Your Trusted Advisors
James J. Kelley
James Kelley directs all of the activities and services for Strategic Benefit Services. He has more than 20 years of experience in the institutional retirement market. Before joining SBS, he served as Vice President, Institutional Relations for The Hartford. Jim has spent much of his career working with health care and other not-for-profit organizations. He holds his New York State life, accident, and health and variable annuities license. He has his FINRA Series 6, 63, and 26 licenses. He is an accredited Plan Sponsor Retirement Professional. Jim joined Strategic Benefit Services in June 2008 and is a graduate of Gettysburg College.
In Jim's role as senior executive for all SBS operations, he sets firm policy and has responsibility for all operations, customer service, and personnel for retirement plan services, employee benefits, and all other Advisory Services.
Jim is based in SBS' Albany office.Contact James J. Kelley
Carol A. Idone, CFP®, AIF®
Vice President, Client Relationship Management and Consulting
Carol Idone has nearly 20 years of experience in the financial services and retirement planning market, having previously worked at The Hartford and AIG Valic. Before entering financial services, she was a Certified Public Accountant with KPMG and subsequently served as the Chief Financial Officer/Senior Vice President of Finance at Seton Health System in Troy, New York. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the State University of New York at Albany. Carol is the recipient of the 2017 SPARK Advisor Award: Plan Design & Administration Innovation. She holds her FINRA series 7, 24 and 63 licenses and is also a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.
Carol is based in SBS' Albany office.Contact Carol A. Idone
Vice President, Business Development
A significant portion of John Jezsu's career has been dedicated to working with healthcare employers in support of their retirement programs. He has more than 35 years of experience in retirement plan consulting and advisory services. His background and knowledge extend to the design, development, and implementation of a variety of qualified and non-qualified retirement plans including 401(a), 401(k), 403(b), and 457(b). Before joining SBS, he served as Vice President of Sedgwick, Noble Lowndes, and as an Employee Benefit consultant. He holds FINRA series 6, 63 and 26 licenses. John received his undergraduate degree at the University of Connecticut.
John is based in SBS' Rochester office.Contact John Jezsu
Sales Account Executive, Employee Benefits
Wesley Price is responsible for assisting clients with health and welfare benefits, and any other area of human resource consulting. Before joining SBS in 2009, Wes worked in the insurance business for seven years marketing and servicing clients on both an individual and group level. He has spent many years consulting with clients in many other human resource related functions including payroll and background screening. His primary focus is understanding clients' short- and long-term goals and communicating SBS capabilities. He is committed to assisting human resource leaders in achieving greater efficiency while improving their company’s overall business performance. Wes is a graduate of The College of Saint Rose with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration.
Wes is based in SBS' Albany office.Contact Wesley Price
Vice President, Business Development
Peter Margiotta is responsible for client servicing, retirement plan consulting, and new business development. Pete has more than 25 years of experience in the Retirement Benefit planning industry, specializing in retirement plans for healthcare and not-for-profit organizations. Prior to joining SBS, Peter held many positions in the retirement industry including National Sales Director at Great-West, where he was responsible for the marketing of Great-West products and overseeing the transition and integration of new clients. Prior to joining Great-West in 2005, Pete worked for Diversified Investment Advisors where his responsibilities included client servicing and marketing.
Pete received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Iona College and maintains FINRA Series 6, 63, 26 and 65 registrations with Healthcare Community Securities Corporation (HCSC).
Pete is based in SBS' Melville office.Contact Peter Margiotta
Avon M. Scherff
Director, Employee Benefit Services
Avon Scherff is a mission-oriented executive with a history of accomplishments in the for-profit and not-for-profit arenas. A longtime business leader and visionary, Avon joined SBS as the Director, Employee Benefit Services. In her role, Avon combines her experience and enthusiasm for building successful teams, to deliver the highest level of service and resources to SBS clients, key stakeholders and the community.
Avon brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise, having held COO positions for two local businesses as well as President of her own insurance agency for over 13 years. Additionally, Avon has served in numerous board leadership and volunteer capacities, including Women’s President Organization, local Chambers of Commerce, Double H Ranch and Shelters of Saratoga. Avon also ran her own non-profit, I am I can, a mentoring organization dedicated to encouraging and empowering young women. She has been interviewed and featured in the Capital District Business Review, Glens Falls Post Star and HerLife magazine, and was honored with the Harriet Rifkin Leadership Award by the Women’s Employment Resource Center (WERC).
Avon holds a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology with a minor in English from Manhattanville College.
Avon is based in SBS' Albany office.Contact Avon M. Scherff
William H. Desormeau, Jr., CFP®, AIF®
Vice President, Retirement and Investment Services
William H. Desormeau, Jr. is responsible for all of SBS retirement plan services. Bill has more than 15 years of experience providing investment and financial advisory services. Before joining SBS, Bill held Financial Advisor and Retirement Planning Consultant positions at UBS PaineWebber. Before that, he served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing and Retirement Plan Administrator at Desormeau Vending Corporation. Bill has his New York State insurance license along with holding FINRA series 7, 63, and 65 designations. He also has earned the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ mark from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. Bill was awarded the 2006 Financial Frontiers Award by The Journal of Financial Planning and JanusINTECH, as co-author of Optimal Rebalancing Frequency for Bond-Stock Portfolios. Bill is a director of the Center for Institutional Investment Management at the State University of New York at Albany. He received his undergraduate degree from Syracuse University, his Master of Business Administration degree from the State University of New York at Albany, and is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma National Honor Society for Business.
Bill is based in SBS' Albany office.Contact William H. Desormeau
Laura A. Sausville
Sales Account Executive, Employee Benefits
Laura Sausville is responsible for new business development of small, medium, and large group employee benefits. Laura assists clients in navigating the employee benefit landscape and develops effective strategies to meet client objectives. Her ability to build meaningful relationships and her consultative approach leads to a satisfying customer experience.
Laura has been in the insurance and financial services industry for 25 years. Her career has included experience as an insurance broker, where she focused on asset protection, wealth transfer, and retirement planning for individuals, professionals, and business owners. Most recently, as a senior licensed banker, she was recognized for her sales achievements in assisting retail and investment clients with their individual retirement goals.
Laura is a native of New York’s Capital Region and resides in Saratoga Springs. She holds her New York State Property and Casualty license, New York State Life Accident and Health license as well as her FINRA Series 6, 63 & 65 licenses.
Laura is based in SBS' Albany officeContact Laura A. Sausville
David S. Bard, CRPS®, AIF®
Manager, Client Relationship Management and Consulting
David Bard is responsible for client service and new business development. With more than 20 years of experience in retirement advisory services, he provides comprehensive retirement plan consulting to SBS clients.
Before joining SBS, David was a Senior Consultant with Westminster Consulting in Rochester, New York. His extensive career experience includes the positions of: Investment Counsel/401(k) Specialist with Courier Capital Corporation, Vice President of Investments with Smith Barney, Associate Vice President with McDonald Investments, Director of Fixed Income trading for CIBC Oppenheimer, and Vice President of Corporate Bond Sales for Mabon Securities.
David earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Hobart College. He is a Chartered Retirement Plan Specialist (CRPS®) and an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®).Contact David S. Bard