444 Liberty Ave. Suite 750
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-1207

Phone: (412) 497-1750
Fax: (412) 338-0241

Our Team

We believe that our firm is our people. Our team members are not simply order-takers…they think before they act and take pride in what they do. They are people who are dedicated to the highest work quality, meticulous attention to detail, continuing education, and an esprit-de-corps attitude. Our team believes in an older, more enduring service mentality that encompasses values such as personal attention, empathy, sincerity, anticipation, discretion, trustworthiness, and follow-through. Unlike the staffs of many other insurance firms, our team focuses most of their time servicing existing clients rather than developing new clients.

Leadership

Beth Lang is one of the founding shareholders of Gateway Financial and has served as Chief Operating Officer since Gateway’s inception. In this role, Beth is responsible for the development and implementation of firm-wide policies, procedures, systems, processes and standards as well as the management and oversight of staff and office administration. With over 30 years of technical expertise and a strong background in the legal, accounting and tax issues pertaining to insurance funding strategies, Beth also leads and oversees Gateway’s insurance proposal development and implementation team. Beth entered the life insurance profession with Gateway Financial in 1981 following a six-year career as a high school mathematics and computer science teacher. Beth is frequently invited to speak at industry seminars on topics ranging from wealth transfer and executive benefit plan designs to the operational efficiencies of insurance firms. She has been published in the Journal of Accountancy, Best's Review and Estate Planning.

Beth's professional associations include: The Advanced Association of Life Underwriters and Legislative Circle, Pittsburgh Life Underwriters and Pittsburgh Chapter of CLU. She served as the Vice-Chair and Treasurer of the PA Lawyer's Fund for Client Security and is a former Member of the PA Supreme Court Investment Advisory Board. Beth holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Pennsylvania State University, a Masters of Business Administration from Duquesne University and a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) from The American College at Bryn Mawr.

Beth is a registered representative of M Holdings Securities, Inc., California Insurance License Number 0K86166.

As President and Chief Executive Officer of Gateway Financial, David J. Malone has 30 years of insurance industry experience, having earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Allegheny College, in addition to a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) degree and a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) degree from The American College at Bryn Mawr. David is a member of various industry associations and is heavily involved in the community on local, regional, and state levels. David serves as Chairman of the Pennsylvania State Workforce Investment Board, Chairman of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, Vice Chairman of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, Chairman of YouthPlaces, and serves as a Director of FNB Corporation and the Western PA Surgery Center. In addition, he is a board member of the United Way of Allegheny County, The Pittsburgh Foundation and is a Trustee of Robert Morris University and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation.

David is a registered representative of M Holdings Securities, Inc., California Insurance License Number 0C26326.

Team Members

Margaret Archinaco joined Gateway Financial Group over 12 years ago following a career with a national actuary consulting firm. Margaret is involved in every aspect of the insurance acquisition and post-sale services Gateway provides for its clients. She is involved in client planning meetings where she interprets the fact finding information, determines the market approach, drafts initial proposals and preliminary market studies, manages the underwriting medical process directly with the client and in-house team, runs final analysis and works with case designers to stress-test products, and prepares and presents final recommendations to the client and advisor team. After the life insurance has been placed, Margaret oversees all post-policy-issue service events and requirements, including meeting with clients on a regular basis to review policy performance and manage expectations, preparing split dollar and trust-owned policy premium billings and cash value and reportable income reports; and, overseeing Section 101(j) compliance.

Margaret serves on the Estate Planning Council of Pittsburgh and is a member of the National Association of Professional Women. Margaret holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Villanova University and a Certified Retirement Counselor (CRC) designation from The International Foundation for Retirement Education.

Margaret is a registered representative of M Holdings Securities, Inc.

Amy Azzarello has been with Gateway Financial for 12 years and provides executive administrative support to the President and CEO.  In this capacity, she is responsible for maintaining meeting schedules, appointments and travel arrangements, preparation of correspondence, coordination of special events and event publications, record retention, streamlining of electronic mail correspondence, analyzing and summarizing proposals and other documents, and communication with other high level executives, clients and local/state officials.

