Meet the Team
We believe in building a team of experts who have your best interests at heart. With a wealth of financial knowledge and a passion to create success, we give you the service and attention we would give our own families. This chart shows how we’ve structured our team to ensure you always receive the most efficient, personalized service.
Ann Cowley WellsChairman and CEO of Commonwealth Bank & Trust
Ann Wells was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, where she serves as Chairman and CEO of Commonwealth Bank & Trust Company. Ann is a graduate of St. Louis University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. Ann has a proactive management style and a deep belief in community involvement. She is involved in various community and charity efforts and serves as a Board member of several organizations including the Speed Museum, the Jewish Hospital Foundation, and School Choice Scholarships.
Mark J. Kennedy, J.D., LLMExecutive Vice President | Head of Trust Division
Mark Kennedy has more than 28 years of experience in trust, estate administration and investment management. He began his career with Bank of Boston, where he was a member of the tax and estate settlement unit. Prior to joining Commonwealth, Mark worked for Bank One, where he managed the Personal Trust Division and handled complex trust and estate accounts. Mark joined Commonwealth in 2002 and now specializes in business development and marketing, advising clients on generational wealth management issues and leading the Wealth Management Team.
Mark received his B.A. and his Law Degree from the University of Mississippi and his Masters of Law in Taxation from Boston University. He is a member of the Estate Planning Council, and the Massachusetts and Mississippi Bar Associations. Mark is involved with as a board and/or committee member for several civic and charitable organizations including the Louisville Zoo, Cabbage Patch Settlement House and the Louisville Christian Foundation.
Courtney GieselExecutive Vice President | Head of Commercial & Private Banking
Courtney Giesel has over 31 years of experience in retail, commercial and private banking. He began his career with Liberty National Bank in Louisville where he served as a commercial lender and private banker. Prior to joining Commonwealth, Courtney worked for PNC Bank where he managed the Private Banking division for the Kentucky/Indiana markets. Courtney joined Commonwealth in 2000 and now manages the Private Banking and Medical Banking Groups.
Courtney received his B.S. in Management from Tulane University. He is involved in various community and charity efforts and currently serves as a Board Member and Treasurer for the YMCA of Greater Louisville.
Darrell R. WellsChairman and CEO of Commonwealth Bancshares, Inc.
Mr. Wells currently serves as CEO, Chairman of the Board and a Director of Commonwealth Bancshares, Inc. Mr. Wells is the co-founder, Director, Vice-Chairman and Senior Executive Vice President of Commonwealth Bank & Trust Company and is lead manager for our multi cap growth strategy. He has over 46 years of investment management experience. Mr. Wells received his A.B. from Harvard University. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the American Printing House for the Blind and is Chairman of the Investment and Audit Committees. Mr. Wells is Chairman and Director of Citizens Financial Corporation; CEO, Chairman and Director of Citizens Security Life Insurance Company; and is the President of the Wells Foundation.
Robert R. Hawkins, CFASenior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer
Rob Hawkins has more than 25 years of financial services and investment management experience. Before joining Commonwealth, Rob most recently served as a Vice President and Senior Analyst for Stifel Nicolaus (formerly Legg Mason Capital Markets) in Baltimore, MD where he was named a Master Stock Picker in 2010 by the Wall Street Journal, a 4 or 5 Star Earnings Estimator (StarMine) in 2008-2010 and was regularly interviewed and quoted by national media outlets. In addition, Rob previously worked as an executive in finance, development and operations in the healthcare industry.
Rob received his Bachelor of Science, Cum Laude, in Biology from Washington and Lee University. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst® and is working toward becoming a Chartered Market Technician.
