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Kaplan University School of Professional and Continuing Education Kaplan University School of Professional and Continuing Education

CFP® Certification Program Instructors

CFP® Certification Program Instructors

Any educational program is only as good as the people who construct and deliver it. We have assembled the most effective, well-respected and competent team of professional writers and instructors to create and deliver Kaplan's CFP® certification content and instruction.

Full Time Faculty

Joyce Schnur, MBA, CFP® – Vice President, Financial Services

Before joining Kaplan Schweser as vice president and manager of CFP® certification instructors, Joyce had over 20 years of personal financial counseling experience including serving as a senior manager of an international accounting firm, during which time she advised many executives, directors of Fortune 500 Companies as well as small business owners. Throughout her career, Joyce has been a frequent lecturer on many financial planning topics including stock options and estate planning. She is also an instructor for various financial planning courses including fundamentals, income tax, retirement and estate planning. Joyce holds an MBA in finance from Duquesne University and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Grove City College. Joyce is a co-author of Kaplan Financial’s Personal Financial Planning Theory and Practice and an author and editor for the Executive Tax & Management Report. She is also a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™.

Cindy R. Hart Riecke, CLU, ChFC, CFP® - Senior Director of Product Development

Cindy has served as Director of Product Development since 2005, managing a team of subject-matter experts responsible for authoring and editing all Kaplan Schweser study materials for the CFP® Certification Examination and content for its education programs. She also serves as lead subject-matter expert and technical editor for the content development of Schweser CFP® exam study materials and financial planning courses and textbooks. Prior to joining Kaplan Schweser, Cindy served as Director of Marketing Development for an international insurance and financial services company and an instructor in the areas of advanced financial planning, insurance, retirement, and estate planning. Cindy holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from the Louisiana State University and has earned the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, Chartered Financial Consultant and Chartered Life Underwriter designations. In addition, she is co-author of Kaplan Financial’s Personal Financial Planning Theory and Practice and Personal Financial Planning Cases and Applications textbooks and the Schweser Review for the CFP® Certification Examination. Cindy has also been involved in grant writing for local educational institutions.

Michael Long, CLU, ChFC, CFP® - Senior Content Specialist

Mike is responsible for providing support to students and, as such, is involved in creating content for the Kaplan Schweser website. Prior to joining Kaplan Schweser, Mike was a sales manager and instructor for a national life and casualty insurance company. He holds a Bachelors degree from Indiana State University and holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, Chartered Financial Consultant and Chartered Life Underwriter designations.

James Maher, CLU, ChFC, CFP® - Senior Content Specialist

Jim serves as a subject-matter expert, primarily in the areas of investments and insurance planning. He is a former securities and insurance instructor for Kaplan Financial and has been a General Securities Representative, providing financial services and products to high net worth clients. Jim earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Florida International University and has earned the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, Chartered Financial Consultant and Chartered Life Underwriter designations. Jim is a co-author of Kaplan Financial’s Personal Financial Planning Theory and Practice and the Schweser Review for the CFP® Certification Examination.

Additional Faculty

Rey Belyeu, CFP®

Rey has been the President of Cornerstone Financial Planning since 2002, concentrating on comprehensive financial consulting for individuals and small- to medium-sized businesses. He has over 27 years of experience in the financial services industry. 

Rey also has over 25 years of teaching experience, which includes Financial Planning Education and Exam Prep Review courses. He also holds an MBA from the University of Central Florida, Orlando and a BS from the University of Florida, Gainesville.

Peter Blackwell, MBA, CEP

Peter's resume includes experience as an Academic Coordinator, Rollins College Financial Planning Certificate Program (1993-1997). He also is a Review Instructor, one of only a few in the nation teaching all CFP Board topics. He is a former presenter for Disney Institute, Vice President and co-owner of Aegis Financial Advisors, Inc., and a Registered Investment Adviser. Peter is an author of teaching materials, test questions and cases.

Peter is a former Director with the Institute of Certified Financial Planners (now the Financial Planning Association) and holds an MBA from Wharton School of Finance and a BA from Cornell University.

Sharon Bonnem, CFP®

Sharon has worked in the financial services industry for 20 years and has held the FINRA Series 7, 24, and 63 licenses as well as an insurance license. She has been a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ since 2000.