Amy earned a Bachelor of Science from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and is a member of the Society of Executive Support Professionals.

Francesca is responsible for the day-to-day oversight of client health plans and welfare plans including account service issues such as claims resolution, eligibility maintenance and billing. She also supports our Client Managers with data entry, spreadsheet development, marketing coverage, and Benefit Program Analysis. Additionally, Francesca assists our consultants in preparing sales and marketing materials, plan renewals, annual required notices and wellness initiatives. Clients will see Francesca’s name frequently as she serves as Gateway’s wellness newsletter distribution coordinator.

Francesca graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in May 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science and a minor in Statistics.

Tracy is responsible for plan analysis, design, implementation and management of large employer health and welfare benefit programs. Her responsibilities include developing cost management strategies through marketing, creative plan design, carrier negotiations, and wellness initiatives.

Ms. Byrne has over 30 years of employee benefits experience with national and local insurance carriers including 16 years with a national consulting firm.

Tracy holds a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business & Marketing from Robert Morris University. Tracy is also working towards her Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) designation.

Nicole Cosnotti is responsible for administrative, operational and compliance related issues that impact the client experience. Nicole came to Gateway Financial with 15 years of experience in the financial services industry, most of which has been spent organizing and managing the back office of independent financial advisory firms. Additionally, Nicole provides product and illustration support to facilitate product selection, approval, and issuance of insurance related products. She has a Bachelor of Science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and maintains the Series 7 and Series 66 licenses.

Nicole is a registered representative of M Holdings Securities, Inc.

Kelly Chermak provides product and illustration support to facilitate product selection, approval and issuance of insurance and annuity policies.  She assists the Director of Client Services in maintaining workflow management reports for cases in progress and provides post-issue policy support.  Kelly analyzes new products and reviews existing insurance portfolios for performance and market competitiveness.  Prior to joining Gateway Financial, she taught high school mathematics for 7 years.  Kelly graduated from Robert Morris University with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics and has earned a Masters of Science in Instructional Leadership.

Wanda Harper has been with Gateway for her entire 29-year professional career. Her primary responsibility is the preparation of Policy Benchmark Reports for the policies that Gateway placed as well as for our clients’ policies that were placed by other agents before Gateway’s involvement, but Gateway now administers. These reports summarize the policy’s ownership and product structure, track premium payments, identify changes in post-issue pricing elements, project policy performance going forward based on several alternative cash value rate scenarios, report on any changes in the carrier’s financial ratings and provide financial models and projections of recommended changes. Wanda is also responsible for the preparation of “Trust-Owned Policy” reports, which are sent in January of each year to clients (and their gift-tax return preparers) who have insurance owned by irrevocable trusts and family limited partnerships. These reports provide premium histories and remind the client of the potential gift-tax exposure that the premiums generate. Wanda attended Penn State University and holds a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) from The American College at Bryn Mawr. She is President of the Board of The Neurofibromatosis Clinics Association (NFCA), a local non-profit organization dedicated to individuals and families dealing with this disease.

Jennifer Heiskell provides product and illustration support to facilitate product selection, approval and issuance of insurance and annuity policies. She assists the Director of Client Services in maintaining workflow management reports for cases in progress and provides post-issue policy support. Jennifer analyzes new products and reviews existing insurance portfolios for performance and market competitiveness. Prior to joining Gateway Financial, Jennifer worked in small business development. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Science in Economics.

Patricia (Patty) Hesidence is responsible for the daily administrative duties of managing the offices of a Principal and a Senior Associate of Gateway Financial.  She also collaborates with various departments in the implementation of new business and provides client services and administration.  Prior to joining Gateway Financial Patty worked for a large insurance company in claims investigation  and later as the administrative assistant to the manager of the death claims division. Patty has been with Gateway Financial for 27 years.

Susan W. Klixbull is responsible for plan analysis, design, implementation and management of welfare benefit programs.  Her responsibilities include developing cost management strategies for medium and large plans and assisting in securing custom price and policy terms for employers.