Brian S. StiversSenior Vice President and Portfolio Manager
Brian Stivers has 20 years of experience managing individual/institutional equity and fixed income portfolios. Brian currently serves as an investment officer and Director of Research for Commonwealth Bank’s Wealth Management department. He has been a Bloomberg Professional service user for most of his career and is well versed in its research capabilities. Brian specializes in tax-free as well as taxable municipals and has particular expertise in KY issuers. He serves as portfolio manager of Commonwealth’s maturing KY tax-free common trust funds and he has successfully matured three funds to date. As the fixed-income strategist for Commonwealth Bank, Brian is knowledgeable in all areas of fixed income including corporate and mortgage-backed securities. He co-manages the $225 million bank portfolio and serves on the Asset/Liability and Deposit Pricing committees. In addition, Brian is responsible for equity coverage of the Financial Sector within the Trust Department and runs a number of liquidity biased institutional portfolios. As administrator of our account/portfolio performance system, he understands managing portfolio risk/reward tradeoffs and key performance drivers.
Brian received his B.S. in Finance, with honors, from the University of Louisville and is a graduate of the National Trust School at Northwestern.
Erik N. Evans, CFASenior Vice President, Senior Investment Officer and Portfolio Manager
Erik Evans has more than 23 years of Institutional Asset Management experience. Before joining Commonwealth, Erik most recently served as an Institutional Investment Consultant for Standard Valuations, Inc. where he established appropriate fund specific investment guidelines as well as performing fund manager selection processes for allocation needs. Prior to that, Erik served as a Senior Director and Portfolio Manager for Invesco, where he successfully managed 30-45 of Invesco-NAM’s larger jointly trusteed client relationships as well as being a member of the Fixed Income Management Group which determined portfolio duration and yield curve positioning. In addition, Erik was the Co-Chair of the sector weighting and security selection processes (MBS/ABS Specialist) and oversaw management of 120 separately managed pension, endowment and mutual funds.
Erik received his Bachelor of Arts in Finance from University of Kentucky and his MBA from Indiana University. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst® and is the President of the Indiana University Investment Club.
Stephen L. McCoolSenior Vice President and Portfolio Manager
Steve graduated with a Bachelor in Science degree in Accounting from the University of Kentucky. Following graduation he worked for Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co CPAS, earning the Certified Public Accountant designation in 1982. Steve has worked in the financial services industry since 1982, first at J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons, then with PNC Financial in the Private Client Group beginning in 1990. He successfully completed the second of three parts of the Chartered Financial Analyst program, and was formerly licensed with the series 7 and 63 securities exam.
His most recent job was with National City Bank from 1996 to 2007 in the Wealth Management area, and has lived in Louisville his whole working career.
Chris BenekeVice President and Research Analyst
Chris Beneke has over seven years of banking and investment research experience at Commonwealth Bank and Trust Company. Chris began in the trust department primarily as an analyst with a focus on large cap companies for our core equity strategy and quickly became the head equity trader for the department and proxy voter. Chris covers the broader equity markets in assisting with research ideas, including international and emerging markets, alternative asset classes, and various fixed income strategies. This research includes assessment of price actions in individual stocks on investment approved and monitored lists, and market trends for strategic and tactical allocation ideas. Along with providing mutual fund and equity research, Chris has also taken on an additional role as portfolio manager for high net-worth clients. During his tenure, Chris was instrumental in establishing a monitoring and review process for mutual funds that can be used for client and institutional accounts as well as creating various disclosures for 401k retirement plans in accordance with DOL reporting regulations.
Chris holds a BA in Economics from Rollins College and a MBA from Bellarmine University. He has completed his Certified Financial Planner educational requirements from Kaplan Financial University and is currently seeking his CFP certification.
Peter M. WardVice President, Investment Officer and Portfolio Manager
Pete Ward has more than 13 years of financial services and investment management experience. Before joining Commonwealth, Pete most recently worked with the Hilliard Lyons Investment Banking Group where he provided research, analysis, and advisory services for mergers and acquisitions transactions and business valuation assignments. Prior to his time with Hilliard Lyons, Pete served as an Investment Officer for the Presbyterian Church (USA) Foundation where he analyzed individual accounts as well as fund level investments, and implemented investment decisions, policies, and directives for over $1 billion in assets under management. Pete was also previously a Partner and Research Analyst at Veredus Asset Management where he evaluated US equities for potential investment. He formulated extensive financial models to forecast corporate earnings, researched industry trends, and covered numerous sectors including: Transportation, Gaming, Leisure, Specialty Finance, Basic Materials, Aerospace, Autos and Industrials.
