The Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico, in partnership with the Estate Planning Institute (EPI) Committee, is honored to recognize Mr. Richard Gregory. Rich, as many knew him, laid the groundwork more than 28 years ago for our annual estate planning conference. With his leadership, the Memorial Medical Center Foundation transitioned to the Healthcare Foundation of Southern New Mexico and to what is now the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico. Both he and his wife, Nancy, were steadfast volunteers, mentors and friends to this organization. This community lost a man of great distinguishes in May of 2012. Many in this community continue to honor Rich as volunteers on committees, speaking each year during EPI and being steadfast advisors to our organization.
It is with great honor that we rename our Estate Planning Institute Committee and conferences attached to estate planning to the “Gregory Estate Planning Advisory Council.” Each year this conference will continue in his honor while additional community conferences will bear his name in perpetuity.
As we remember Richard Gregory through our multiple estate planning conferences, honoring those that have given an estate gift as part of the Community Legacy Society and expand our reach to our community in his name. We want to thank Nancy Gregory, Rich’s wife, and their entire family, for allowing us this honor.
The Gregory Estate Planning Advisory Council thanks you for attending this year’s conference and we hope to see you for years to come.
The Gregory Estate Planning Advisory Council Committee Members
The following professionals are part of our advisory team. These individuals not only serve as advocates for the Community Foundation, they make connections with community members in regards to gift planning, supply guidance to our team on all estate planning events and continue the work that was so important to Rich.
Ken Binkley – Partner
Wilson Binkley Advertising & Marketing
Ken is a partner at Wilson Binkley Advertising & Marketing. His areas of responsibility are primarily as an account executive, but he also oversees the company’s finances and accounting, human resources and benefits, and information technology systems. He has worked at WBAM for over 29 years and started in August 1990 as a college intern. Ken left in June 1991 when he graduated from college and took a job with Dillard’s Department Stores in their executive training program. Ken returned to WBAM in June 1992 and became a partner in 1998. Ken holds two degrees from New Mexico State University; a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism/Mass Communications with emphasis in Advertising Administration and a Masters of Business Administration with emphasis in Finance. Other organizations that he is affiliated with are the Las Cruces Rio Grande Rotary Club, and he has also been a member of the First Baptist Church since the early 1990s.
Joshua Dwyer – Attorney and Shareholder
ScottHulse Attorneys at Law
By assisting clients in determining which estate planning documents will best meet their individual needs, Mr. Dwyer has been able to assist clients plan for the future and make decisions that reflect their particular priorities and values. In addition to designing and drafting estate planning documents, including wills, living trusts, testamentary trusts, powers of attorney, and advanced health-care directives, Mr. Dwyer advises clients on probate matters, the administration of trusts and estates, and various matters related to business succession planning, contracts, and transfers of ownership. Mr. Dwyer also advises clients with regard to federal and state taxation, specifically transfer taxes associated with the federal estate tax, federal gift tax, and federal generation-skipping transfer tax.
Mr. Dwyer was appointed by the New Mexico Supreme Court to serve on the Supreme Court’s Probate Court Rules Committee to assist with proposing new rules for probate courts in New Mexico. He is also a member of the Southern New Mexico Estate Planning Council and is a member of the Planning Committee for the Estate Planning Institute. An active member in the Las Cruces civic and charitable community, Mr. Dwyer serves on the Mesilla Valley Hospice and Mesilla Valley Hospice Foundation Board of Directors and is a member of the Rio Grande Rotary Club.
Patrick Grooms, CFP, MBA – Financial Advisor and Investment Advisor Representative
Spence Asset Management
Patrick Grooms serves as a Financial Advisor and is registered as an Investment Advisor Representative. In addition to assisting individual and institutional clients, he is the newest member of the Investment Committee, joining the Spence Asset Management team in 2016. He assists the investment committee in formulating investment ideas as well tactical allocations based upon market conditions.
Patrick brings a diverse financial background to the team. He started his career as an intern with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management then left the financial services industry to be a business analyst for Los Alamos National Labs. After relocating back to Las Cruces, Patrick became a financial advisor with Edward Jones and then US Bancorp.
Patrick earned a Bachelor Degree from New Mexico State University in 2006. Graduating with honors, he majored in Finance, Human Resource Management and has a minor in Economics. He then went on to further his education and earn his MBA from NMSU in 2008.
Bob Johnson, CPA – President
Johnson Financial Services, Inc.
As President of Johnson Financial Services, Inc., Bob offers his clients knowledge gained over 45 years of service in banking, public accounting, financial management and tax preparation. A New Mexico State University alumnus, Bob’s experience includes service as Chief Financial Officer for a Las Cruces bank and Principal for a public accounting firm. In 2003, he launched his own company to provide a wide range of financial management services to individuals and small businesses. Bob holds licensing to offer investment securities as well as life, disability, long-term care and annuity insurance products. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New Mexico Society of Certified Public Accountants. Bob’s interests and activities include photography, woodworking, camping and service as an elder for the University Church of Christ of Las Cruces.
