Our Team

Our professionals come from a variety of financial backgrounds, which adds to strength of our firm and the diversity of our services. But, they share one common trait: A desire to provide customized planning, personalized attention, and the best financial guidance for each client.

Darin M. Ely

President

Darin grew up in Abingdon, VA and attended Radford University where he studied Psychology. He continued his studies at the University of Virginia following his graduation where he developed his passion for financial advising. Darin has been in the financial service industry for almost twenty years. He started off his career going door to door and introducing himself to clients. This intentionality is still at the core of Virginia Asset Group and guided Darin to open up his own firm in 2005.

Working with clients on their individual investments is Darin’s priority. Whether it is mutual funds, individual securities, bonds, unit investment trusts, or separately managed accounts, Darin will craft a unique portfolio tailored to meet the goals and risk tolerance of each client. The goal is to maximize risk adjusted returns. All clients will receive the individual attention every investor expects and deserves.

Outside of the office, Darin lives in Chesapeake with his wife Jennifer and children, Taylor and Chase. His family attends Great Bridge Baptist Church. Darin is actively involved as an Instructor for the Virginia Beach Adult Learning Center, a Board Member for PIN Ministries, a youth coach for both baseball and basketball at the AAU level, and a member of the Community Leaders Partners, which is affiliated with the Hampton Roads Community Foundation.

Richard Ferraro

Rich grew up in Farifax, VA and attended Lynchburg College where he graduated with a BA in Marketing. Rich has worked in the financial industry since 1990. For nine years he worked for an insurance company as a claims adjuster. In 1999 he started his career in wealth management. Rich started out going door to door. Starting out in the manner has instilled in Rich the importance of personal contact with his clients. He enjoys building relationships and assisting clients achieve their financial goals. Rich helps clients build their assets for a secure retirement, manage those assets in retirement, and assist in moving assets to the next generation.

Rich also believes that giving back to the community is important. He currently serves on his church’s finance committee, working with the tutoring program for Lancaster County Public Schools, and is a member of the local Rotary Club. Over the years Rich has served on several church mission trips both here and abroad. 

Rich lives in White Stone with his wife Gale.  Rich enjoys spending time with family, traveling,  and boating.

Richard L. McMillan

Vice President

Richard grew up in the Hampton Roads area and he graduated from The College of William and Mary with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and English. He has served as an Investment Instructor for the Chesapeake Public Schools Adult Education Center and has been a local presenter on all topics financial for over sixteen years.

Richard’s primary objective as a financial consultant is to assist his clients in establishing and following a roadmap to financial independence and success. Through management of assets in portfolios, individual securities, or separately managed accounts, Richard will design a program to assist in helping the client reach his financial objectives. Clients will receive the individual attention each investor expects and deserves. Richard’s goal with every client is to make a difference in their lives financially so that his clients can fulfill their priorities and seek out new aspirations.

Richard believes that good business leaders should also be leaders in their communities. He is currently serving on the Chesapeake Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and is a board member with the Great Bridge/Hickory YMCA. He has worked on leadership committees with the United Way, South Norfolk Ruritan Club, American Cancer Society Relay for Life, ACS Team MacAttack, James Simmons Memorial Scholarship and many more. He is a member of Chesapeake Avenue United Methodist Church and the North American Shrine. Richard lives in Chesapeake and is the proud father of Drew and Abby.

Emily R. Robbins

Account Vice President

Emily received a Bachelor of Arts from James Madison University in 2002. She has been in the banking and finance industry for over 10 years. She received her Professional Financial Planner Certificate from Old Dominion University in 2007. Emily has also successfully completed the Private Wealth Sales School from the Cannon Financial Institute in 2008. Emily currently holds her Series 7 and 66 registrations as well as her personal insurance licenses for life, health, long term care and disability insurance.

She began her financial career in the retail branches of local community banks. Emily was then elevated to the Trust department within a bank which allowed her to gain experience on the facets of proper estate, financial and retirement planning. She places an emphasis on working with individual investors, corporate clients and retirement plans. Emily enjoys helping clients achieve their financial goals and she provides the personal attention all clients deserve.

Emily lives in Chesapeake with her husband, Michael and her children, William and Lily. Emily is also involved in a number of organizations outside the office. She works with Norfolk CASA, Southeastern Virginia Community Foundation, and has been involved with Cape Henry’s Alumni Board. In the future, Emily wants to get involved with Girls on the Run and Roc Solid Foundation.

Christopher S. Jennings

Account Vice President

Chris grew up in Chesapeake, VA and received a Bachelor of Science from Virginia Tech. He began his career working as a civilian contractor with the U.S. Navy before transitioning to the world of personal financial planning in 2001. While with the U.S. Navy’s LANTFLT Environmental Division, Chris focused heavily on budget planning, financial analysis, and long-term spending for the Atlantic Fleet. He learned the importance of developing a sound, conservative, financial strategy, which Chris reviews regularly with each of his clients to make sure it emphasizes what matters most to each of them. Chris currently holds his Series 7 and Series 66 Securities registration.

