Our Team of Experts
Senior Financial Group has been assisting Medicare beneficiaries and their families for almost 40 years. We provide expert, unbiased assistance to Medicare recipients who expect, and deserve, the highest-quality insurance at the best price.
Our licensed, independent advisors treat everyone with dignity and respect, and always operate with professionalism and integrity. We have built our reputation on excellent service, helpful guidance and education at no cost. You can trust that you are receiving the most complete health insurance coverage.
Payton Bonnett Benefits Consultant
“My goals are getting to know everyone on the team while excelling in my career, and learning everything I possibly can to help my clients better understand Medicare.”
Payton has travelled extensively and holds an Associate’s Degree in Health Sciences, as well as a license in phlebotomy. In her new role as a licensed insurance advisor with Senior Financial Group, Payton looks forward to helping her clients better understand Medicare so they can make informed decisions and select the coverage that will best meet their needs.
Payton says she likes the teamwork and supportive atmosphere at Senior Financial Group. Her work philosophy is to stay positive and keep pushing forward – tomorrow is a new day. She is passionate about traveling, helping people and getting to know new people, and likes to spend her free time hiking, swimming, eating pizza, and being with her dog and closest friends.
David Bottoms Benefits Consultant
“My favorite part of this job is interacting with the community. I like helping people minimize their health care costs while maximizing their coverage for their budget and making sure they get the care they need.”
David Bottoms is originally from a small town in North Carolina, but he moved to Seymour, TN in 2002. He graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in economics and a minor in business. David started in the insurance industry right after graduating from UT in 2012.
“My grandfather passed away without any life insurance and it seemed like a good career to help people.”
David started in life insurance but transitioned to a Medicare-focus in 2016. He likes being an independent benefits consultant with Senior Financial Group because it allows him to provide his clients with a larger portfolio of options.
“You’re not a captive agent here, which means we work with all the companies and carriers. That allows me to offer products and plans that better meet the specific needs of my clients.”
David’s philosophy is to always do the right thing by the client and to treat people the same way you want them to treat you. David has a wife, Victoria, and a daughter, Della, and enjoys family time, golf, video games, carpentry, handyman work and drawing.
Dave Budde Benefits Consultant
“SFG is an organization that puts people first.”
Dave is an insurance advisor that enjoys helping our future and current clients find the solution to their needs.
Dave and his wife have three adult sons and five sweet grandchildren. He is actively involved as a coach for a little league baseball team, adult mentor at his church, community basketball participant, and a high school football booster club board member.
Jerry Emert Benefits Consultant
“The team atmosphere at Senior Financial Group is not like anywhere else I’ve worked. There is great leadership and a deep level of commitment to service from my fellow co-workers.”
Jerry Emert is from Houston, TX but grew up in Karns, TN. After working in term life insurance, Jerry joined Senior Financial Group to help Medicare beneficiaries with their insurance benefits.
Some interesting personal details about Jerry: he holds a certificate from the Diamond Council of America for clear stones, and he has four daughters. “The three oldest keep me busy with their hobbies- I have an equestrian, a musician, and an artist.”
Jerry’s professional philosophy is to work hard and do no harm, and he look forward to having a long-lasting career helping seniors navigate the complexities of Medicare.
Seth Gibson Benefits Consultant
“I’m excited to work for a company that constantly emphasizes integrity and doing what is right for our customers. I plan to be a true help to as many customers as possible by providing honest and helpful consultation.”
Seth has worked in the insurance industry since 2017. He joined the Senior Financial Group team in March 2021 as a Medicare Benefits Consultant. He advises clients on their Medicare options, supports them through the enrollment process, and assists them with their current or future coverage options.
Prior to joining Senior Financial Group, Seth worked in personal lines insurance and in 401(k) administration. He is from Seymour, TN and has a degree from the Faith Bible Institute. Seth loves reading and spending time with his wife and children.
His personal and professional philosophy is to always do what is right, always be learning, communicate effectively and honestly, and to value each customer. When asked what makes Senior Financial Group different than other organizations, Seth references the focus of integrity throughout the company.
“There is a consistent emphasis by everyone here on integrity. It is not just stated in a set of core values, it is truly integrated into this company’s culture.”
Nik Kakanis Benefits Consultant
“SFG cares and treats everyone like family. Working for SFG gives me great satisfaction in connecting with and helping clients with their needs.”
