Who We Are

Meet the Charles Stephen team.

Your success is our top priority. At Charles Stephen, we take your financial future personally. That’s why we’re on a first-name basis with our clients.

Our Service Commitment

We develop long-term relationships with our clients and their families. That’s our commitment to you as a valued client.

Our team works closely with you, communicating openly and providing multi-faceted solutions tailored to meet your needs. We’re proactive with your financial affairs, meeting with you regularly to review your portfolio, discuss changes in your situation and keep you informed of issues that could affect your financial goals.

We serve as your chief financial officer, guiding you through both ordinary and unforeseen life events. This involves creating, enhancing and preserving wealth.

Our Mission Statement

We educate, engage and inspire our clients by providing a full range of financial services through a team of trusted advisors.

Our Core Values

HEART – We make a difference in the lives of others.

INTEGRITY – We do what is right, all the time.

EXCELLENCE – We deliver the best in all that we do.

RESPECT – We encourage and value different ideas, experiences, perspectives and backgrounds.

Our Signature Financial Services

  • Multi-generational Financial Planning
  • Retirement Planning and Management
  • Portfolio Development and Management
  • Budgeting and Cash-flow Management
  • Business Succession Planning
  • Asset Protection and Risk Management
  • Tax Planning Strategies
  • Estate and Legacy Planning
  • Trusts and Charitable Giving
  • College and Education Planning
  • Financial Document Organization


Check the background for our investment professionals on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.

Our Associates

Steve Ciepiela

Steve Ciepiela


Meet Steve   When Steve co-founded Charles Stephen in 1983, he did it with one goal in mind: Help clients manage their finances so they have the freedom to live their lives the way they want. More than 35 years later, Charles Stephen successfully coordinates the finances of a select group of families and business owners throughout the Southwest. Steve has 40 years of experience in financial and income planning, retirement planning, investment strategies, risk management and business succession planning. He created the company’s Signature Financial Services, a process to utilize and develop strategies to help clients achieve financial independence. After his business partner’s sudden death in 2004, Steve authored When A Partner Dies, a guide to help other business owners with succession and exit planning. In 2005, he started speaking about transition planning for business owners based on his own experience. Steve's expertise has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Barron’s. Steve has been the recipient of many honors and awards, including being chosen by his peers in a special issue of Money Magazine[1] as one of the top 200 financial planners in the country and named in Wealth Manager Magazine as one of the top wealth managers in the United States for two years in a row. He received the New Mexico Business Weekly’s Top Performing CEO Award and the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce Harry E. Kinney Good Neighbor Award, which recognizes the personal character and contributions of Albuquerque residents that personify integrity, leadership and generosity. Steve is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® (license #70), a Certified Retirement Counselor® and an Accredited Investment Fiduciary™. He is an Investment Advisor Representative with The Ameriflex Group. Steve attended the United States Air Force Academy and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of New Mexico. A proud father of three, Steve and his wife Marian live in Albuquerque. He loves the White Sox and the University of New Mexico Lobos, is an avid reader, enjoys visiting new places, and spending quality time with his children and grandchildren.    
[1] This award is not based upon performance or returns experienced by any client or opinions of the advisor's clients or former clients. Third-party rankings and recognitions do not ensure that a client or prospective client will experience a higher level of performance or results and are not representative of any client's endorsement or evaluation.


Adam Ciepiela


Meet Adam   As a principle advisor for Charles Stephen, Adam specializes in personal wealth management for individuals and families and truly has a passion for helping millennials build for their future. In addition to advising clients, Adam oversees the firm’s business operations. He manages resources, directs company marketing and business development activities, and ensures that company processes are efficient and effective. Adam joined Charles Stephen in August 2009. Adam holds Series 7 (General Securities) & 66 (Uniformed Combined State Law) licenses and is licensed in Life, Health and Disability. He also is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF), a National Social Security Advisor® (NSSA), a Certified Retirement Counselor® (CRC)and an Investment Advisor Representative with The Ameriflex Group.  Adam holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Nevada – Las Vegas. Active in the community, Adam regularly speaks to groups about financial wellness and current economic trends and news. Adam has served in many leadership roles for non-profit locally and on a national level. He is currently on the on the Field Advisory Board for AssetMark, the Board of Directors for the Ronald McDonald House of New Mexico and Junior Achievement of New Mexico. In 2017, he was featured in US News and World Report discussing the importance of retirement for millennials. In 2012, he received the “40 Under Forty” Award from Albuquerque Business First and Adam was a Young Leader Nominee for the 2016 "New Mexico Ethics in Business" award. In 2017, Adam was honored with the AssetMark Community Inspiration Award for all of his dedication to the Albuquerque community, and was featured in Barron’s Wealth magazine. Outside of the office, Adam is an avid golfer and love to travel to see family and sporting events. Adam and his wife Misty have one son.
The award mentioned are not investment-related or based upon performance or returns experienced by any client or opinions of the advisor's clients or former clients. Third-party rankings and recognitions do not ensure that a client or prospective client will experience a higher level of performance or results and are not representative of any client's endorsement or evaluation.


