Travis Maus fills multiple roles within the firm. He is the managing partner of S.E.E.D. Planning Group, LLC as well as the CCO. Travis oversees S.E.E.D.’s investment management program committee and is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary. He is also a member of the firm’s Financial Planning team where he provides coordinated and strategic financial planning and investment services to families and small businesses.
Entering the financial services industry in 2005, Travis quickly worked his way from entry-level account executive to Branch Manager of HSBC Finance (then known as HFC/Beneficial).
He joined AXA Advisors, LLC in 2007 with a desire to broaden his capabilities to help people achieve financial independence. Travis again worked his way from entry level Financial Professional to Vice President achieving many industry and company awards along the way including MDRT (Million Dollar Round Table). While at AXA, Travis attended the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where he earned a Retirement Planning Specialist designation.
Travis founded S.E.E.D. Financial Strategies, LLC (currently a complimentary insurance company to S.E.E.D. Planning Group, LLC) while at AXA to establish a practice with an expectation of consistent service. S.E.E.D. is the acronym for what those expectations represent. Stimulating thought, Exceptional service, Ethical advice, and the Duty of care.
In 2013, S.E.E.D. Planning Group, LLC was formed to begin the transition from commission-based services to fee-based services; in July of that year, SEED left AXA to establish an independent company with a focus on fee-based financial planning services.
Ryan Berkeley fills both management and planning roles within the firm. He is a partner of S.E.E.D. Planning Group, LLC and manages the firm’s financials. Ryan is also a member of the firm’s Financial Planning team where he provides coordinated and strategic financial planning and investment services to families and small businesses.
Entering the financial services industry in 2011 under the tutelage of Travis Maus, Ryan started his career at AXA Advisors, LLC. With an unequivocal passion to become a student of personal finance and to help others improve their position through education, Ryan quickly became recognized for his efforts as a financial professional, receiving numerous accolades. His work ethic and desire to help others moved him into the leadership training program at AXA. However, the opportunity to work alongside Travis Maus to form S.E.E.D. Financial Strategies, LLC (currently a complementary insurance company to S.E.E.D. Planning Group, LLC) and S.E.E.D. Planning Group, LLC interrupted the opportunity at AXA in favor of creating an independent, fee-based financial planning practice.
Ryan has been recognized for his efforts both professionally and for community leadership. While at AXA, Ryan was a National Leader Core qualifier, received a Gold Pinnacle Award for outstanding growth, and was recognized as the top producer in his class for the entire Central New York branch in 2012. Ryan was recognized by the Southern Tier Opportunity Coalition with a “20 in their Twenties Award” in 2013. In 2015, Ryan graduated from the Broome Leadership Institute, a community leadership training program for business professionals sponsored by the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce.
Ryan presents the benefits of financial planning to professional groups, employee groups, and small business groups throughout the region. He is currently pursuing the Certified Employee Benefits Specialist program sponsored by the International Foundation and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Outside of the office and in the community, Ryan is an active member of the Hillcrest Rotary where he currently serves on the Board. Ryan has graduated Parts I & II of the Rotary Leadership Institute training and received “Rotarian of the Month” recognition from Rotary District 7170. He has also received the Hillcrest Rotary’s “Rotarian of the Year” award. Additionally, he has previously served as an officer on the Cider Mill Playhouse Board of Directors. He lives in Colesville with his wife and two children.
Fred Costantino, JR. , CFP®, AIF®, CPM®, CRPC®
Chief Investment Officer & Wealth Manager
Frederick (Fred) Costantino JR., CFP®, CPM®, CRPC® joined S.E.E.D. after acquiring 18 years of financial planning and investment experience at Raymond James, Wells Fargo, and most recently Morgan Stanley. Fred is a long time resident of Broome County, and he earned his BA in Economics from Binghamton University.
Fred holds three highly regarded designations including the CFP®(Certified Financial Planner™), which identifies those individuals who have met the experience and ethical requirements, have successfully completed financial planning coursework and have passed the CFP® Certification Examination covering financial planning, risk management, investments, tax planning and management, retirement and employee benefits, and estate planning.
