PAVING THE WAY TO FINANCIAL FREEDOM!
WHERE IT BEGAN…
The trio of Edward Sokolowski, Joseph Leonczyk, and Charles Myers saw a need in the marketplace for a financial advisory firm that provided a comprehensive, relationship-focused approach to financial planning. This led to the creation of Pioneer Valley Financial Group in 2002, operating based on their core mission to help their clients and community live better.
Nearly two decades later, the ever-growing PV team identified a new need in the marketplace: A program geared towards guiding younger generations along their journey to financial freedom and success.
Welcome to PV Navigator, an innovative approach to financial planning that provides you with access to a team of experienced financial professionals, flexible virtual meetings, and digital planning tools to ensure you stay on course.
YOUR JOURNEY BEGINS NOW!
YOUR FINACIAL NAVIGATION CREW
EDWARD SOKOLOWSKI, CFP®, AIF®, CLU®, CHFC
Managing Partner / Financial Advisor
Managing Partner and Financial Advisor Edward “Ed” Sokolowski is a lifelong resident of Western MA. He graduated from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science in Finance. As a child he remembers visiting his older sister at her office in downtown Springfield, mesmerized by the sounds and sights of the stock market tickers, Ed knew finance was in his future. In college Ed’s Economics Professor instilled in him the value of investments, explaining that when you lose money it takes twice as much effort to earn it back. It was then he chose to steer clear of quick fix stock trading and pave a career path applying the conservative philosophy of long-term investing.
Ed began the licensing process before graduation and promptly joined EQ Financial Consultants out of college. Within two years, Ed’s hard work and dedication propelled him into management. While Ed always valued slow and steady investments, he thrives under the pressure of risky and challenging environments. In 1995 Ed moved his family to New York, seeking a fast-paced setting to push him out of his comfort zone.
Armed with valuable experience, Ed was recruited back to Western MA in 1999 to work for Palmer Goodell Financial Group, LLC. Ed witnessed the corporate sale of Palmer Goodell to TD Bank and quickly realized the need to provide a local, relationship-focused, comprehensive approach to financial planning. Together with business partners Joseph Leonczyk and Charles Myers, Pioneer Valley Financial Group, LLC opened their doors in March 2002.
Today, Ed is consistently recognized as a top-level producer, most recently named President’s Club Advisor for 2017 and 2018. The elite distinction recognizes only the most esteemed financial advisors based on annual production rankings at Commonwealth Financial Network®. President’s Club Advisors benefit from an intensive learning and networking experience designed to help them hone their expertise, share best practices, and provide higher levels of service, education, and leadership to their clients.
When not in the office you’ll often find Ed lacing up to hit the pavement. After being a casual runner for over ten years he decided it was time to move from casual running and start training for his first marathon. An achievement he is proud to have accomplished after turning forty, Ed has since completed several marathons and continues to stay physically fit with daily runs.
Ed received an esteemed Volunteer of the Year Award for his involvement in the preservation of Foley Field/Lake Wallace in Belchertown, MA. During his service as Chairman, Ed tirelessly fought, lobbied, disrupted, and influenced community leaders to preserve the 66 acres. The land is now a place where children and their families enjoy sporting events, nature walks, and environmental exploration. Ed continues to support their efforts to develop and maintain the land, most recently advocating for andsupporting the Lake Wallace Sensory Trail project of 2018. A firm believer in giving back, Ed handpicks organizations like the Ludlow Community Center/Randall Boys & Girls Club, Rick’s Place, Head Start and the Michael J Dias Foundation, to support.
Ed joyfully spends time with his two adult sons, Ryan and Carter. Having spent much of their youth coaching football, basketball and baseball, Ed values the development of future generations through education, community support, and outdoor play. On April 10th, 2020, Ryan and his wife Victoria welcomed a happy and healthy baby boy into the world, making Ed a first-time grandfather to his smiley grandson, Chatham Sokolowski.As PV Financial Group has grown, so has their level of involvement in the community. Ed believes it is his social responsibility to give back to the community and support local children so that they can be successful one day, too. You’ll often find him volunteering at local events, coffee in hand, leading his team by example. Check the background of this investment professional on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.
PETER LEONCZYK, AIF®
Financial Advisor Peter Leonczyk is a lifelong resident of Ludlow, MA. He attended Westfield State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. Peter sought a career that would allow him to impact people’s lives on a deeper level. With a strong desire to serve within the community, coupled with his interest in economics and finance, Peter joined PV Financial in early 2013.