Inside the office, Chris focuses on client transitions through trust and estate planning*. Chris has built his business by taking care of people and asking the right questions. Trust is at the core of Chris’s business and he enjoys being a shepherd for clients during these times. In addition to trust and estate planning, Chris works with numerous special needs families to plan their finances. Chris’s service to his clients is second to none as he consistently seeks to embody Virginia Tech’s motto of Ut Prosim or “That I May Serve” both in his work and outside of the firm.

Outside of the office, Chris is the proud father of Emmalina and William. He is also a very dedicated Hokie and a Den Leader for Cub Scout Pack 6 in Chesapeake. As the President of the Tidewater Chapter of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, Chris promotes service and scholarship in the cities of Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach. As a Den Leader, Chris speaks to his scouts about fulfilling the scout oath and law and encourages them to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. A distinction that Chris earned as a youth and one he hopes William will pursue. In addition to these involvements, Chris spends his time supporting the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia, American Cancer Society, Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, Salvation Army, Vanguard Landing, and the Chi Phi Fraternity.

Awards: Hartford Funds Master, Valued Producer Award by Griffin America, Hampton Roads Five Start Wealth Manager, Virginia Tech Alumni Association Chapter of the Year, Virginia Tech Outstanding Chapter Award, and Virginia Tech Officer of the Year award.

* We do not provide legal or tax advice. Consult your legal and/or tax advisor.

Chris Anders

Account Vice President and Financial Advisor

Chris is an Account Vice President and Financial Advisor at Virginia Asset Group. He focuses on developing wealth and investment management strategies for individuals, families, business owners, and select foundations and endowments. Chris entered the financial services industry in 1987. His industry experience includes roles in insurance, banking, and investment and asset management. He has a passion to build enduring client relationships through a commitment to provide outstanding financial guidance and service. Chris built his practice by listening to his clients articulate their goals and priorities then offering compelling insights on a range of topics, including asset allocation, investment strategies, market dynamics, and wealth management.

Chris currently serves on the Board of Director’s for Make A-Wish Greater Virginia, the Patient Transportation committee for Shriners Hospital, and volunteers with Junior Achievement for the High School Market Game.

Chris holds a Bachelor of Business Administrations degree from Averett University. He received his Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor℠ (CRPC®) designation from The College of Financial Planning.

Married with four children, Chris enjoys spending time with his family. When time permits, he likes to travel and is an avid ACC college basketball fan.

Jeffery Bracewell

Brady M. Smith

Brady grew up in Charlottesville, VA, and in 2004 graduated from Radford University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Marketing and a Minor in Economics. In 2006, Brady began his career in the financial services industry in Richmond, VA, where he worked for a large national bank and brokerage firm.

Brady is dedicated to assist individuals, families, and business owners in achieving their financial goals and addressing both their short and long term needs, time horizon, and risk tolerance. Whatever the client’s goals may be, whether it is retirement planning, wealth preservation, education planning, etc., he utilizes professional investment skills by listening and developing a comprehensive investment plan tailored to their individual needs. He currently holds his Series 7, 63, and 65 securities registrations along with life, health, and annuity insurance licenses.

Brady lives in Hanover, VA with his wife, Brooke, son, Bennett, and golden retriever, Charley. He has enjoyed volunteering with the YMCA of Greater Richmond Bright Beginnings program as well as Habitat for Humanity. In his spare time, Brady can be found competing in triathlons, marathons, and spending time outdoors with his family.

Jason C. Sherwood

Account Vice President

 

Jason Sherwood brings over a decade of experience combined in both the financial and insurance service industries, after he spent time at fortune 500 companies. His formal education includes an M.B.A., from Waynesburg University, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, from Messiah College.  Jason grew up in Chesapeake, VA and is a graduate of Greenbrier Christian Academy.

Jason specializes in working with a select group of families and businesses, focusing on serious long-term investors, to help them make educated decisions about their finances.  Do you need help with any of the following:  What will my retirement income look like? When should I take social security? What retirement plan is best for my company? Do you struggle with these questions or others like it? Do you know when you can retire or transition to that business you always wanted to start? How are you going to pass wealth on for generations, or to your favorite charity, that is so close to your heart? Do you need help making financial decisions around major life transitions such as: getting married or divorced, birth of a child or loss of a loved one, education, career change, or retiring? Jason can assist you, as you plan for the future and variables of life.