Sharon currently teaches all course modules and the Financial Planning Live Review. She also teaches the FINRA Series 7 and 66 courses for Kaplan Financial.

She has a BS in Business Administration from the State University of New York at Albany and a Masters in Personal Financial Planning from the College for Financial Planning, Denver, CO.

She is a board member of the Financial Planning Association's Philadelphia Tri-State chapter and serves as its Vice President, Pro-Bono.

Ed Clark, CASL, ChFC

Ed is an instructor for the Financial Planning education and Live Review courses. He earned his BS in mathematics from Brigham Young University in 1994. He received his Chartered Advisor for Senior Living in 2005.

He has a combined 22 years of experience in the insurance and financial services industries, including 5 years as a property-casualty actuary (State Farm Insurance), and 17 years managing his own multi-line insurance and financial services agency (Ed Clark Insurance Agency, Inc. State Farm Insurance). He is Series 6 and 63 licensed.

John J. Pallaria, MBA, CHFC, CFP®

Manages a team of relationship managers that are responsible for the overall client servicing of Principal's retirement business in New England.

John is a previous Relationship Manager within Scudder Investment's retirement division and has also worked as a Portfolio Accountant with Putnam Investments. He received his BS in Business Administration with a major in Finance from Merrimack College in Massachusetts and received his MBA from Southern New Hampshire University. John received Certificate in Financial Planning from Merrimack College in 2001 and obtained Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) from The American College in Bryn Mawr, PA in 2002. John is an adjunct faculty member at Boston University and teaches Retirement Planning, Income Tax Planning and Estate Planning in BU's CFP Board-approved Program. He is also a former adjunct faculty member in Merrimack College's CFP Board-approved Program.

Christopher J. Tuttle, CFP®, CHFC, CLU

Chris spent four years overseas on active duty (Lt., USN), followed by a 22-year career  in tax-based banking and international corporate finance (stationed in New York, Los Angeles, Houston, and London);  for the past 12 years he has served as a fee-based CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) and fully independent Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) based in New York City. His financial planning clientele includes both individuals and small- to medium-sized companies and partnerships.

Chris has taught CFP® certification courses since 1999, when he acquired the CFP® certification. He teaches all modules (101–106) as well as the 4- and 5-Day Live Review courses in New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, Boston, and Philadelphia.

Chris's education includes an undergraduate degree from Colgate University and an MBA (Finance and Accounting) from New York University. Additionally, he holds professional designations including the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), and Accredited Estate Planner (AEP).

Chris White, CFP®

Chris has experience in financial services since 1993. Chris prepares comprehensive financial plans for clients and their families, including tax, retirement, investments, asset allocation, insurance needs analysis, business succession issues, special capital needs, and estate planning.

Chris is experienced in administering trusts, agency and custodial accounts, IRAs, and private foundations. Previously served at Fidelity Investments, designing and implementing retirement plans for small businesses and their owners, he is a member of the Board of Directors of the Cincinnati chapter of the Financial Planning Association; curriculum instructor since 1998.

Chris holds his MBA with a concentration in Taxation from Xavier University and a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Cincinnati.

Geoffrey W. White, CFP®, CHFC, MSFS

Geoffrey White has been in the investment and financial planning business for 11 years.

He has a Bachelor's Degree in Finance from Arizona State University and a Master’s Degree in Financial Services from the Institute of Business and Finance.

Geoff has become experienced in solving complex financial issues for families and businesses. With tenure in multiple specialized areas, he has been able to put his experience to work for families, no matter how simple or complex.

Mr. White has been teaching the CFP® exam curriculum for over two years to students working toward the designation. He and his wife Andrea live in Gilbert, Arizona, with their four children.

Bill Yurkovac, CFP®

Bill has a private practice in Florida focusing on asset management and estate planning considerations for his clientele. Mr. Yurkovac holds a Master's Degree in Education, has more than 25 years experience in the financial services arena, and enjoys serving as an instructor for candidates preparing for the CFP® Certification Examination. 

His current community involvement includes assisting and counseling several non-profit organizations and a chair on the local Estate Planning Council's Board of Directors.