Kelly Famiglietta


Meet Kelly   Kelly joined Charles Stephen in 1997 and has experience helping companies navigate the complexities of retirement and fiduciary responsibility, starting with designing and implementing pension plans and strategies that fit a company’s needs. She monitors investments, manages relationships with vendors and teaches employees about achieving financial wellness. In addition, she helps plan sponsors and fiduciaries manage their fiduciary responsibilities. In 2013, Kelly was one of the first 200 people in the country to earn the prestigious Certified 401(k) Professional® designation, which distinguishes financial professionals who have demonstrated the knowledge and ability to positively affect retirement outcomes for participants in company retirement plans. In addition, she is an Accredited Pension Administrator, an Accredited Pension Representative, an Accredited Investment Fiduciary, a National Social Security Advisor, a Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor, Certified CFP® Professional and a Certified Retirement Counselor ®. Kelly is a Series 7 General Securities Registered Representative and a Series 63 Uniform Securities Agent, holds her Series 66 Uniform Combined State Law Licenses and is an Investment Advisor Representative with The Ameriflex Group. Kelly earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of New Mexico. Kelly has published several articles about employer-sponsored retirement plans and their importance in today’s economy. She is a nationally recognized expert and a frequent speaker on the subject of retirement planning. In 2012, 401k Wire recognized her as one of the top defined contribution advisors in the United States. Kelly has been recognized nationally as one of fifty women “Top Women Advisors” by the National Association of Plan Advisors for 2016, 2019 and 2020. Kelly was named as one of the 401 “Top Retirement Advisers” in 2019 and 2020 by Financial Times. In 2017 Kelly was one of 27 women in New Mexico to be honored with the Albuquerque Business First’s “Women of Influence” award and in 2018 was honored with the AssetMark Community Inspiration Award for all of her dedication to the Albuquerque community. Kelly serves on the board of directors for the Albuquerque chapter of Campfire USA, Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) and the community council of the National Dance Institute of NM. Kelly enjoys spending time with her husband, children and pets at their home in Corrales.


Jonathan Stoner

Financial Advisor

Jonathan has more than 15 years of financial industry experience. Originally from Oklahoma, he has worked for top financial companies such as Wells Fargo and Edward Jones in Arkansas and California. He moved to New Mexico for his love of the mountains and also to carry on his passion for developing loyal, long term client relationships to help clients achieve their financial goals. Jonathan holds the Series 7 (General Securities) and 66 (Uniformed Combined State Law) licenses and is also licensed in in Life, Health and Disability insurance. He was a recipient of the Edward Jones’ Spirit of Partnership award in 2013, 2014, and 2015 as well as receiving the TNT Client Development award in 2015. In 2016, he was awarded the Ted Jones Entrepreneurial Achievement award for his client dedication. He has a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Marketing from the University of Oklahoma. In his spare time, Jonathan enjoys being outdoors. His top three favorite activities are backpacking, fly fishing, and snowboarding. Thanks to his roots, he is a lifetime devoted OU Boomer Sooner college football fan!

Sarah R. Newman

Director of Business Management

Meet Sarah Sarah plays an active role in the planning and implementation of business practices which include organizational development, corporate giving and advancing the client experience. Additionally, she curates the social media content and is involved in the planning of educational events for Charles Stephen clients. Sarah brings over ten years of experience in project management, business development, social media, community engagement and marketing expertise to the team at Charles Stephen. Prior to joining Charles Stephen, Sarah served as the Development Director for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of New Mexico, worked as a consultant focused on programming and fundraising for nonprofit organizations, and was a Retail Buyer for Fortune 500 companies. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Arizona. Sarah is an active community member, serving in multiple volunteer leadership roles for local nonprofit organizations.


Debra "Debbie" Putnam

Operations Assistant

Meet Debbie Debbie wears many hats at Charles Stephen as the Operations Assistant. Since joining the staff in 2016, her role has evolved to the management of our secure online filing system, organization of our CRM (client relationship manager) software program, and everyday office organization. Debbie might be best known by our clients for the events and quarterly parties she plans for Charles Stephen and Company. Debbie is a native New Mexican who grew up in Santa Fe. She has raised two children with her husband, Mike, and enjoys being a grandmother. In her spare time, she enjoys cheering on the UNM Lobos, traveling to visit her children and grandchildren in Dallas and Phoenix.