Since joining the firm, Peter has earned his AIF® Designation, expanding his knowledge and expertise in retirement planning and management. Peter is committed to providing quality financial planning and guidance to hardworking individuals, families and businesses throughout all stages of their financial journey. With his genuine sense of humor, grounded in trust and friendship, Peter has a natural ability to develop a strong connection with each one of his clients. Peter has fostered these relationships in the community through his work as a member of the Rotary Club of Ludlow and dedicated volunteer with organizations such as Junior Achievement. Acting on his commitment to support the youth in our community, Peter coached the Ludlow Lions Youth football team. After leading the team to an undefeated championship, Coach Pete stepped down (for now) but remains invested in his players lives both on and off the field. Now Peter serves as an advisory board member and volunteer with the Ludlow Cares Coalition.
Growing alongside his community, Peter was an honoree of the 2020 Business West 40 under Forty Award- a program that recognizes individuals within western mass who have excelled professionally, but also in their services to the community. Now, Peter actively serves on the Michael J. Dias Foundation board and was most recently named a Ludlow Boys and Girls Club – Club Ambassador.
Today, Peter and his wife Jessica reside in Ludlow with their daughter Emma and son Parker. In his free time, you may find Peter combining his love for the outdoors and athletics by playing a round of golf or fishing at a local pond. As a family, they enjoy spending time on the Connecticut River where they fish, paddle board, and barbecue. Displaying his love for cooking, you’ll likely find Peter with a spatula in hand while manning the grill, serving his friends and family.
RYAN SOKOLOWSKI, CCFS®
Ryan Sokolowski grew up in Belchertown, Massachusetts, and is a current resident of York, Pennsylvania. After completing High School in Massachusetts, Ryan attended Penn State University and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Recreation. He also completed a double minor concentration in Business Management and Economics. Following college, Ryan began a five-year journey working in the Country Club industry. He held various positions at a variety of clubs including managing a two-course golf and tennis complex as the General Manager.
In early 2020, Ryan decided to make a career change and follow his passion for finance. He joined Merrill Lynch and trained for a year getting fully licensed through their Financial Development Program. In joining PV Financial, Ryan is excited to work for the company that his father and the partners created in 2002. He will put to good use his years of hospitality experience by building strong client relationships and creating personalized plans for his clients. As an advisor, Ryan believes in creating a fan base of clients that appreciate a servitude approach to financial planning.
When not at the office, Ryan loves to spend time with his beautiful wife, Victoria, and son, Chatham. Ryan and Victoria recently celebrated Chatham’s first birthday. The family loves to take walks to the park together and visit Chatham’s grandparents. Ryan and Victoria love to play cards, golf, and watch shows together on Netflix. In 2021, Ryan is most looking forward to growing PV Navigator and financial awareness among millennials.
Retirement Plan Specialst
Retirement Plan Specialist Antonio Bastos was born and raised in Ludlow, Massachusetts to Portuguese and Italian parents. Growing up, he attended Veteran’s Park Elementary School, Paul R Baird Middle School, and Ludlow High School. As a kid, Antonio played every sport you can imagine, with his true passion lying in soccer. Actively playing basketball, baseball, and soccer throughout middle school, he then turned his focus on solely playing soccer during high school with hopes of playing in college. If he wasn’t playing sports, Antonio and his friends from the neighborhood loved to build and make bike trails in the woods and ride through them. Attached to their bikes, they’d ride them all over town, including to the soccer fields and basketball courts to meet everyone and play for hours!
All of the time spent on soccer paid off, as Antonio went on to play on the soccer team for Nichols College in Dudley, Massachusetts where he obtained a degree in Business Management. He spent most of his time at practice, playing intramural basketball or pond hockey continuing his passion for staying active through competitive sports. Upon graduating, Antonio took a position with MassMutual Retirement Services, where he obtained his Series 6 and Series 63 licenses. His role there was to represent and sell MassMutual’s qualified retirement plan platform to small and mid-sized businesses in a specified geographical area.
Working there for just over 5 years, Antonio was able to gain very important and useful knowledge and experience within qualified retirement plans. Through these experiences, he learned how important retirement planning is and how important a qualified retirement plan is to a company and its employees. Seeing how much PV Financial has done in the community over years, Antonio wanted to join the hard work and dedication of everyone at PV Financial and apply his Qualified Retirement Plan experience to PV clients to drive positive retirement outcomes for Businesses and their employees.