Pete received his Bachelor of Arts in History from Washington and Lee University and is an Eagle Scout.
Nathan J. KinneyResearch Analyst
Nathan joined the Commonwealth Bank and Trust Company in January of 2014 as an intern and was promoted to research analyst in July of 2014. Nathan has a focus on large cap companies, specifically covering the basic materials and healthcare sectors. Nathan graduated from the University of Louisville, College of Business with a B.S.B.A in Finance. While attending the University of Louisville Nathan was a varsity member of the U of L Swimming and Diving team
Christopher A. NunnelleySenior Vice President and Manager of Trust Services
Chris Nunnelley has more than 30 years of experience in client services, financial planning and trust and estate administration. Chris joined Commonwealth Trust Company in 1999 and he currently heads Trust Administration, responsible for Trust, Estate, and account administrative services. He is also Chair of the Trust Administration Committee.
Chris received his B.S. in Finance from the University of Notre Dame and his M.B.A. from University of Louisville. He attended Cannon Trust School and is a graduate of the American Bankers Association's National Trust School. Chris has been involved with the Estate Planning Council of Louisville, is past board member and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Energy Conservation Associates/ Project Warm. He also has served on the Development Committee for Assumption High School.
Prior to joining Commonwealth Trust, he served as a Managing Director for The Sachs Company, a local investment firm and their affiliate, Louisville Trust Company.
Michael R. MotsingerSenior Vice President and Trust Officer
Mike Motsinger has over 20 years of experience in administering complex trusts and estates. Mike started a trust company in Indiana and has worked with large family groups with two regional trust companies prior to joining Commonwealth. Mike also started, purchased, merged and sold several small businesses and worked as CFO of a large transportation company.
Mike received his B.S. in Business Administration from Indiana University Southeast where he majored in management and economics. He earned a Certified Financial Services Counselor designation upon graduation from National Graduate Trust School. Mike is an active participant in the community through speaking engagements and volunteers at several charitable events.
Beth A. RussellVice President and Trust Administrative Officer
Beth Russell has more than 32 years of trust, estate and investment management experience. She began her career as a Portfolio Manager at National City Bank, where she was responsible for $100 million in trust assets. In 1996, Beth brought her strong expertise in customer relationship building to Commonwealth, where she currently serves as a Trust Administrative Officer and oversees all types of trust accounts while working closely with clients to determine and achieve their investment objectives.
Beth has attended both the Midwest Trust School and the Cannon Trust School and currently is a member of the Estate Planning Council. She is also an active community volunteer for many various organizations including The Kentucky Humane Society, Louisville Public Media and Jefferson County Public Schools.
Patricia L. HayesVice President and Trust Administrative Officer
Patricia Hayes has more than 30 years experience in trust administration, legal and financial services. Prior to joining Commonwealth Trust Company in 1998, she was lead financial analyst at a large local corporation and has also worked as a legal specialist/paralegal. Here at Commonwealth, Patricia specializes in trust administration for Trusts, Agencies, Custodies, IRAs and Employee Benefit Plans.
Patricia received her B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis on Finance from the University of Louisville. Prior to this, she received her Certificate in Paralegal Studies from Sullivan University. She is also a graduate of the Cannon Trust School and a member of the Estate Planning Council of Louisville.
Mary Beth Byron, CTFAVice President and Trust Administrative Officer
Mary Beth Byron has over 20 years of trust and estate administrative experience. Prior to joining Commonwealth, she was Vice President and Trust Officer at Bank of Louisville. Mary Beth is a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor. She is a graduate of the ABA National Trust School and National Graduate Trust School.
Nancye W. OltAssistant Vice President and Trust Administrative Officer
Nancye Olt has more than 20 years experience in the banking and trust industry. Prior to joining Commonwealth Trust Company, she worked for a local investment firm where she acquired a wealth of knowledge in trust administration and financial services with a strong expertise in managing and developing client relationships.
Nancye holds an Associate Degree in Business Administration from the University of Louisville. She is a member of the Estate Planning Council of Louisville and serves on the Executive Board for the Ronald McDonald House Charities as well as the Finance Committee and McDazzle co-chair.
