ASPIRE FINANCIAL SERVICES - Key Persons


Bob Francis

Job Titles:
  • Member of the Board

Bobby Jones

Job Titles:
  • Member of the Board

Charlie Ruffel

Job Titles:
  • Member of the Board

Clarice Johnson - SVP

Job Titles:
  • SVP
  • in 2016 As the Vice President
Clarice Johnson joined Aspire Financial Services in 2016 as the Vice President of Strategic Engagements, responsible for supporting sales productivity and deal flow by securing the execution and close of complex BPO/Block Implementations. In 2018, Clarice assumed leadership of the PMO organization providing hands on management and direction of all enterprise level initiatives. Clarice has over 20 years of experience managing national and global business transformation and technology projects. She has managed multi-national projects in North America, EMEA, and Latin America across a number of sectors. Clarice possesses deep technical knowledge of business integrations, process re-engineering, compliance & operational risk control, and quality improvement implementations. Prior to joining Aspire, Clarice held the position of Senior Director of Operations at Care Services, establishing the Long-Term Care On Call Pharmacy division, and as Director, Pharmacy Programs at HELIOS (previously PMSI), where she served as the PMO leader for the pharmacy operations division. Clarice has a Six Sigma Green Belt from Florida Atlantic University and is a Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute (PMI). She holds two undergraduate degrees - a BA in International Studies and Political Science from the University of Miami, and a BA in Finance with minor in Economics from the University of South Florida.

Dan Sargent

Job Titles:
  • National Sales Manager

David Marsh


Janice Lane-Artille


Kyle Griswold

Job Titles:
  • Member of the Board

Laura Blackwell


Madeline Fennell - SVP

Job Titles:
  • SVP
  • Senior Vice President of the Program Operations
Madeline Fennell is the Senior Vice President of the Program Operations at Aspire Financial Services, responsible for overseeing Implementations, Strategic Engagement Projects and Enterprise IT Projects. Within her role, Madeline manages projects that span multiple teams across the Aspire organization, as well as the plan on-boarding process for both individual plans and blocks of plans. With over 25 years in the retirement plan industry, Madeline possesses a range of experience that includes client services, compliance, conversions, enterprise project management and training. In addition to experience on the business side of service and operations, Madeline also has experience leading teams of IT associates in business and quality analysis. Prior to joining Aspire in 2013, Madeline spent three years at First Savings Retirement Services as Vice President, where she was responsible for TPA Services. Previously, Madeline spent 16 years at Ascensus (formerly known as BISYS) in various roles, including Supervisor of Client Services, Manager of Training, Director of Enterprise Project Management and Director of Institutional Conversions. Madeline received her BS in Insurance from Pennsylvania State University.

Manish Gupta - Founder

Job Titles:
  • Co - Founder
  • Member of the Board

Mark Agustin - COO, President

Job Titles:
  • COO
  • President
Mark Agustin is the President and COO of Aspire Financial Services, responsible for overseeing the company's strategy, direction and leadership of day-to-day operational functions, including Operations and Processing Support, Client Services, Technology Development and Infrastructure, Finance, Billing, Legal and Human Resources. In this capacity, Mark has helped provide management oversight for a number of strategic growth initiatives. Mark joined Aspire in January 2012 as Chief Financial Officer and was instrumental in leading the company through its first equity financing with FTV Capital. With over 22 years of financial and operational management experience, Mark possesses an impressive track record of successfully leading public and privately held mid-market companies across multiple industry sectors to improve operational and financial performance through various stages of growth and expansion. Previously, Mark served as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating/Financial Officer of a leading global healthcare IT solutions provider and played a pivotal role leading the company through its start-up phase and ultimate strategic merger with a larger entity. Prior to that, Mark served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Carrier Enterprise, one of the largest independent distributors of consumer products. In this position, Mark helped form the joint venture in building out the company's fiscal and operational infrastructure, which resulted in substantial earnings and market share growth. Mark also served as Chief Operating Officer and/or Chief Financial Officer for various companies, including PMSI/AmerisourceBergen, Zavata, Watsco, IMR Global, and HealthPlan Services. Mark received his BS in Finance and Accounting from Widener University.

Mark Luckinbill

Job Titles:
  • SVP Managing Director of 403 ( B ) / 457 / IRA Markets

Mike Gottfried - Founder

Job Titles:
  • Co - Founder
  • Member of the Board

Payroll Deduction IRA

Job Titles:
  • Employee
Payroll Deduction IRA - Employee-only contribution program available to businesses of any size.