At PV Financial, Antonio’s role is to manage all of the Qualified Retirement Plan clients. From day-to-day servicing and fielding all inquiries from retirement plan participants and plan trustees, he will also maintain relationships with all retirement plan providers in the industry while staying connected and up to date on new products, services, and ERISA compliance regulations to properly and confidently serve all of PV Financials’ Retirement plan clients/participants.
Today, Antonio and his girlfriend, Carly, love to stay active when they can. They enjoy doing projects around the house, hiking, skiing in the winter, playing sports, and hanging out with family and friends. When they finally sit down to relax, they’re most likely watching shows on Netflix, but always make time to watch sports games too! In the past, Antonio has done work with the YMCA of Central Massachusetts, where he volunteered his time to help out with fundraisers and after-school events that targeted community engagement and safety. He’s most looking forward to participating and volunteering his time around the community more in 2021.
Chief Operating Officer
Chief Operating Officer, Kelly Haber, was born and raised in Ludlow, MA. Born into a Portuguese family, Kelly’s parents immigrated to the United States before starting a family. They desired to give Kelly and her brother a life full of opportunity. Guided by the dedicated work ethic of her parents, Kelly vividly remembers going to work at her local bakery at 16, upholding her commitment to the tennis team and still maintaining excellent grades in preparation for college. Kelly’s acute attention to detail drove her success then, as it does now.
Kelly went on to attend Western New England University where a career in finance first peaked her interest. Out of school Kelly got her first taste of the Financial Planning industry while working at Northwestern Mutual in Pittsfield, MA as a Sales Assistant. The independent, fast-paced environment prepared her for her subsequent move to MassMutual in Springfield, where she accepted a position as an Investment Analyst in the Operations division. Kelly’s dedicated work ethic and ability to manage and resolve complex problems with efficiency and empathy, quickly identified her as an integral part of the organization. Within a short time, she was promoted into the role of Regulatory Operations Consultant, auditing operations and developing supervisory procedures. During this time, Kelly worked for MassMutual’s broker dealer before accepting another promotion within their Compliance department working as a Compliance Consultant . In this role, she handled various regulatory inquiries and drove changes that positively influenced client experience. The 9 years that Kelly spent working at MassMutual made her well-equipped for the next step in her career.
From regulatory inspections to internal audits, to research and resolution, Kelly’s ability to comb through fine details with precision and accuracy makes her an invaluable asset to our team. Kelly joined PVFG as the Director of Compliance and Operations in early 2016. Armed with her FINRA Series 7 and 24 licenses through Commonwealth Financial Network®, and guided by her caring and personal approach, Kelly has become a dynamic asset to our growing firm. Within six months, Kelly passed the Uniform Combined State Law Examination (also called the “Series 66”), promoting her to Chief Operating Officer. As regulations become increasingly more complex, compliance is one of the most critical functions in any firm. With her new registration, Kelly has become PV’s OSJ Delegate and a registered Investment Advisor Representative. A role well suited for Kelly’s area of expertise, she is now responsible for the general supervision and compliance of the firm and all activities of registered employees.
Because she is a tireless worker who is dedicated to giving back to the community, Kelly has immersed herself in several different civic engagement initiatives. Recently, she has been heavily involved as a volunteer at Rick’s Place, an organization that supports grieving children, teens and their families through facilitated peer activities, school-based programs and community outreach. Kelly also spends time volunteering in Wilbraham schools, and serves on the board of the Wilbraham-Hampden Scholarship Foundation.
When not in the office or sorting through hundreds of scholarships, Kelly and her husband Barry enjoy time with their family at home in Wilbraham. Labeled as a “tree guy”, you might find Barry around the local area fearlessly climbing and removing trees while also working at Smith and Wesson.
Kelly and Barry are loving parents to their two adorable sons, Ryan and Gavin. After enjoying a trip down to Disney and a cultural experience in Portugal, the Haber family got the travel bug and are now looking into exploring new places around the world. When she’s not cheering Ryan on at his football games or rooting for Gavin to score a goal in soccer, you’ll often find Kelly in the kitchen trying a new recipe, watching HGTV, enjoying a glass of wine with friends or curling up with a good book.
Director of Client Relations
Director of Client Relations Karen Nogueira is a natural people-person with a caring heart, and impeccable customer service skills. Karen’s philosophy of treating others the way she hopes to be treated allowed her to quickly move through the ranks. Karen began her career as a Bank Teller at West Bank. From there she moved to Luso Federal Credit Union where she was promoted from Teller to head Teller and finally to Branch Manager before joining our team in 2006. At first, Karen came on board as a part-time Sales Assistant. As her children got older Karen’s innate sense of loyalty to the client experience carved out her full-time niche position where she now works as Director of Client Relations. Today, Karen’s devotion to customer service proves to be an invaluable asset to the team. Now in her 15th year with the company, Karen has enjoyed expanding her knowledge on the finance world and building close professional relationships with our clients.