Fran E. ClarkAssistant Vice President and Trust Administrative Officer
Fran has over 30 years of experience in the local business community, including 23 years’ trust administrative experience. Fran has extensive experience in providing excellent customer service using her background in sales and marketing. Fran’s Trust experience includes working with large, complex family groups for two regional trust companies.
Fran earned an associate degree in business at Spencerian College. She has continued her education by taking many banking classes and attending seminars on current topics. Fran achieved one of PNC’s “Top Performance Award” in 1996 which is their most prestigious sales award. Fran was also the recipient of AAF’s international “Total Customer Service Award”, which recognizes excellence in client service.
Robin A. BarnettAdministrative Associate
Robin has over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry. Prior to joining Commonwealth Trust, Robin spent over 16 years as the Administrative Technician with a local SEC Registered Investment Advisor providing excellent client servicing, marketing and performance reporting. She also spent several years working with a local insurance company and non‐profit agency. Robin attended the University of Kentucky and enjoys spending time with her grandson and volunteering at a local hospital in the NICU.
Stephen L. ZeitzSenior Vice President and Manager of Trust Operations
Steve Zeitz joined Commonwealth Trust Company in 2013 and has more than 30 years of audit, treasury and investment operations experience in the financial services industry. Prior to joining Commonwealth, Mr. Zeitz was Vice President of Operations for First Data Corporation responsible for all aspects of operations, settlement and accounting for its merchant services business. Prior to that, he served as Director of Investment Operations at Invesco/National Asset Management for 8 years.
Mr. Zeitz is a graduate of the University of Louisville with a bachelor’s degree in Finance and a Masters of Business Administration. Mr. Zeitz is past president of the Kentucky Treasury Management Association and served on the board for Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky for 4 years. He also served for 4 years as a volunteer consultant to the Finance committee for the Board of the Frazier Historical Museum in Louisville.
Jack M. Combs, Jr., J.D.Senior Vice President and Trust Counsel
Jack Combs has more than 31 years experience in trust, estate administration and investment management. Jack began his career with Louisville Trust Company in 1975 as a Trust Officer. Prior to joining Commonwealth, he served as Managing Director of the Trust and Investment group at Bank of Louisville. Here at Commonwealth, Jack focuses his attention on Management and Business Development.
Jack received his B.A. and M.B.A. from the University of Kentucky and his Law Degree from Duke University. He is a member of the Louisville Bar Association and the Kentucky Estate Planning Council. Jack also serves on the Board of Trustees and is the Treasurer for the Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Alex D. Croft, J.D.Associate Trust Counsel
Alex Croft has more than two years of experience working as an intern for Commonwealth Trust and joined as a full time Associate Trust Counsel in August of 2014. As an intern, Alex assisted with legal research, document drafting and client communication. As an Associate Trust Counsel, Alex will focus on assisting Jack Combs with legal consulting on large family trusts and assisting clients with the development and implementation of their estate plans, business succession plans and other ways to mitigate taxes, preserve wealth and carry out charitable giving objectives.
Alex was born and raised in Paducah, Kentucky. He received his B.A in finance from the University of Kentucky, where he graduated cum laude and with departmental honors before going on to receive his Law Degree from the University of Louisville.
Toby NuttSenior Vice President and Senior Financial Consultant
Toby Nutt has more than 22 years experience in the financial services industry, with 14 years as a licensed investment broker. He formerly worked at First National Bank where he served as a Commercial Lender and Private Banker. Before joining Commonwealth Trust Company in 2006, Toby worked for Paine Webber, which was later acquired by UBS. He currently heads the Commonwealth Brokerage Division. Toby received his B.B.A. from the University of Mississippi.
Alan J. Griffes, CFP®, CTFA, ChFCVice President and Senior Wealth Strategist
Alan has over 25 years experience helping clients develop successful strategies for wealth management and planning. He has been a leader in Tax Free Transfer Trusts, Tax & Risk Planning for Business Owners, Charitable Strategies and Family Legacy Planning. Prior to joining Commonwealth Bank and Trust Company in 2007, Alan served as President and Founder of First Financial Advisors Inc., one of the largest financial planning and asset allocation firms in western Florida, helping to manage in excess of $3.8 billion.