He holds the CPM® (Certified Portfolio Manager™) designation which is administered by a collaboration of the Academy of Certified Portfolio Managers and Columbia University. This designation’s academic training is designed to provide a deeper understanding of fundamental security analysis, asset allocation, and portfolio management concepts for financial services industry professionals who manage discretionary portfolios. The curriculum encompasses eight core concepts including quantitative methods, financial statement analysis, corporate finance, fixed income analysis, equity analysis, fiduciary responsibility, derivatives, and portfolio management.
Fred also holds the CRPC® (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor™) designation. He has completed coursework and study encompassing pre- and post-retirement needs, asset management, estate planning, and the entire retirement planning process.
At S.E.E.D. Fred will fills of Wealth Manager, an integral part of our financial planning team, while helping to provide valuable financial planning services to our clients.
Fred also serves as S.E.E.D.’s Chief Investment Officer.
In this role, Fred provides guidance and technical know-how to S.E.E.D.’s investment committee as he leads S.E.E.D.’s Fiduciary Investment services by desinging, implementing, and managing our prudent investment processes and programs.
Amy Michaels, AIF®
Director of Community Engagement and Financial Advisor
Steve joined S.E.E.D. after spending five years acquiring financial planning and investment management experience at Morgan Stanley. A long-time resident of Broome County, Steve earned a BA in history from Rutgers University, where he played Division 1 Lacrosse for the Scarlet Knights. Steve then went on to earn a master’s degree in education from Binghamton University.
Steve has a passion for helping and serving people and is committed to helping his community flourish and prosper. By actively engaging other local leaders and professionals to form synergistic relationships, he is motivated by the belief that each individual can make a significant impact to the community.
Steve currently serves on the board of directors for Achieve. He is an active contributor to The Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce’s Government Affairs and Legislative Committees, and he is a member of the advisory councils for the Binghamton University School of Pharmacy, the SUNY Best Program, and for the current Broome County Executive Director. Steve also is dedicated to serving his local church and is a member of the Binghamton University Forum.
Humbled by faith, Steve is not motivated by recognition or accolades. He truly believes that serving others by giving time, talent, and resources may change someone’s life forever. Notwithstanding his selflessness, Steve’s leadership has been recognized both professionally and locally. In 2015, The Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce named Steve the Young Professional of the Year, recognizing him for excellence, creativity, and initiative as an emerging leader in his profession. He has also been recognized as one of the Southern Tier’s Finest by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. While at Morgan Stanley, Steve received the prestigious Pacesetter award in 2015, 2016, and 2017, which recognizes individuals who serve their clients with the highest standards of excellence.
Investment Executive & Client Services
There are people who know people, and there are people who connect people. George Cummings is a connector. His amazing communication skills and networking efforts have allowed him to build strong relationships with his clients and his community. George has spent more than 30 years in executive management and procurement. This experience engendered his core foundation of impeccable customer service through attentiveness and his desire to share knowledge.
George’s passions for giving can be found in the ample number of philanthropic organizations that he serves. His natural propensity for generosity carries over to his work through his dedication of time and resources.
Honesty is his creed, and George is devoted to being open and candid. His passion for detail makes him an exceptional friend and outstanding advisor.
Joseph Conwell has been helping people better understand their Medicare options since 2007. Through yearly certifications, Joe has kept up rigorous training relating to Medicare Part C (HMO PPO), Medicare Part D, and Medicare-Supplement Products. At SEED, Joe puts these skills to good use by supporting our team of financial advisors and our clients through the sometimes daunting process of signing up for Medicare and selecting a plan. He also supports these clients by conducting needs analysis and assessing any contractual obligations and benefit changes. Additionally, Joe reviews reports and pharmacy benefit recommendations for clients quarterly and annually. Serving as a single point of contact, Joe manages relationships between all health plans and clients. This includes employer-based plans for retirees and private exchanges chosen. He conducts educational – not product – trainings in options available to Medicare beneficiaries. Joe is available for consultation by appointment and can be reached at (607) 217-5091 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to his Medicare training, Joe provides investment and financial planning services to his clients. Joe is an integral part of SEED’s financial planning team, and serves as the lead advisor for SEED’s Medicare and Health Insurance planning services.
Administrative Assistant by day, musician by night, Aimee Backus joined the S.E.E.D. team in May of 2015. Aimee is a renaissance woman with many interests ranging from teaching Suzuki flute lessons to small-scale organic farming, sustainability, and whole-food nutrition.
Her love of learning and desire to help others succeed inspires Aimee to work hard and play hard. Aimee arrived at S.E.E.D. from Ithaca, NY and is enjoying getting to know the Binghamton community.
