About Pleasanton Financial Advisors
The credentials of our staff indicate a strong commitment to education as the foundation for delivery of high-quality financial advice.
Gary Smith, PhD, CFP®
Gary holds a PhD in Physics from the University of California, Berkeley and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner. His residency in Pleasanton and 19-year physics career at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory began in 1977. Since founding Pleasanton Financial Advisors in 1996, Gary has worked closely with clients to clearly define financial goals and to develop appropriate strategies for meeting those goals. His strong analytical and computational skills are helpful in assessing issues that arise in client situations. His 30 years of experience as an investor have led to a disciplined, long-term approach to managing client assets. Gary's community activities have included service on the Boards of the Foothill High School Band Boosters, the Pleasanton Adult Sunday Soccer League, and the Tri-Valley Estate Planning Council.
Mark Janer, MBA, CFP®
Mark has an MBA degree from Ohio State University. Prior to becoming a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner in 1997, he worked in corporate finance positions at Ford and Target Corporations. His career as a financial advisor has given him the skills to work closely with clients on matters involving investments, retirement, and taxes. Outside of his financial activities, Mark and his wife engage in the hobby of beekeeping.
Bronwyn Shone, MFA, CFP®
Bronwyn has an MFA degree from Colorado State University and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner. Her career in financial planning began in 2002, when she worked for a commission-based financial planner who sold insurance products. This early work exposed her to the conflicts of interest inherent in the sales-based model of a financial planning practice. She began working at Pleasanton Financial Advisors in 2004, and appreciates that the fee-only approach allows her to deliver sound and objective financial planning advice tailored to each client's needs. She applies a comprehensive financial-planning approach to each client's situation and breaks down the complexities of investing, risk management and income-tax planning into achievable steps. Prior to her career in financial planning, she worked as a book-publishing editor and web-content manager for a business-to-business web site, and taught English and creative writing on the college level and ESL in Japan. Her recreational activities include hiking, backpacking, and rock climbing.
Richard Gross, MBA, CMFC®, CFP®
Richard has an MBA degree from Pepperdine University, an MS degree from Holy Names College, and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner. Prior to becoming a financial advisor, he worked in executive level positions in the pharmaceutical and staffing industries. Richard is an active listener who enjoys helping clients align their actions with their goals. He serves on the Board of Directors for Friends of Camp Concord, an organization that helps send underprivileged kids to summer camp. Outside of the office, Richard enjoys bicycling, yoga, and spending time with his wife and teenaged son.
Madeline has a BA degree from the University of California, Davis and is a graduate of the certified financial planner training program at the University of California, Los Angeles. In 2003 Madeline joined Pleasanton Financial Advisors with a strong commitment and desire to help people reach their financial goals while feeling comfortable with the process. She is a firm believer of fee-only advising and its ability to deliver objective and prudent advice specific to each client's unique situation. Prior to joining PFA, she worked for the Department of the Treasury and PeopleSoft. She is a native and current resident of the Tri-Valley where she lives with her husband and two young children. When she is not working, Madeline is active at both of her children's schools and enjoys reading, cooking, photography, and yoga.
Nancy Coumou, RP®
Nancy has a BS degree from Husson University in Bangor, Maine and is a Registered ParaplannerSM. Prior to joining Pleasanton Financial Advisors in 2008, she worked for Aetna Life & Casualty, first in commercial underwriting and then in workers’ compensation claims. In the office, Nancy works with clients to ensure that their service needs are met. Nancy enjoys working at a NAPFA-affiliated firm where doing what’s best for the client is always the first priority. Outside of the office, Nancy enjoys running, reading, gardening and spending time with her husband, teenaged sons and the family’s menagerie of pets.