Our financial representatives have an incredible opportunity to positively impact people’s lives - the lives of their clients, their families and those in their communities. They take this responsibility seriously and so do we. We provide them with the training and support they need to ensure their success, but we know it is their productive work ethic, strong relationship skills and professionalism that make them extraordinary.

 James A Zara

James A Zara, CLU®, ChFC®

Managing Director

Jim joined Northwestern Mutual in January of 1991 and was named Rookie of the Year. Within two years he was a qualifying member of the Million Dollar Round Table.  In 1995, Jim was the youngest Advisor to qualify for Nothwestern Mutual's Recognition Dinner, which was held for the Top Advisors in the country.

Jim is a founding member of the Northwestern Mutual Forum, which began in 1998 to recognize the NM Advisors who have reached the highest level of productivity and excellence.  He has continued to qualify every year since its inception.

Jim has achieved the Firm’s Top 20 status three times, and is a perennial leader in the Southern Region.  Jim has won the Master Achievement Award seven times, and has also won the Financial Security Award.   Jim currently sits at #14 in Northwestern Mutual production and has recently surpassed the $1 Billon mark in life insurance death benefit inforce.  Jim has served as a Board Member to Northwestern Mutual’s Financial Representative Association.

Jim was named the Managing Director of Northwestern Mutual – Chesterfield April 1, 2014. Under his leadership, the NM- Chesterfield team works to select and develop the next generation of the most productive Northwestern Mutual Advisors in the country.

Associates: Dawn Bernich and Darla Patterson

 Brian A LaValle

Brian A LaValle, CFP®, CLU®, MBA

Wealth Management Advisor

My Networks: LinkedIn

Brian LaValle was born and raised in New Madrid, MO.   Brian earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1990, and his Masters in Business Administration from St Louis University in 1994.

Brian joined Northwestern Mutual in 2003 and has earned many awards and honors including Pacesetter first 40, Pacesetter second 60, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum awards, 2014 Million Dollar Round Table Lifetime member, Life Impact Award, Leadership Achievement, and NAIFA National Quality Award. In 2014 Brian earned his Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®) designation from The American College.

Brian has been in planning and wealth management since 2003.  In his tenure he has noticed a theme that no two clients are parallel.  Each client has a unique set of circumstances that differentiates themselves from the next.  Brian has developed a wealth of knowledge around financial markets and tools. He has mastered the skill of applying his expertise and passion to each client’s unique circumstances. Brian and his team run a balanced practice utilizing Insurance and Investment solutions as appropriate to help meet his client’s needs and to help them realize their dreams and plan for their personal, professional, and financial goals.


Associates: Shane O'Brien

 Christian Henley

Christian Henley, CFP®, CLU®, MBA

Financial Advisor

My Networks: LinkedIn Facebook Twitter

Christian earned his Bachelor of Science Degree with a major in Business Management and a minor in Finance from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2001, He also earned his Executive Master’s in Business Administration from Washington University’s OLIN School of Business in 2010.

Christian Graduated with honors from Washington University and was admitted in to Betta Gamma Sigma Honors Club.  Before Joining Northwestern Mutual, Christian spent nine years in the health care industry with Abbott Laboratories where he was named the President’s Club award winner in 2006 & was a recipient of the president’s award in 2008.  Christian joined Northwestern Mutual in 2011 and has earned many awards and honors including bronze, silver, and gold awards in his first three years respectively. He earned Northwestern Mutual’s Life Impact Award as well as the Leadership Achievement award in 2014.  Christian also earned the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors Quality Award in 2014.

In 2014 Christian was named the College Unit Director (CUD) for the Chesterfield, MO office.  The Northwestern Mutual Internship program has consistently been rated in the top 10 in the country, and consistently exceed expectations in the St. Louis area.  In the CUD role, Christian is in charge or recruiting, mentoring, and developing the college interns as they develop the skills necessary to become the successful future of Northwestern Mutual Financial Advisors.

Christian is a Financial Advisor with Northwestern Mutual and holds his series 6, series 7, series 63, series 66 securities licenses as well as life, health and long term care insurance licenses.  Christian runs a balanced practice utilizing insurance and investment solutions as appropriate to meet every client’s unique goals.  Christian enjoys this career because it allows him the ability to help clients make complex financial decisions seam simple and seamless.

Christian and his wife Erin have three children, Averyana, Chase, and Estella.  Christian and his wife enjoy doing charity with the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) and St. Louis Family Church.  They also enjoy spending time with their kids and extended family


Associate: Katie Donnelly

 Douglas Stockton

Douglas Stockton, MBA

Financial Advisor

My Networks: LinkedIn Facebook Twitter

Associates: Crystal Stockton and Zach Bradford

 Dylan Thomas Donovan

Dylan Thomas Donovan

Financial Representative

 John H. Short

John H. Short

Financial Advisor

John advocates for his clients’ best interests by getting to know them and their meaningful personal, professional & financial goals.  He focuses on aligning their goals with their financial habits & actions by helping them protect their families and businesses, accumulate capital, and enhance estates.  His mission is to be a long term financial partner with his clients, and to be there with them every step of the way as they build and achieve financial security.

John has been building his business with Northwestern Mutual for over 10 years, when he started as a college intern his final semester at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.  After graduating in 2002, he became a full time Financial Representative and has since earned numerous achievements, including National Quality Award and Million Dollar Roundtable.

John is married to Ellie, who is universally thought to be out of his league, and they  have a son, Jack.  He is active with several St. Louis community charities that help disadvantaged youth, and in his spare time enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, and playing golf.