Alan received his bachelors in Business Analysis and his Masters in Business and Education from the University of Louisville. Alan went on to receive a Ph.D. – ABD in Financial Management from Kensington University. Alan holds the Certified Financial Planner designation as well as being a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor and a Chartered Financial Consultant. Alan was chosen as “One of the Best Financial Planners in America” by Money Magazine and is listed in Who’s Who in Industry and Finance. Alan is a former President of Rotary Club and is a member of the National Eagle Scout Association.
Sam RonaldVice President and Business Development Officer
Sam has over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry in Louisville. He started his career in 1979 with Hilliard Lyons, where he held a variety of management positions in both debt and equity underwriting disciplines. Prior to joining Commonwealth, Sam was a Wealth Management Consultant with US Bank, specializing in Business Development and Financial Planning. Sam joined Commonwealth in 2011 and will be concentrating on Business Development and Relationship Management.
Sam received his B.B.A. from Stetson University. He has previously held FINRA series 7, 24, 53 and 63 licenses and is currently working toward his CFP designation.
Jill H. CooperVice President – Business Development
Jill Cooper has over 20 years of experience in banking with Citibank in New York and Brussels, Belgium; PNC Bank and Stock Yards Bank including International, Retail and Private Banking. Here at Commonwealth, Jill serves as a private banker and focuses on relationship-building for the Trust Department.
Jill received a B.A. from the University of Louisville and has pursued graduate studies in several of the countries in which she has lived. Jill is active in a number of community organizations. She currently serves as Vice President of the Board of Trustees of the Kentucky Opera and also as Vice President of the Board of Directors of Fons Vitae Inc.
Christine S. GandaraFinancial Planner
Christine Gandara has over nine years of experience with Commonwealth Bank and Trust Company. Christine currently serves as Financial Planner with a focus on assisting clients with all aspects of financial planning as well as account aggregation utilizing our Wealth Management Solution software.
Christine received her Bachelors from University of Louisville. She recently completed her Certified Financial Planner educational requirements from Boston University and is currently seeking her CFP certification. Christine serves on the committees for the National Kidney Foundation Gala as well as the Cedar Lake Foundation Golf Tournament.
Joe SchmidtAdministrative Associate
Joe Schmidt has over 7 years of experience in the Finance, Accounting and Insurance Industries. He began his career with Central Bank in Lexington, where he worked in retail banking. Prior to joining Commonwealth, Joe worked for Nationwide Insurance as an insurance agent, and for John Schmidt, CPA, PSC, as an accountant. Joe joined Commonwealth Bank & Trust Company in 2010 and now specializes in account administration and customer relationship management.
Mr. Schmidt received his B.A. in Finance from the University of Kentucky. He is involved with several civic and charitable organizations as a board member and/or committee member including the Red Cross, WHAS Crusade for Children and the Young Professional Association of Louisville.
Wendy O'BanionSenior Vice President, Private Banker
Susan RobertsSenior Vice President, Private Banker
With over 55 years of combined banking experience, our private bankers know what it takes to be successful: Relationships! The heart of their job revolves around building relationships with clients, not just conducting a transaction. That means taking the time to learn about client’s business goals, financial goals and family goals. And, it also means working around their clients’ schedules. If meeting clients outside the office or after hours is more convenient, then that is what they do. As dedicated Private Bankers, they have the experience and willingness to do whatever it takes to make things easier for their clients. Susan serves on the Board of Directors for River City Housing, and volunteers at Saint Mary and Mercy Academies. Wendy currently serves on the board for Day Spring.
Investment Management and Research
Client Service and Administration
Family Office, Financial Planning and Private Banking
Wealth Management & Trust Services
4350 Brownsboro Road, Suite 210 | Louisville, KY 40207 | Phone: 502.259.2500 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Not FDIC Insured. Investments Not Guaranteed. Investments May Lose Value. Fees may apply for services. Consult your tax attorney or CPA for details on tax benefits.