Susan’s experience includes developing integrated cost containment solutions and administrative efficiencies.  For over 26 years, Susan was a group benefits consultant for national consulting firms in several capacities. Susan also supervised the claims examination and service departments for a regional third party administrator. Susan holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Muskingum University. She previously served on the Board of Directors of Ohio Valley General Hospital and was a charter member of the Pennsylvania Medical Society Patient Advocacy Board. 

Richard (Rick) Lerach holds a Bachelor of Science in Management from the Smeal School of Business at the Pennsylvania State University. Additionally, Rick holds the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) and Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®) designations. Rick began his career in corporate banking in Chicago, working with real estate investment trusts (REITs) and national homebuilders. Prior to joining Gateway Financial, Rick spent 10 years at a global brokerage firm as a Senior Portfolio Manager, helping individuals and institutional clients with their investment and financial planning needs. Rick currently serves on the board of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, the Mt. Lebanon Community Endowment, and the Financial Planning Association of Pittsburgh.

Rick is a registered representative of M Holdings Securities, Inc. California Insurance License Number 0H36532.

Yvonne Lindsey is responsible for providing administrative assistance and managing the office of a Principal of Gateway Financial. She is responsible for the accounting of the Employee Benefit Analytics Department and also assists the Human Resource Departments of Employee Benefit Clients with service issues such as billing, employee eligibility and claim issues. In addition, Yvonne is responsible for the licensing for the Employee Benefit Analytics operation which includes both carrier and state licenses. Prior to joining Gateway Financial Yvonne worked for a major insurance carrier in the role as Office Manager. Yvonne has been with Gateway Financial for 12 years.

Jill McArdle is responsible for managing and coordinating all aspects of field underwriting through policy placement. While serving as the primary underwriting liaison with clients, their advisors, insurance carriers and health organizations, Jill’s primary objective is to position our clients’ medical and financial underwriting requirements with carriers to optimize underwriting offers. To that end, once Gateway’s staff obtains the client’s attending physician statements, Jill screens them, identifies medical disorders that may adversely impact carrier offers and searches the medical records, interviews the client and at times even interviews their physicians to determine reasons for mitigating the impairment risk from an underwriting perspective. Jill prepares a detailed cover letter to carrier underwriters to accompany each client’s records. This letter introduces the client, highlights their medical and lifestyle credits and positions their medical and financial profile in the most favorable light.

With over 38 years in the industry (14 years with Gateway Financial), Jill has a clear understanding of direct and reinsurance markets, knows when and how to ask for underwriting concessions that are warranted, and has a long history of successful underwriting negotiations. Prior to joining Gateway, Jill was employed by an M Financial carrier for over 24 years, where she served as a Field Underwriter and Office Manager. Jill attended Robert Morris University.

Bryan E. McMahon is the Compliance Officer / OSJ Supervisory Principal at Gateway Financial Group. He is responsible for overseeing all the firm’s compliance issues, supervising various broker dealer activities and the activities of the Registered Representatives at Gateway Financial Group. Bryan is also responsible for the licensing, contracting, appointments, continuing education, and errors and omissions coverage for the Firm’s insurance advisors and Registered Representatives. He joined Gateway Financial Group in 2000, bringing five years of investment / insurance experience and 14 years of actuarial/employee benefit consulting experience. Bryan received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics (Actuarial Science Option) from the Pennsylvania State University. He has coached / volunteered his time to various youth athletic associations through the years.

Bryan is a registered representative of M Holdings Securities, Inc.

MaryJo Rogers is responsible for all aspects of plan oversight for middle and large market clients, including strategic planning, program management, problem resolution, and customer satisfaction.  MaryJo joined Gateway Financial Group in 2006 and was responsible for the management of the firm’s small market clients along with providing support for the middle and large market clients. During her 20 years experience in employee benefit consulting, she has held various positions of responsibility with national and regional consulting firms and has experience with all market sizes.  MaryJo was also an office manager for a major food processer and distributor where she was responsible for all aspects of Human Resources.

MaryJo earned an Associate in Applied Science from Tidewater Community College in Business Administration and is working toward her Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS) designation from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.  MaryJo is a member of the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists.