Mari Geisenhof is a life-long resident of the triple cities and spent her first career as a special educator and administrator in area school districts and at the graduate level through SUNY Cortland and Binghamton University. Her strengths include leadership, organizational planning and structures, team and relationship building, accountability, and general nurturing. Her mantra has always been “People first. Always people.”
Because of her background in education, Mari is committed to making sure people understand both objectives and outcomes as they bring their goals into reality through planning. She is detail oriented while working within the big picture, and she strives to connect with everyone she meets in order to make a difference. Mari brings enthusiasm, energy, and creativity with her into her role as Administrative Assistant.
Mike has 35 years of senior leadership team experience as a CPA, Controller, and Chief Financial Officer for venture-capital-backed start-up, high-growth, and turnaround companies.
Some of Mike’s successes include:
*Controller for Rehab Systems Company, a venture-backed start-up company that builds and operates 14 head and spinal injury rehabilitation hospitals across the US, growing to 2,500 employees, and a valuation of $110 million in only three years.
*Corporate Controller for GlobalScholar, an early-stage educational software company that develops technology resources in India and the US, and driving integration of four acquisitions. This Company incorporated in January 2007, grew to a national presence, and was sold for $160 million in January 2011.
* While serving as CFO for a 10-year-old business, Mike developed growth strategies to increase revenues from $12 million to $33 million in four years, and pre-tax income from $200,000 to $2.7 million.
These examples illustrate the effectiveness of business processes that can be replicated. The same growth strategies that grew these businesses can be applied to most businesses, and can help business owners achieve growth, operational efficiency, and drastically improve financial success.
So often, small- and medium-sized businesses simply can’t afford to hire a CFO with 30 years of experience to develop aggressive growth strategies. The need is even more profound in small business, whether the goal is to take a successful business and make it more successful or to generate more profit for a marginal or challenged business. Mike started his consulting practice to help business owners achieve the positive results they desire in from their businesses and achieve a balance between running a company and having a personal life.
Mike is available on an hourly or flat-fee basis for business consulting. Mike’s experience and ability allows him to help small businesses in a variety of ways from developing and implementing strategic growth plans, to financial analysis and Chief Financial Officer services. At a time when small businesses are challenged with raising capital, keeping up with increasing payrolls, and integrating new technology, Mike is available to help.
SEEDs of Hope is a special division of S.E.E.D. Planning Group whose two primary services are working with nonprofits to develop or improve their investment stewardship processes and procedures, and to develop or enhance their legacy gifting programs. As the Development Director, Carol works directly with clients to provide legacy gifting program services.
Clients benefit from Carol’s hands-on experience after working fifteen-years at WSKG, a public media station in the Greater Binghamton area, where she held a variety of positions, ultimately serving as Director of Leadership Giving. In that role she advanced the goals of the organization by establishing and nurturing relationships between the station and its supporters. As a believer that success is the result of innovation and strong teamwork, Carol engaged not only the Development Team, but the entire staff in experimenting in inventive fundraising. Today some of the fundraising techniques Carol’s team pioneered are considered public media industry best practices.
Carol was twice elected to the national Board of the Public Radio Association of Development Officers and served as Treasurer. She was appointed to the PBS Development Advisory Board and was subsequently elected as Chairperson. Utilizing the skills and relationships built during her national service she has assisted public media organizations throughout the country to achieve their fundraising goals.
Being a champion for youth, Carol donates her time and talents to foster opportunities for their success. She serves on the Broome County Youth Bureau Advisory Board and on the Board of Directors of the Literacy Volunteers of Broome and Tioga Counties.
Aside from a short stint in Syracuse, Carol is a lifelong resident of Broome County having graduated from Seton Catholic Central High School and SUNY Broome Community College. She and her husband reside in Vestal where they raised their four children.
S.E.E.D. Planning Group, LLC ("S.E.E.D.") is a Registered Investment Advisor ("RIA"), registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). S.E.E.D. provides financial planning and investment management services for clients in New York and other states across the country. S.E.E.D. will notice, file, and maintain all applicable licenses as required by the various states in which S.E.E.D. conducts business, as applicable. S.E.E.D. renders individualized responses to persons in a particular state only after complying with all regulatory requirements, or pursuant to an applicable state exemption or exclusion.
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