Nik enjoys in his spare time reading and learning about different cultures, traveling and spending time outdoors with the family.
Jonathan Keener Benefits Consultant
“For most of my adult life, I have had a passion for helping older people, and making tough situations easier for them. This job allows me to continue to do this in a way that lessens stress over their physical health and possibly their financial health as well.”
Jonathan Keener grew up in Waynesville, NC. He lived in Knoxville for a few years, moved back to Carolina but returned to this area in September 2021. Before joining Senior Financial Group, Jonathan was a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer in NC, SC, GA, and TN for 23 years. He held a license in life insurance during most of that time to help him write pre-arranged funerals.
His role at Senior Financial Group is to advise current Medicare beneficiaries and new retirees on their available options, walk them through the enrollment process, and offer support by answering any questions regarding the most beneficial coverage for their current situation.
In his personal life, Jonathan enjoys skydiving and B.A.S.E. jumping. He’s jumped in several states, as well as Norway, France, Malaysia, and Namibia.
Jonathan says the family-like atmosphere at Senior Financial Group helps to create a supportive and encouraging work environment different from other organizations where he has worked.
“The company truly cares for its clients and its employees, and having that same level of attention for both entities is rarely seen in today’s world. When a company truly cares for its employees, it produces happy employees, and a happy employee produces a customer interaction that exceeds expectations.”
John LaMacchia Benefits Consultant
“Each of our advisors has one main objective: To seek the care of each client. Our help is exclusively for the benefit of the client. I personally enjoy working at SFG because of the company atmosphere of friendship. We just simply enjoy each others’ company. The most unique aspect of our company is the leadership. Their high expectations, yet without micro-managing allows a relaxed working environment. It doesn’t hurt that everyone has a great sense of humor!”
John is a licensed Medicare/Insurance Advisor and has been working in this industry for the last 6 years. John says his specialty is anyone turning 65 and seeks a clear, easy, and non-biased explanation and education on Medicare.
As a retired teacher, John uses his background in education to comprehensively educate his clients on the ins and outs of Medicare in order to make the best coverage decision(s). John has led a series of educational Medicare seminars in both Knoxville and Erwin, TN.
John and his wife Ann of 36 years have three sons: John Jr., Michael, and Pierce. John Jr., his eldest, is a Pathologist and Medical Research Scientist in the Harvard Medical Complex in Boston. Michael and Pierce own K Brew Coffee shop here in Knoxville. In his free time, John enjoys cycling. He once rode across the United States, and plans to do so again when he turns 65!
Art Mearns Benefits Consultant
“I enjoy working at Senior Financial Group and helping our clients with their insurance needs. I think it is most important to respect and treat all clients as I would like to be treated.”
Art has lived in Knoxville for the last 16 years but he’s originally from upstate New York. He loves to spend his free time with his wife biking or skiing in the great outdoors. One of his favorite hobbies is photography of the beautiful East Tennessee landscape. He also has a dream to take a trip with his wife to Europe and have an adventure aboard a river cruise.
Marc Nieman Benefits Consultant
“As I began my career with Senior Financial Group in 2009 my intentions were that this was only a temporary stop while waiting for the oil and gas industry to recover and I could resume my original career path. However, I never dreamed how blessed my life would become as a result of this opportunity. I’d never before done something so hands-on and rewarding as this. Not just writing an insurance policy, but helping people down the path with financial aid and community services that they were previously unaware of. I always heard that if you find something you love to do for a living you’ll never work a day in your life. I think they were right.”
Marc enjoys golf, fishing, fundraising events with his BBQ smokers, his church, working with young people, and of course family time.
Harris Ogburn Benefits Consultant
“I believe that always helping people and doing what is advantageous for the client will consistently lead to both my success and the well-being of the people with whom I interact.”
Harris was born and raised in Raleigh, NC, graduating from North Carolina State University. He has worked in the insurance and financial services industry for more than 20 years, previously concentrating on retirement planning for individuals and groups. Harris moved to Knoxville in August 2019 and prior to joining Senior Financial Group worked at AIG Retirement Services.
When asked what he likes about working at Senior Financial Group, Harris says “great people, great products and the desire to do what is right for the client.” Harris enjoys woodworking and woodturning, and likes to go camping in his free time.
Adriana Paredes Benefits Consultant
“SFG provides me the opportunity to share my Medicare knowledge when it is most needed. I’m rewarded in many ways by helping others and earning a living at the same time!”