Susan Scharf is responsible for management of health and welfare plan service issues such as eligibility, claims resolution, and billing. Susan works with the consultants on group client plan renewals, enrollments, marketing, benchmarking and communications.

Susan has over 20 years of experience in the insurance industry in the areas of customer service, medical claims management, renewal management and quality assurance. She joined Gateway Financial Group in early 2015 and has earned a Group Benefits Disability Specialist (GBDS) designation. Prior to joining Gateway Financial, she held a position as an Agent Advisor with a national insurance carrier and as a Benefits Specialist/Account Manager for two national brokerage firms.

Lissa Sever has been the Office Administrator at Gateway Financial Group since May 2005.  In this role, Lissa is responsible for the day-to-day operation and management of office facilities and resources.  She serves as the Firm’s primary vendor liaison, tracks vendor contract periods and expiration dates and coordinates vendor contract negotiations.  Lissa also oversees the Firm’s account payables.  She earned her Associates Degree with a concentration in Office Administration from the Bradford School of Business. She is also a member of the National Notary Association.

Kevin Siebert is primarily responsible for management and maintenance of existing client accounts.  He also provides product and illustration support to facilitate product selection, approval, and issuance of insurance and annuity policies, as well as ongoing policy administration. Prior to joining Gateway Financial Kevin spent 7 years at a global brokerage firm as a Portfolio Management Associate helping individuals and institutional clients with their investment and financial planning needs. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, majoring in Finance.

Kevin is a registered representative of M Holdings Securities, Inc.

Klaus Sturzebecher is responsible for sales and marketing initiatives at Gateway Financial’s Employee Benefit Analytics practice. His responsibilities include establishing and building client relationships, and sales associate training and mentoring. Additionally, Klaus provides client consulting and thought leadership including strategic planning, risk management, general compliance, funding, plan design, contribution strategy, and plan operations.

Mr. Sturzebecher has over 30 years of employee benefits experience holding various sales and advisory roles with both national and regional consulting and brokerage firms and national health insurers. His experience includes various industries including energy, education, finance, health care and manufacturing. He has also been a featured speaker to several association and professional groups.

Klaus earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Youngstown State University. He has also successfully completed several professional education courses.

Steven L. Wagner is responsible for the financial and cost containment analysis of employer-sponsored health and welfare programs. 

Steve has worked for approximately 20 years in the insurance industry, including eight years as a health insurance underwriter for a regional insurance carrier.  He was also a benefit analyst for a national employee benefit consulting firm as well as an account executive with a regional insurance broker and third party administrator.

Steve earned a Master of Business Administration from Duquesne University as well as a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Shippensburg University. 

Jordan Yoklic is responsible for employee benefits plan management for current clients, new business development and relationship building. Additionally, he also assists our consultants with presentations, plan renewals and benefit analysis.

Prior to joining Gateway Financial, Jordan served as an account manager and service representative with two health insurance carriers. He has extensive experience in client account management, plan implementation and problem resolution.

Jordan earned a Bachelor of Science in Health and Communication Studies from Ohio University. He contributes his free time to helping young people develop through coaching high school hockey.

Samuel S. (Sam) Zacharias holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Chartered Life Underwriters (CLU) degree and a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) degree from The American College at Bryn Mawr. Sam has over 43 years experience in the insurance industry. He is a member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors - Pittsburgh Chapter, Estate Planning Council of Pittsburgh, and a member and past President of the Society of Financial Service Professionals. Over the past 34 years, Sam has been an active fund-raiser for Children's Hospital and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center through the Andy Russell Golf Classic. He is the past President of the University of Pittsburgh Alumni Association and is currently a Trustee at the University of Pittsburgh. He also serves as Vice Chairman of Economics Pennsylvania and Co-chair of the Governor Richard Thornburgh Forum.

Sam is a registered representative of M Holdings Securities, Inc., California Insurance License Number 0E48863.

Michael J. Curry
Policy Administrator & Case Designer
mcurry@gatewayfinancial.biz | 412-497-1752

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