Jason Sherwood also enjoys giving back to the community through his involvement and leadership in civic groups.  He has served as past president of the Cranberry Area Jaycee’s and is currently an active member and president of the Manteo Rotary Club. Jason also sits on the board at Creative Choices Pregnancy Resource Center, and coaches high school varsity basketball at WCA.  He and his family attend Manteo First Assembly of God, where his wife is on staff.  Jason, his beautiful bride Mary Ann, and their sons Jaden and Mathias reside in Manteo, NC.

William P. Comer

Richmond Market

I have been in Financial Services for over 30 years, including 25 years of experience in Investments, with both full-service brokerage firms and national banks. I also have experience in Retail and Commercial Lending, and Wealth Management.

I work with high-net-worth clients to assess their needs, determine their goals, and achieve their objectives. Together, we develop a comprehensive wealth management strategy for financial success, both for themselves and generations to come. My clients are successful individuals, families, and business owners seeking to protect and grow their wealth.

Registered since 1991, I currently hold Series 7, 63 & 65 securities registrations as well as Virginia Health, Life & Annuities, and Variable Insurance licenses.

My community involvement includes volunteering with Venture Richmond and serving as Treasurer on my Home Owners Association Board of Directors.

Allan R. Berman

Financial Advisor

Allan Berman has a BA in Economics and Accounting from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County Campus and holds Series 6, 63, and 26 registration. He comes to us with 30 years of experience in the areas of accounting and auditing, financial analysis, and real estate, and has spent the last 28 years working as a financial advisor. As a Series 26, Allan ran two branch operations as a Senior Division Manager for First Investors Corporation in the Baltimore and Annapolis, Maryland region. In the last 12 years Allan has worked as an Independent Financial Advisor; first at Nathan & Lewis Securities and, most recently, with American Portfolios Financial Services before coming to Virginia Asset Group. Allan has been inducted into the Kite and Key Club by Franklin Templeton Investments in special recognition and appreciation of outstanding service and commitment to his clients.

Allan specializes in the areas of strategic asset management portfolios, mutual funds, annuities, all retirement plans, such as IRAs, SEP IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, and simple plans. In addition to working with CPAs and attorneys, Allan also works in the areas of estate planning*, insurance, and the Section 529 education plans. He works diligently with clients to diversify their accounts and to reallocate when necessary. Allan and his wife, Nancy have been involved in the Jewish community in the Hampton Roads area for numerous years.

* We do not provide legal or tax advice. Consult your legal and/or tax advisor.

Merritt Schoff

Merritt attended Dennison University in Ohio and graduated with a degree in English. While he spent a short time in the law industry; he decided that career path wasn’t for him. He accepted a position as a financial services wholesaler in 1995 and has been in the industry ever since, bringing over 23 years of experience to his role with Virginia Asset Group.

Merritt takes a consultative approach with his clients as he understands that everyone’s financial needs are different. His number one priority is building a relationship of trust in order to provide them a holistic approach in helping them meet their financial goals. Through that process, he specializes in mutual funds, annuities, fee-based and retirement planning, including IRA’s, SEP IRA’s, 401(k)’s, 403(b)’s and SIMPLE plans. He also helps many families plan for education using 529 plans.

Merritt resides in Williamsburg with his wife Kate and son Charlie. Having recently relocated to Williamsburg, he is looking forward to continuing an active role in the Presbyterian Church, something he greatly enjoyed doing while a serving as a Deacon in Annapolis, MD. In his free time, he enjoys running, playing golf and spending time with his family.

Chelsea Jennings

Chelsea received a Bachelor’s of Science from Old Dominion University in 2003. Chelsea plays an important role at Virginia Asset Group heading up the health insurance division. Her expertise expands to corporate employee benefit programs, individual coverage, and Medicare. Chelsea conducts a thorough analysis ensuring each customer received the best coverage at the best price. She has experience navigating through the endless changes of the nation’s current medical insurance platforms which is an invaluable resource to Virginia Asset Group’s customer base and the Hampton Roads community. Chelsea also assists clients with their dental, vision, life, and disability needs. With the endless changes occurring within the Medicare and the individual markets, education is the forefront of Chelsea’s professional model. Health insurance is a very personal decision and Chelsea spends time with each individual properly coaching them on their options, while aligning with their overall financial plan that has been decided upon with their Virginia Asset Group advisor. Chelsea plays a crucial role in the overall financial planning process and works very closely with the in-house advisor team.

In addition to consumer health insurance, Chelsea has extensive experience managing corporate employee benefit programs within a wide range of industry types. Each industry – non-profit, manufacturing, trade specific, religious-based, and/or professional – brings a different challenge but with one end goal in mind: uncovering the right employee benefit package to fit a company’s culture. Chelsea’s due diligent process includes annual marketing of employee benefit programs, rigorous negotiations, and various methods of communicating the employee benefit programs to its most important audience – the employees. Chelsea guides employer groups through their compliance needs to include DOL, IRS, and Health Care Reform changes and assists in the design and implementation of corporate wellness programs.