When she’s not working, you’ll find Karen spending most of her free time with her family and two children, Ava and Joseph. Growing up in a Portuguese home, Karen vividly remembers dancing on her father’s toes while listening to Portuguese folk music. Karen passed on her love of music and dance to her daughter Ava, 15, by nurturing Ava’s love of music and encouraging her natural abilities when playing both the acoustic and electric guitar. Ava has also picked up cross country, an activity that’s allowed her to spend time with her friends while exercising her competitive spirit. During soccer season, you can’t miss Karen screaming from the sideline “Go Bubba!” while Joseph, 13, is on the field. Whatever the sport, Karen makes sure to support and cheer him on at every game and practice. In recent years, Karen has discovered a love for running. You’ll mostly see her running around the neighborhood while she trains for the Second Annual Run for Rick’s Place, which she’ll be running with fellow PV team member Kelly Haber. Karen loves to stay active with her kids and is often outside playing soccer and basketball with Joseph, Ava and their two playful dogs, Lulu and Oliver. Karen is also committed to giving back to the community she grew up in, working as a volunteer for Rick’s Place and serving as a committee member for the Fall Festival at the Ludlow Boys and Girls Club.
During the summer Karen also enjoys spending time planting in her garden; pink Hydrangeas are her favorite. Throughout the year she loves to travel, and always tries to bring her children. She believes in the importance of education happening outside of the classroom, and seeks to expose them to different places, food and culture whenever the opportunity arises. Karen was able to visit her homeland for the first time, taking the kids on a trip to Portugal where she grew an appreciation for their heritage and humble beginnings.
Navigator Specialist Andrea Santos was born and raised in Belchertown, MA. Growing up, she attended Jabish Brook Middle School and Belchertown Highschool, graduating alongside her twin brother, Joshua. As a child, Andrea spent a lot of her time at a nearby horse farm, both riding and caring for the horses. It was there that she developed a love and talent for competitive showjumping. Andrea’s passion for the sport inspired her to partner with the Pioneer Valley Therapeutic Riding Association, where she has served as a volunteer and instructor for the last 16 years. Outside of the barn, Andrea also spent her youth on the softball field, playing third base throughout middle school and high school.
Upon graduating high school, Andrea first received her A.S in Business Administration from Holyoke Community College, while working as a waitress and sales intern at the Log Cabin. Andrea went on to further her education at Elm’s College, receiving her B.A. in Business Management and Marketing. During her time at Elms, Andrea worked as a Banquet and Operations Manager at Wyckoff Country Club, where she learned how to manage financials within multiple departments in a high-demand industry.
After graduating college, Andrea leveraged her work experience and education into a position at Northwestern Mutual as the Director of Client Services. During her four years with the company, she obtained her Life and Disability Insurance certifications, while also gaining strong knowledge and experience within the financial services industry. Following the launch of Navigator, Andrea was eager to join the PV team and help fulfill today’s market need for financial planning among young professionals. With that career goal in mind, Andrea joined PV financial, taking on a role in the PV Navigator program as a jack of all trades- including digital marketing, program support, and client service needs.
Today, Andrea and her fiancé Shawn reside in Ludlow, MA. where they spend their free time golfing or hosting family card night. In addition to volunteering for the Pioneer Valley Therapeutic Riding Association, Andrea is an active supporter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation since being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 13. In 2021, she looks forward to participating and volunteering alongside her team in the community we live and work in.
Operations Support Specialist
Operations Support Specialist Marcin Mruk was born in Chicopee, Massachusetts, and grew up in Hadley, where he graduated from Hopkins Academy. Marcin and his two older sisters are first-generation Polish, as both of his parents grew up in Southern Poland before deciding to move to the U.S. to find work and start a family. Because Polish was his first language, Marcin had to spend extra time learning English throughout elementary school. Growing up, he and his family often went on camping trips together, as they were cost-effective and allowed for quality family time in the great outdoors.