Pete Kirtland - CEO

Job Titles:
  • Chief Executive Officer
Pete Kirtland is the Chief Executive Officer of Aspire Financial Services, overseeing the growth and strategic direction to build the company into a nationally recognized leader in the retirement plan industry. With over 25 years in the retirement plan industry, Pete Kirtland possesses a range of knowledge that includes administration, compliance, consulting, management, plan design, communications, sales and marketing. Previously, Pete served as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at InvestLink Technologies, where he grew the client base from 25 to more than 90 in just two-and-a-half years. In this position, Pete spoke with more than 200 third-party administrators and financial intermediaries across the country, leading best practices at a national level. Prior to InvestLink, Pete worked for Larson Allen Benefits Consulting, managing daily valuation services for more than 55,000 participants and 25 administrators. Pete also worked at Coopers & Lybrand, LLP, in a wide range of positions, completing his tenure as a senior consultant in charge of defined contribution services for the state of Florida. In this position, he developed a wide range of knowledge in plan administration, from plan design to all facets of compliance to completing and filing government forms. In 2010, Pete was recognized as a Florida Finalist for Ernst & Young's prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year award and in 2011 named as #18 on the Tampa Bay Business Journal Fastest 50 Growing Companies list. He currently serves on the Advisory Boards of TD Ameritrade Trust Company, and Matrix Settlement and Clearing Services. Pete is also an active member of the Florida West Coast Employee Benefits Council, CEO Council of Tampa Bay, National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA), Toastmasters International, and Golfers Against Cancer. Pete received his BS in Finance from Penn State University.

Ron Dunbar - SVP

Job Titles:
  • SVP
  • Senior Vice President of Information Systems
Ron Dunbar is the Senior Vice President of Information Systems & Support (ISS) at Aspire Financial Services, responsible for Aspire's IT network infrastructure including data and telephony, security and compliance, support of the recordkeeping platform and quality assurance. Ron joined Aspire in June 2016 as VP of ISS. Prior to joining aspire, Ron held executive management positions with several healthcare and software companies, most recently serving as VP of Information Technology for Blue Mountain Therapy, a healthcare staffing company. Ron also served as Director of Software Development for Emporos Systems, a pharmacy point-of-sale provider, President of Assura Technology Group, a mobile software startup and IT Director for Consumer Direct Management Solutions, a national Medicaid service provider. Ron is a Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer and studied Geographical Information Systems at Appalachian State University.

Sean Smith


Shelia Reed - CMO

Job Titles:
  • Chief Marketing Officer
Shelia Reed joined Aspire Financial Services in April 2013 as Chief Marketing Officer, responsible for leading marketplace and client experiences to drive awareness, acquisition, retention and loyalty, with a focus on multi-channel integrated marketing strategies across digital, brand, partner, communications, and white-label client programs. As a senior professional in the marketing industry, Shelia brings a proven track record of success with impactful creative execution that motivates internal and external audiences, resulting in market-share value. Shelia's knowledge of professional services, technology solutions, and business process outsourcing, as well as her strong leadership skills, have contributed to the success of several industry-leading organizations with high-impact, strategic branding and market positioning. Previously, Shelia served as Vice President of Marketing at PMSI, one of the nation's largest providers of specialty products and services for the workers' compensation and liability markets, where she built a world-class and respected brand both internally and externally. Prior to PMSI, Shelia served as the Global Brand leader for KPMG Consulting and BearingPoint. In this capacity, she led marketing strategies for 19 market segments in seven countries; led the rebranding efforts of the global brand from KPMG Consulting to BearingPoint in 130 countries; and held critical roles in the strategic repositioning from trading on the NASDAQ to the NYSE, global acquisitions, and strategic service offering initiatives. Shelia started her career at Kraft Foods in an analytical capacity for new product launches. Shelia launched the Tampa chapter of the nationally known The CMO Club and served as president for 18 months. She is also an active member of the CMO Council and Women in Pensions Network, as well as a Marketing Mentor in the University of South Florida mentorship program, and a frequent speaker at conferences and industry panel discussions. Shelia received her BS in Business Management with a concentration in Marketing.

Stephen Tague - CTO

Job Titles:
  • Chief Technology Officer
Stephen Tague is the Chief Technology Officer of Aspire Financial Services, responsible for managing and supporting the delivery of Aspire's recordkeeping technology infrastructure, development and enhancement initiatives delivered on time and within budget by establishing a repeatable and rapid IT development model capable of delivering our current mission-critical projects, as well as future technology automation and enhancement initiatives. With 30 years of experience in technology development and 15 in financial services/recordkeeping, Stephen possesses an impressive track record of delivering development initiatives through a host of major technical platforms and database schema. He joined Aspire in November 2011 as part of the InvestLink Technologies acquisition, serving as the Vice President of IT and was a prominent leader in delivering Aspire's recordkeeping technology initiatives. In January 2013, Stephen became Chief Technology Officer of Aspire. Prior to Aspire, Stephen served as the Chief Technology Officer at InvestLink Technologies. In this capacity, he led the company through its move to Microsoft's .NET platform and later presented the InvestLink technical business case on the move to .NET at Microsoft's annual Financial Services Developers Conference. Prior to InvestLink, Stephen served as the Senior Technology Officer at JobDirect.com and has held various senior technical positions at NCR, Sheridan Software Systems and Bankers Trust. Stephen received his BS in Chemistry from the University of Sydney.

Takira Jackson