Patty Ramsauer

Financial Projects and Records Manager

Patty joins the Charles Stephen team with over 16 years of experience in the financial industry. In her previous role, she was Director of Client Services for a highly successful locally-owned financial planning firm. Patty excelled in offering a high level of client experience and service, and will continue to do so with Charles Stephen. She places a high value on client relationships and being detailed oriented, and will work hard to earn the trust of our clients. In 2002, Patty moved from Miami, Florida where she held multiple managerial positions within the Hall Financial Group.  Prior to her management positions with the company, Patty traveled extensively training the sales force team in the southeast region of Florida. Patty is married to Steve Ramsauer and together they have five children and four lively grandchildren.  She loves to cook, read, and ride bicycles with her husband along the beautiful trails here in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


Leanor "Lea" Sauri, CRC

Senior Relationship Manager, Retirement Plan Services

Meet Lea As the Relationship Manager for Charles Stephen’s retirement plan services, Lea is responsible for supporting clients as they enroll and educate their employees about retirement plans and options. In this role she also services pension plans and manages client relationships. Lea is a Certified Retirement Counselor® and a Series 6 (Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Representative) & Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law) Representative. She has an associate’s degree in accounting. Lea joined Charles Stephen in October 2005. Lea and her husband, Fernando have five children and one granddaughter. Lea regularly volunteers at her kids’ schools and can be found on the sidelines of local sports fields cheering them on.

Nikki Sloane

Receptionist and Scheduler

Meet Nikki As the Receptionist and Scheduler, Nikki is the first contact many people have with Charles Stephen and Company. Nikki coordinates our dynamic office calendar, schedules client meetings and channels various requests to the Advisors and staff in our practice. Nikki grew up in Albuquerque. She loves to travel, specifically to visit family out East. Here in town, she spends most of her time with her niece and nephew. She is a fan of movies, hockey, football, and food.


Cynthia Thompson

Senior Relationship Manager

Meet Cynthia   Cynthia, originally from New York, brings over 30 years of experience to Charles Stephen. From major financial corporations such as Morgan Stanley and Thornburg Investment Management, to independent financial advisor companies, she has done it all. Her favorite parts about working in the financial industry are the relationships she develops with clients and helping them form their desired financial life. She is currently working on the Series 7 (General Securities) and taking classes at Central New Mexico to finish her degree in Business. Cynthia’s other passion is theater.  In the past ten years she has performed on some of New Mexico’s most prestigious stages as well as stage-managed for numerous productions.  Being a stage manager is her preference because you can step back and see the results of your labor. For relaxation, she enjoys spending time with her family, quilting, and volunteering at numerous non-profits.

Taylor Tucker

Relationship Manager

Meet Taylor Taylor graduated from New Mexico State University in 2017, and soon after he wrote a letter to Charles Stephen proclaiming his interest for the financial industry. He has grown from an intern to a member of our Client Services Team. In addition, to assisting the Advisors, Taylor often provides technical support for the internal software systems we use and manage client online account issues. Taylor shares that working at Charles Stephen provides him with ongoing learning opportunities. His life outside the office revolves around his three dogs and numerous crafting projects.

Yunchi Zhu

Yunchi Zhu

Relationship Manager

Meet Yunchi Yunchi has been part of Charles Stephen team since March, 2013. She enjoys getting to know most of our clients over the seven years where she served as an Administrative assistant. As of March, 2020, she took on the role of Relationship Manager, diving deeper in serving our clients with portfolio related needs. Originally from Shanghai, after living in Washington, D.C. for 14 years, Yunchi moved to Albuquerque in June, 2012 to study Pilates and Gyrotonic certification programs at a world-renowned studio. Her passion in learning and teaching sophisticated movement methods in her spare time expands her understanding of serving people’s needs at a deeper level. She loves learning about new cultures and enjoys world cuisine, especially Michelin Starred restaurants, cooking, reading and writing.


Jeremy Aguilar

Registered Representative

Jeremy is the newest member of the Charles Stephen financial advisory team, joining the firm in October 2021. Jeremy has worked in the financial services industry since 2008, and holds Series 6 (Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products), Series 63 (Uniformed Securities Agent State Law) licenses and is also licensed in Life, Health and Disability Insurance. Prior to joining Charles Stephen, Jeremy was a registered representative with Nusenda Credit Union for six years, and prior to that was with BBVA and New York Life. He is a graduate of Central New Mexico Community College. Originally from El Paso, Texas, Jeremy returns there frequently to visit family with his wife, Bianca, son, Austin and daughter Aubree. A dedicated Buffalo Bills and Chicago Bulls fan, Jeremy also enjoys playing softball, golf, and other outdoor sports with his family and friends.