Bridget Mullins – Associate
Bridget is a graduate of the University of New Mexico Law School represents clients in the areas of Guardianships, Probate, Wills, Trusts, Elder law, and Family law with a focus on working with Spanish-speaking clients. In addition, Bridget has a strong trial background after spending many years prosecuting domestic violence, child abuse, and human trafficking cases for the District Attorney’s and Attorney General’s Offices.
Bridget has worked with Spanish-speaking families in many different contexts – as a teacher, an advocate, and as an attorney. While attending law school at the University of New Mexico, Bridget also taught Spanish classes to undergraduate students and earned a Master’s degree in Latin American Studies as well as her Law Degree. She has also worked on consumer protection issues and taught Financial Literacy classes to help community members learn about debt, investing, and credit.
Lauren Serrano – Associate Attorney
ScottHulse Attorneys at Law
Ms. Serrano assists clients in creating an estate plan that is tailored to each individual’s unique needs and familial situations, whether the planning is for large estates or modest estates. Ms. Serrano’s estate planning practice includes the preparation of Wills, Living Trusts, Irrevocable Trusts, and incapacity planning documents such as Durable and Medical Powers of Attorney, Directives to Physicians and Family or Surrogates (“Living Will”), and Declarations of Guardian. She also prepares Marital Agreements as part of her estate planning and asset protection practice, which help married couples more easily manage and plan for separate assets. Ms. Serrano has successfully helped clients avoid the probate process through creative plans and the creation and funding of Living Trusts. Through careful planning, Ms. Serrano also helps clients and their estates avoid or minimize the payment of estate taxes, thereby preserving the ultimate inheritance that will be received by estate beneficiaries. Ms. Serrano helps clients navigate through the probate and estate administration process following the death of a loved one. Her practice also includes advising creditors in estate proceedings,representing beneficiaries and heirs with respect to their rights in the administration process, and advising executors and trustees regarding their legal obligations in accordance with the law. She also advises clients who are dealing with the incapacity of a loved one, and guides them through the guardianship process for incapacitated individuals.
Diana Seward – Financial Advisor
I came to Edward Jones 14 years ago as a financial advisor. Prior to coming to Edward Jones, I managed the trust department of a local bank for many years. I dealt with many aspects of a client’s life, including investments, legal affairs, tax issues and insurance. This knowledge has been very useful in helping my clients utilize the right professionals to handle the many facets of their lives.
My strength is in educating and helping clients meet their financial goals. I believe in keeping clients informed about current market conditions as well as discussing what actions to take to stay on course to meet your long-term goals. My team, Jane Ochoa and Stephanie Barncastle, are very dedicated to providing you with the highest level of service and ensuring your needs are met.
I attended NMSU. My family has a long history with NMSU, starting with my grandparents all the way down to my children. It’s no wonder that my office is directly across the street from NMSU. Throughout my career, I have been on the boards of the Community Foundation of Southern NM, the Dona Ana Arts Council and the NMSU Presidents Associates and on many committees.
Born and raised here in Las Cruces, NM, it is a privilege to be a part of this community. My husband, Brett, and I have raised three children as well as goats, chickens, dogs and cats. We enjoy spending time with our family, with our friends and at the family ranch. I look forward to continuing to serve this community and clients for years to come.
Stephanie Townsend-Allala – Associate Attorney
The Law Offices of Townsend Allala Coulter & Kludt
Stephanie Townsend Allala is President and CEO of Townsend Allala, Coulter & Kludt, Attorneys. She is a Director of the Board of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys-Texas Chapter, and she is a Director on the Board of Bienvivir Senior Health Services. She is a national Editor of the Journal of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. She provides services in the areas of Estate Planning, Medicaid Planning, Trusts, and Crisis Placement Management.
Prior to studying law, she was a journalist working in radio, television and newspaper. She began in radio news at KHEY Radio in 1981. She then became a television news anchor and reporter for KVIA TV, and later a business reporter for the El Paso Times.
In addition to her legal practice, Stephanie is a recognized advocate for transparency in government and open records laws. She is the recipient of the Legacy Award, the “Pantalones” award, and the El Paso/El Chuco Person of the Year for 2014. She is a past-president of the El Paso Press Club, the El Paso Women’s Bar Association, and El Paso Women’s Bar Auxiliary. She also served as a director on the Board of the El Paso Bar Association and Nazareth Nursing Care Center. She has received awards for her writing, including topics such as Elder Law, Estate Planning, Medicaid Planning and Probate.
She obtained her law degree in 2002 from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Texas-El Paso. She is a graduate of the Law School Preparatory Institute at UT-El Paso, and was the first woman graduate of the program to be licensed in Texas. She is the proud mother of two daughters, one of whom is a partner in her law firm.