Adriana is a licensed insurance advisor and specializes in consulting Medicare beneficiaries. She has been assisting seniors with Medicare since 2014 and is truly passionate about what she does. She is currently licensed in 37 states and is eager to help families find the solutions they’re looking for.
Adriana has one daughter and a precious husky named Romeo. When Adriana is away from the office, she enjoys reading, walking and hiking, and traveling with her family. Adriana was born in New York but has done quite a bit of traveling, spending some years in South America. Tennessee has been her home for more than 22 years.
Adriana is bilingual and is licensed in the following states: AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, DC, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI and, of course, TN.
Jason Pearcy Benefits Consultant
“Every day Senior Financial Group is making a difference in the lives of thousands of seniors in East Tennessee.”
Jason’s role at Senior Financial group is Medicare Consultant/Insurance Producer. His duties include personally serving clients as they navigate their insurance needs. Jason has worked in the insurance industry since 2015 but has worked in service-based industries for his entire career. He specializes in identifying and providing for the insurance needs of individuals and families in every age bracket.
Jason is married to his college sweetheart and the two have a daughter named Rilan and a son, Jamon. He enjoys golfing, hunting, fishing and reading. Being raised in the home of a Pastor, he has served numerous young people that are subject to the pressures of growing up in ministerial homes. He also has worked with multiple non-profits that benefit troubled youth and mission workers.
Bobby Peterson Benefits Consultant
“A good advisor must listen to hear and understand, not simply to reply. I try to understand and empathize with each situation. This allows me to customize the most comprehensive protection and level of support for each person’s unique and individual needs.”
Bobby grew up in Louisville, TN. After attending Emory & Henry College, where he was a double major in vocal performance and acting performance, he moved back to his family homestead.
Bobby has been a licensed Insurance agent since 2010, specializing in Medicare benefits, life insurance, and supplemental health insurance. He joined Senior Financial Group in March 2021 where he is responsible for advising clients on their Medicare options, supporting them through the enrollment process, and assisting them with all available coverage choices to ensure comprehensive care.
Prior to joining the SFG team, Bobby was the Corporate Sales and Marketing Manager for Dave & Buster’s in Sevierville, TN. An example of a true southern Renaissance Man, Bobby is a classically trained opera singer who enjoys singing, playing his banjo, and making music in general. He also loves to cook and enjoys cheering on the Vols, the Braves, and the Colts.
When asked what makes Senior Financial Group unique from other insurance agencies, Bobby says it is the sincerity of doing the right thing, not only for our clients but also for each person on our team.
“The culture of honesty, appreciation and the deep investment in our clients and employees is refreshing and rare in the insurance industry.”
Paul Sturdivant Benefits Consultant
“Teamwork and a client-centric approach to customer service permeates the processes and values of Senior Financial Group. I am excited to be a part of this dynamic, dedicated team.”
Paul Sturdivant is new to the insurance industry but not new to Knoxville. A Knoxville native, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Tennessee. Before joining Senior Financial Group, Paul owned his own business, Bee Green Bug Removal LLC, which provided natural and organic pest control solutions.
Paul joined SFG in August 2021 and is committed to developing a customer base for which he can offer prudent advice for the betterment and enrichment of those he serves. His hobbies are his family, world and military history, and gardening
“My work philosophy is centered on the frequent and ethical communication with my clients, so that I may identify their unique needs and work towards affordable and appropriate solutions to meet those needs.”
Leigh Ann Warwick Benefits Consultant
“Working at Senior Financial Group is one of the most fulfilling experiences I have encountered! I enjoy building relationships based on trust combined with our teams knowledge of the Medicare transition, along with other insurance needs. Our clients know that when changes occur or their situation is changing that they can count on our staff to move them into the best possible place to meet their needs. Not only do my clients learn from me, but I also learn from them!”
Tarran Allen Insurance Operations Manager
“I pride Senior Financial Group for having the best customer service. Our friendly staff is eager and ready to help. There is nothing like having the satisfaction of a happy customer at the end of the day.”
Tarran enjoys crunching numbers and serving as our liaison between the admin staff and agent team.
Tarran is a full-time working mother of two beautiful girls. In her downtime, which is not often, she enjoys reading, swimming, Zumba, and having movie nights with her family.
Samantha Brown Customer Service Representative
“I enjoy working for Senior Financial Group because I like that I am helping others get the help they need with their insurance.”
Samantha is a proud parent of two daughters.