Outside of the office, Chelsea spends majority of her time with her husband Chris and two wonderful step children, Emma and Will. She is very active in the local tennis community, captaining many local teams who have had the opportunity to compete in regional and national tournaments. In addition, she is an active member in the Kiwanis Club of Chesapeake, where she dedicates time to support the needs of children in the community.

Emily J. Capps

Senior Client Service Associate

Emily grew up in Northern Virginia and has over fifteen years of banking and financial service industry experience. She began her financial career as a bank teller and most recently held a position as a Branch Operations Manager for a local community bank before joining Virginia Asset Group in 2010 as a client service associate. She was promoted to the position of Senior Client Service Associate in 2012. She has a vast background in employee training and currently holds a Virginia life and health insurance license.

Emily lives in Suffolk her husband Adam and their children. They are active members of Coastal Virginia Church, where they enjoy working with the children’s ministries. When Emily is not spending time with her family, she enjoys running and training for local races.

Mark C. Castonguay

Client Service Associate

Mark C. Castonguay comes to us from the Retail Industry with 7 years experience in Customer Service & Operations Management.

At Virginia Asset Group he is continuing his work as a Client Service Associate at our Outer Banks Office.   Mark attended the University of Maine, earning a BS in Business Administration and Management.  He currently lives in Kill Devil Hills, and is a member of the Manteo Assembly of God.

Mark is looking forward to serving you and can be reached at (252) 715-4511 or mcastonguay@virginiaassetgroup.com.

Sheri L. Baker

Sheri L. Baker, devoted wife, mother of 2 and grandmother of 3. Sheri grew up in Hampton, VA and later moved to Gloucester in the 1990’s. When Sheri isn't working you will find her spending time with her family. Sheri has thrived professionally in the financial industry for over 27 years. Just over 20 of those years she has been dedicated to investment banking. She holds her Series 6 and 63 registrations and her Virginia Life and Health Insurance Licenses. As an AVP and Operations Manager, she has been the hub of many ever-changing spokes. She rests her success on the shoulders of a can-do will-do attitude with a detail oriented approach.

Erin L. Sons

Client Service Associate

Erin is a native of Newton, Iowa and came to Virginia Asset Group at the beginning of 2014. She began her career as a Client Service Coordinator (CSC) with H&R Block, where she worked for a total of 7 years. Her career began in central Iowa before transferring to a very successful corporate office for the company, in Chesapeake. It was this experience that led her to desire to expand her knowledge of the finance industry by transferring to Virginia Asset Group. Erin graduated with highest honors from Des Moines Area Community College, in central Iowa with an ASS, Administrative Assistant degree. While perusing her degree she became a member of Phi Theta Kappa National Honors Society after her first semester. Along with her degree she holds 10+ Administrative Excellence certificates.

After graduating from DMACC Erin then married her husband Evan and moved to Virginia Beach, both taking place in the fall of 2013. Outside of the office she frequently spends time in the pool, for both sport and recreation. She greatly enjoys spending time with her husband and their dog, Frodo, during her evenings out of the office. As a family, they enjoy going to the beach, and traveling throughout Virginia together. Erin and Evan are members at St. Paul’s Catholic Church, in Portsmouth. Erin is continually excited to be bringing her administrative skills, knowledge, and passion to the clients of Virginia Asset Group.

Brennan Fuller

Brennan Fuller grew up in Virginia Beach, VA and attended Cape Henry Collegiate School. She continued her education at Radford University, majoring in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. Upon her graduation in December of 2016, she moved to Australia. While there, she totally immersed herself in the local culture. She was able to work and travel while there, which allowed her to gain knowledge and experience in the Australian customs and lifestyle. After her return from Australia, Brennan worked in the restaurant industry. She is excited to work in the professional services industry where she can pursue her career in Marketing.

Brennan enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, and relaxing at the beach. She also loves spending time with her sweet kitten, Spotti, who was adopted from Hope For Life animal shelter.

Kelly Wacikowski

Kelly comes to us from the Retail Industry with over 20 years’ experience in Customer Service. It was her Cash office experience with BJ’s Wholesale Club and The Fresh Market that gave her the desire to work in finance.

Kelly attended Old Dominion University where she earned her Master’s in Education in December 2009. She taught elementary school for a short time and has decided to make a career change. She joined Virginia Asset Group in the fall of 2018 as a Client Service Associate and looks forward to advancing her career in finance.

Kelly was born in Woodstock, New York but has lived most of her life in Virginia Beach. She is a member of St. Gregory the Great Catholic church in Virginia Beach. Kelly enjoys baking, traveling and spending time with her family and with her rescue dog, Bella.