Assistant: Kayla Saito

 Kevin S Dooley

Kevin S Dooley, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®, CASL®, CAP®

Wealth Management Advisor

My Networks: LinkedIn

Kevin grew up in a family of 10: six brothers, one sister, and two wonderful parents. Avril, Kevin’s wife is his college sweetheart and runs her own Faux Painting and Mural business. They have a miracle baby, born at 2.2 lbs in 2008. James Patrick is now vibrant, healthy and loves to smile. In July 2010, they happily welcomed their daughter Lauren Joyce into the family.
He has devoted his life to a personal mission of helping executives, families and business owners to understanding the true purpose of money and to be better stewards of their finances. Kevin has received many rewards throughout his career. These include National Sales Achievement Award: 2003-2004, 2008-2009, Million Dollar Round Table Qualifying Member: 2001-2009, National Quality Award: 2002-2004, 2008-2010 and Forum Producer: 2010-2013.

 Lori A Henson

Lori A Henson, RICP®

Financial Representative

My Networks: LinkedIn

Lori has been with Northwestern Mutual since 2006 after having a very successful career as a Construction Project Manager and Safety Director for large general contractors.  A lifelong St. Louis resident, Lori brings her unique problem-solving talents to her practice.  Her clients appreciate her openness, listening skills, and always asking the “next question” to really hone in on what the client’s needs are.  Her mission statement is “to educate my clients to make choices in their lives that eliminate regret. To that end, we have candid and enlightening conversations that reveal their dreams and arrive at a plan of implementation that includes regular reviews and adjustments as situations change.”  Lori specializes in the baby-boomer generation needs, having raised two children through private high school and college as well as dealing with her aging parents.  She truly understands the challenges this generation faces while trying to balance work, home, and family commitments.  She is very knowledgeable and passionate about educating people about the importance of Long Term Care Insurance because of her personal experience with her family.  She has a balanced insurance and investment practice, often facilitating retirement plan rollovers and insurance reviews.

Lori graduated from the University of Missouri-Rolla with a Geological Engineering degree.  She and Joe live in South St. Louis County with their beagles Guinness and Stella.  Her sons are married and live in St. Louis, and she and Joe have one granddaughter born in 2017.  She is an avid photographer, often sharing her pictures with her clients.  Her husband is a professional home remodeler and loves fly fishing.  With the family love of golf, they typically travel to areas of the country where golf, photography, and fishing can be enjoyed by all.


 Peter Racen

Peter Racen, CLU®, ChFC®, CASL®, CFP®, AEP®

Estate & Business Planning Specialist

My Networks: LinkedIn Twitter

Peter spent the first 20 years of his business career as an owner of a closely-held family business that was started by his grandfather in 1946. Through the years the business grew through organic growth, acquisitions, and mergers. The business was sold in 1999 to a national competitor.

Peter now specializes in the areas of business continuation arrangements, executive benefits to retain key employees, wealth preservation, and estate liquidity for business owners, executives, and professionals.  He joined Northwestern Mutual in October 1999.

Peter is Director of Estate and Business Planning; earned his Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®) and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®), CFP® and AEP® designations; and is a Qualifying Member of the Million Dollar Round Table (2002-2003, 2006-2009) and member of NAIFA.


Assistants: Lisa Mason and Kaye Steck

 Philip DeJong

Philip DeJong

Financial Representative

 Robert V Rubbelke II

Robert V Rubbelke II, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®, CASL®

Wealth Management Advisor

My Networks: LinkedIn

Assistants: Kathy Calvin

 Scott S Niekamp

Scott S Niekamp, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®

Field Director

My Networks: LinkedIn Facebook




Assistants: Lynn Hogan FPQPTM, Nick Oldham CRPS®, Mindy Ottiger M.A. CASL® CLU® ChFC® and Leanne Zamora CRPS®

 Steven Michael Doebber

Steven Michael Doebber, CLU®, ChFC®, RICP®

Wealth Management Advisor

Steve Doebber was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri.  Steve joined Northwestern Mutual in 2001 and has earned several awards and honors including Pacesetter First 40, Pacesetter Second 60, Top 100 New Insureds and NAIFA National Quality Award.

Steve hold his Life & Health License, Series 6, 7, 63 & 66 Registrations.  Steve has also earned his Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®) and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®) designations from The American College.

Steve’s vision is to help his clients plan for their financial future by design, as opposed to chance.  Steve’s clients are given guidance and access to quality investment and insurance products. Through continuous contact and engagement, Steve will help his clients navigate their financial pathway through life.  The objective of Steve’s practice is to develop long term relationships with clients involving reciprocal trust, communication and respect.

Steve is a parishioner of St. Joan of Arc Church in South St. Louis.  Steve enjoys coaching youth soccer, golf, summer vacations on Lake Michigan and spending quality time with his wife, children, family and friends.

If you’d like to learn more about Steve and how he helps his clients develop a financial plan, please contact him at 314.744.5204 or

Assistant: Katie Mcann

 Tom Tulley

Tom Tulley

Wealth Management Advisor



Tom has been in the financial services industry since 1996 when he went to work for AG Edwards and Sons. Prior to that he had spent 18 years in a variety of sales, marketing and business consulting positions with Dow Chemical. He joined Northwestern Mutual in 2003 as an Investment Specialist and currently works as a Wealth Management Advisor. Tom’s primary focus is on personal and business planning. He combines practical experience with the full scope of products, services and expert assistance that Northwestern Mutual provides to help guide individuals to financial security. Tom graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a degree in journalism. He and his wife, Ethel, have four sons, Dave, Dan, Michael and Ryan. They enjoy golf, hiking, travel and family vacations.







Associates: Ethel Tulley, David Tulley and Tracy Fineran.

Career Changers

Changing careers doesn't have to be daunting. Coming from many different backgrounds and occupations, our financial representatives go on to develop successful business practices. With support from a quality organization, it can be an easy transition.

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