In high school, Marcin became heavily involved with sports, playing baseball and soccer all four years he attended. He was also a member of the ski club, a hobby that has followed him to this day. He and his friends ski throughout the season, hitting the trails around Killington and Mount Snow. Marcin was diagnosed with Diabetes as a sophomore, and actively supported the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation throughout his high school years. Before attending college, Marcin weighed the possibility of becoming a state trooper, but eventually found a home in finance. The financial world appealed to him not only because of his strength in mathematics but also because it would allow him to help people reach their financial goals.
Marcin attended Framingham State University, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in finance in the Spring of 2019. Throughout college, Marcin continued his interests in athletics, participating in numerous intramural sports. To help pay for school, Marcin took on a variety of jobs, including working as a school bus driver, a server at a restaurant, and manager a liquor store his junior and senior years. His last year in school, Marcin was a member of Framingham State’s entrepreneur program, where he had the opportunity to intern for a startup clothing company. At PV Financial, Marcin is working on becoming a financial advisor.
Client Relationship Manager
Client Relationship Manager, Jordan Lashway, was born and raised in Wilbraham, MA and attended Minnechaug Regional Highschool. As a child, Jordan took ballet lessons and loved being outdoors, riding bikes and roller blading with children in her neighborhood.
Upon graduating high school, Jordan went on to Westfield State University, where she studied Business Management with a concentration in marketing. From there, Jordan began her career as a Banking Center Specialist and later transitioned to a Mortgage Originator at RCN Capital.
Jordan’s background in finance and customer service is what led her to PV Financial. As a Client Relationship Manager, Jordan looks forward to building relationships in and outside of the office, with both our clients and the community in which we serve.
When not at the office, Jordan likes to stay active. She enjoys walks with her puppy, Boston, and going to the gym in the early mornings. She also loves playing pool with friends on the weekend and has found a new hobby in cooking!
Director of Marketing and Community Outreach
Director of Marketing and Community Outreach Linda Martins was born and raised in Ludlow, Massachusetts, but her family immigrated from Portugal before she was born. The first language she learned was Portuguese. At Ludlow High School, Linda and was very involved in extracurriculars like writing for the school paper, yearbook and serving in the student government where she successfully helped bring back homecoming, which she credits for her current love of project management and event planning. Linda graduated from Westfield State University with a degree in Graphic Design, finishing her last two years while working full-time and going to school at night. While in college, Linda married her husband Gene and they are now going on 16 years of marriage.
Linda’s first taste of professional success came in college, where she worked for Tyco Medical Supplies in the call center and was quickly promoted to team lead at just 21 years old. Upon graduating, Linda took a job with Concentra Medical Center working in sales and running education seminars for companies on Workers Comp. The year she was married Linda’s father had a stroke, prompting her to take a job that was near and dear to her heart at the American Heart Association, where she worked as the Director of Development in Western Massachusetts. She enjoyed putting on events like Heart Walks, Heart Balls and the Go Red For Women luncheon, doing work within the community to raise money for the AHA. During her time in this role, Linda helped raise substantial donations for the organization through large corporate donations and events.
After her husband took a job with Apple, Linda and her family moved down to Florida where she continued her work with the AHA in West Palm Beach. One of her favorite work memories was getting to meet all of the eccentric Palm Beachers. In 2013, Gene earned the opportunity to open the very first Apple store in South America, so the family packed up shop and moved to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Unable to work due to her tourist visa, Linda volunteered daily at the American School of Rio De Janeiro, where her son Dominic attended school. Linda worked as the PTA president of the school, which was assembled almost entirely of expats, and Dominic got the experience of making friends with children from all over the world. After Gene completed the project in Rio, Linda and her family moved back to Western Massachusetts where Linda started working as Project Coordinator at Gibraltar Ventures. When Prudential absorbed Gibraltar Ventures, Linda was 7 months pregnant with her daughter Addison. With Gene’s extensive travel for work and with a son already at home, Linda knew that it wasn’t realistic to travel back and forth from Hartford every day, landing her here at Pioneer Valley Financial Group where she is able to work and spend time with her family.
During their free time, Linda and Gene do as much as they can to get involved with activities with their kids. Gene coaches Dominic’s Ludlow Youth soccer team, and Linda volunteers at the school as a member of the PTA and the Book Fair Co-Chairperson for the elementary schools in Ludlow. At just 4 years old, Addison runs the house and has no problem keeping up with Dominic. Linda and her family love to travel, and try to see a different country every year, most recently getting to visit Grand Cayman. The fifth and sixth members of the Martins family are their beloved dogs Manuela Maria DeBarra Martins known for short as Nella, that they brought home from Brazil and their very playful Boston Terrier, Rocco Roland.