7 (General Securities), 24 (General Securities Principal), 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law), and 66 (Uniform Combined State Law) registrations and is licensed in the state of Arizona. As the Executive Assistant to Tom Lundgaard and Tyler Brilinski, Laura manages preparation, execution, and follow-up of all required documentation and transactions. Laura also coordinates compliance tracking and client review reporting.
Outside of the office, Laura enjoys baking and cake decorating, hiking, and spending time with her husband, Kevin and her dog, Ellie.
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.
Assistant to Tom Lundgaard & Tyler Brilinski
Jeanette has been in the financial industry for a little over 16 years. Jeanette has been part of the Watermark family for about three years. Some of her tasks include scheduling client appointments, document preparation and preparing reports for client meetings.
Jeanette has 4 children, Derek, Allyson, Devin and Amber, ages range from 25 to 6. Outside the office, Jeanette likes to spend time with her husband Matt, kids and 2 dogs and paper crafting.
Director of Client Acquisition & Service
Skyeller has been working in the financial industry since 2010 and currently holds a Series 6 (Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Rep) and a Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law). He also has an Arizona Producer Life Insurance, Variable Life, and Variable Annuity License. Prior to joining Watermark, Skyeller worked for a Broker/Dealer and for a Bank. That experience has given him the opportunity to work directly with clients as their advocate and to assist them with all aspects of their financial needs.
Outside of work Skyeller likes to enjoy spending time with his wife and son. He enjoys traveling with his family and likes to plan outdoor trips to go camping, hiking, and fishing. In his free time, Skyeller likes to watch the latest movies, meet with friends, and build/modify computers.
Client Services/Marketing Specialist
Natalie was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree at the W. P. Carey School of Business within Arizona State University studying Business Communication. In 2017, Natalie begin her professional career with us here, at Watermark Wealth Strategies, to lengthen her knowledge into the financial industry
Natalie coordinates client appreciation and educational events while handling all outbound communications for the firm. Her goal is to keep clients and prospects aware of all upcoming events and firm news. She is focused on creating positive relationships with all clients.
Outside of work, Natalie enjoys traveling, trips to the beach, hiking, and spending time with her friends and family.