Casey Dyer Customer Service Representative
“Senior Financial Group is a wonderful company to be a part of because we have the ability to really help people understand their insurance needs. We all work together to ensure the customer gets the best possible help. I love the fact that this company helps give back to the community on a continual basis. Being apart of this company has been such a blessing to my life! Needless to say, I have the most wonderful boss and the best coworkers.”
Casey is a mother of one, energetic little boy. She is happily married, and they spend a lot of their time involved in a wonderful church and ministry.
Haifa George Human Resources Manager
“I believe in the importance of focusing on helping others while being true to oneself in the process.”
Haifa is the Human Resources Manager at Senior Financial Group. She is responsible for managing all aspects of HR including talent acquisition, benefits, strategic planning, compensation, policies & procedures, employee relations and development, payroll, etc. She has served in HR in a variety of industries of the past 20 years.
In her free time, you can find Haifa at home with her twins and husband or out walking the greenways. She enjoys music, painting, reading and spending time on her screened-in porch.
Nicole Guzowski Administrative Assistant
“I’m here to learn as much as I can about Medicare to help our clients and support our agents. If you need me, I will do my best to help you, because I know you will do the same for me.”
Nicole was born and raised in Buffalo, NY where she graduated from Buffalo State College. She moved to Knoxville in 2016. A mother of two, Nicole worked at Farragut Middle School before joining the team at Senior Financial Group, where she supports the agents and ensures that the office runs smoothly.
Nicole loves working at Senior Financial Group because of the people. “Jerold is amazing and so down to earth, he creates a work environment that is really enjoyable. Honestly, everyone that I work with has been easy-going, helpful, and willing to listen.”
Nicole’s hobbies include playing frisbee golf, paddle boarding, hiking and spending time with her family. She enjoys exploring new places in Knoxville with her family.
Lynnette Hollenbeck Customer Service Representative
“We are a unique company because we can share information about many different companies, not just one, and we cater to an individual’s needs. We also have a lot of information on Social Security and Medicare. Family is important here!”
Lynnette has been with Senior Financial Group since 2013 and is part of the agent support staff assisting with appointment setting.
Lynnette enjoys visiting her two grown children – a daughter, who is an RN, and a son – who both live in Chattanooga. She spends her spare time reading, camping, waterfalling, and motorcycle riding with her husband. She has loved living in Knoxville since 2004, especially being near the Smoky Mountains!
Jerold Johnson President
“We create a stable environment at Senior Financial Group so that next year you’ll be working with the same agent. Every year, companies and plans change. They’ll send you a 78-page booklet that you have to read through to find out what’s different. But we do that for you and are always on the lookout for ways to save you money.”
Meet Jerold Johnson, President of Senior Financial Group
When Jerold Johnson started Senior Financial Group in Knoxville more than 30 years ago, his aim was to fill an under-served niche in the East Tennessee community, but in a vastly different way than his competitors.
More than 10,000 Americans sign up for Medicare each day, and Johnson says, “everyone assumes—including most insurance companies—that those policies need to be similar, but here we recognize that everyone is in a unique situation”.
Johnson has made sure his approach and philosophy have carried through to the rest of the company by hiring and retaining insurance agents that are trained to offer personalized help so clients can choose the right path. “We tailor their plan without concern for our commission or which insurance company they wind up with.”
Jenny Lucas Customer Service Representative
“People should choose Senior Financial Group for their insurance needs because we have been voted as Knoxville’s Best Insurance Agent 3 years in a row (and counting!). Our licensed agents are personable, kind, and considerate and can give you a sense of security that your insurance coverage is fully taken care of and works with your needs.”
Jenny is a part of our agent support team and serves as a liaison between our clients and agents to set appointments and answer any client questions. She has been with our staff for 5 years!
Jenny loves to hike, fish, and spend time in the mountains. She is also the lead singer of a local band called Midlife Crisis!
Sarah Wilkins Marketing & Communications Manager
“It is refreshing to join a company that is committed to serving our community. This team cares about establishing relationships and arming our clients with knowledge that will best prepare them for healthcare in retirement.”
Sarah is the Marketing and Communications Manager at Senior Financial Group where she is focused on client acquisition and retention using a mix of digital and traditional marketing strategies. She has more than 20 years in marketing and communications but is new to the insurance industry, and hopes to help position Senior Financial Group as the local, trusted, unbiased Medicare expert and employer of choice.