Meet The Team
Erick von Berge
Founder - Managing Director
Erick's mission has always been to provide every client with targeted, comprehensive financial advice and wealth management planning delivered with the highest level of personal service and professional integrity. By focusing on each investor's specific needs, he develops customized strategies that help clients balance their objectives to reach their short-term needs, without losing sight of their long-term goals.
Erick has worked as a Financial Advisor to both individual and institutional investors since 1987. Prior to starting von Berge Wealth Management, Erick worked at Wells Fargo Advisors. While at Wells Fargo Advisors, Erick was recognized as a Premier Advisor for seven consecutive years. This is a distinction held by a select group of Financial Advisors within Wells Fargo Advisors, as measured by business production, completion of educational components and professionalism.
Erick possesses a degree in Mathematics from Mesa College. He lives in Coronado, CA with Donna, his wife of 20 years, and his daughter, Claire, who will be attending Boston University’s Questrom School of Business as a Freshman in the fall. He and his family are active members of Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
Erick S. Conway, CFP®
Erick is in charge of financial planning and investment advisory for von Berge Wealth Management. He has been in the financial services industry for over 10 years and holds the designation of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM. Erick also was a Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Management at Pepperdine University.
Erick is an active member of the Financial Planning Association and enjoys playing golf and beach volleyball in his spare time. His hometown is in Fargo, Oklahoma.
Donna L. Cooper
Chief Compliance Officer, Laurel Wealth Advisors & Outsourced Compliance Specialist
Donna brings to von Berge Wealth Management over 25 years of professional practice in the financial services industry. Previously a Senior Consultant for a regional consulting firm, she is an experienced industry practitioner who provides outsourced compliance consulting to financial services organizations of all sizes, from start-ups to large, international companies. Donna is skilled in compliance and operations, supervision, and audit and risk management surveillance, as well as proficient in human resources, management, and business development. Previously, she served for over 12 years as the Chief Compliance Officer of Butler Capital Investments, LLC, an alternative investment firm. Before that, she was a Vice President and Operations Manager for Salomon Smith Barney. She started in the industry with Wheat, First Securities. Donna maintains regulatory licenses Series 7, (9/10), 24, 30, 31, 63, 65 (active as needed), and is a prior FINRA Non-Public Arbitrator.
Brian M. Lavoie
Director of Operations
Brian M. Lavoie joined Laurel Wealth as its Director of Operations on April 13, 2019. Brian possesses more than 20 years’ experience in the Financial Services industry. Prior to joining Laurel Wealth, he was the Chief Operations Officer and a Financial Advisor with Coastwise Capital Group, LLC in La Jolla, California. At Coastwise, he was responsible for the oversight and processing of daily operations, including compliance, policy and procedure implementation, reporting, accounting, portfolio management and trading, and industry and company analysis for the clients and the firm. He previously worked in Mutual Fund & Custody accounting at Investors Bank & Trust in Boston, MA, and Dublin, Ireland, at JP Morgan in Boston, MA in a mutual fund pricing and asset maintenance support capacity, and at DB HedgeWorks in Carlsbad, CA, in product development and product integration.
Brian is a graduate of Providence College, Providence, RI. He was born and raised in Boston, MA, and now resides in North Park, San Diego, with his wife, Laura, and two sons, Luke and Beckett. In his spare time, Brian enjoys golfing, photography, playing guitar, and cooking.
Leslie R. Hodgson
Leslie joined Laurel Wealth Advisors in May 2012. She has over 30 years of operational experience in the financial services industry. Before Laurel Wealth, she worked for a local financial advisory firm for ten years in the capacity of Senior Commissions Analyst. Leslie also served as a Vice President for TD Ameritrade Institutional Services in San Diego for five years. Before that, she worked for Jack White & Company Advisor Services and another local discount broker for more than ten years. Before joining Laurel, she held Series 7 & 63 licenses. Leslie lives in the Carmel Valley area of San Diego, CA with her husband, Granger. She has two grown children, Tanner and Erica.
Michelle L. Aarnes
Senior Administrative Assistant
Michelle joined Laurel Wealth Advisors in June 2013. Formerly with Prudential Securities, Merrill Lynch, and independent brokers, she has almost 30 years of administrative experience, specializing in new accounts and cashiering. Michelle lives in Encinitas, CA with her two daughters and enjoys reading and relaxing at the beach in her spare time.
Glen D. Jaffe
Glen is the owner of San Diego Computer Consulting (SDCC), a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner company. Each year, to meet the requirements of continued Gold Partnership Certification, SDCC requires all staff to maintain current certifications through Microsoft in new products and IT solutions. SDCC takes great pride in educating and mentoring its technicians to ensure that they are at the forefront of industry knowledge and standards to provide the most creative and best IT solutions for the businesses they serve. SDCC has a staff of 13 full-time employees, many of whom have been with SDCC for the past decade.
Lee A. Tripodi
Managing Principal & Co-Founder, Laurel Wealth Advisors, Inc.
Lee is Managing Principal and Co-Founder of Laurel Wealth Advisors, Inc. (“LWA”) and leads the development and execution of LWA’s core business strategies. Lee’s primary focus is to help financial advisors deliver the best possible experience to their clients and community.
Prior to founding LWA in 2011, Lee was Senior Vice President, Executive Director, and Complex Manager for UBS in La Jolla, California. At UBS, Lee was responsible for a turnaround that raised the profile of the firm significantly for both clients and advisors. As a result, his region achieved the highest performance rankings among UBS peers, while revenues more than tripled under Lee’s leadership. In his 25 years of senior-level management at UBS and Smith Barney, Lee is most proud of creating a collaborative culture that aligns advisors, support staff, and management to truly represent clients.
Lee is a graduate of California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, and is a frequent guest speaker at Cal Poly Alumni Association events. A resident of La Jolla, Lee and his two children, Maleia and Marco, volunteer their weekends to help preserve our beaches and its activities, including oil spill clean-ups and working at surfing events for participants with disabilities. Lee enjoys surfing, biking, walking, and snowboarding, as well as coaching an Under-14 youth rugby team in his spare time.
Mark D. Welsh
Managing Principal & Co-Founder, Laurel Wealth Advisors, Inc.
Mark Welsh is Managing Principal, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Laurel Wealth Advisors. He is responsible for directing LWA’s administration and operations. Mark’s primary focus is optimizing LWA’s operations and technology and providing advisors with a robust platform for serving client needs, objectively and transparently.
Mark has over 30 years of operational experience in the financial services industry, locally, regionally, and nationally. He served as a branch manager for UBS Financial Services in San Diego and as a Divisional Administrative Manager for Shearson Lehman Brothers in Houston. Mark was also Director of Branch Administration and a Senior Vice President for Smith Barney Shearson in New York City, where he supervised the operations of the firm’s 365 national offices.
Mark lives in Fallbrook, California with his wife of over 30 years, Siobhan, and their two rescue dogs. They enjoy their time as respite caregivers for several San Diego County foster children who have won their hearts. Mark’s family has also been actively involved in supporting widows and orphans in Kenya through short-term mission and humanitarian trips with Heart for Africa and Seeds of Hope. He is an avid golfer and sports enthusiast, and enjoys playing the links and watching football as often as possible with his three adult sons, Matthew, Devin, and Michael.