Our Team


Rich A. Schuette, CFP®

Rich has more than 16 years of experience assisting successful C-Level professionals, service providers, corporations and business owners address multi-faceted financial challenges. Understanding the complexity of balancing professional and personal needs, Rich enjoys working with individuals who are entrepreneurial minded and as a result specializes in the needs of current business owners and recently exited officers and owners.

Rich’s background within his field of concentration allows him to deliver unparalleled guidance while helping his clients maintain emotional and financial perspective. Due to the fact that business owners typically take their risks and make their wealth in their businesses rather than their investment portfolios, Rich focuses on employing conservative and proven investment strategies designed to properly diversify his clients’ net wealth and therefore provide them with a reliable, worry-free lifestyle outside of their professional endeavors.

On a personal level, community service and philanthropy are a very big part of Rich’s life. His charitable affiliations include Marymount, President of Ensemble Theatre Company and Board member of The Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation and the Santa Barbara University Club. He is also the former Associate Director of Old Spanish Days and former Board Chair of Child Abuse Listening & Meditation (CALM). Rich also enjoys spending as much time as possible with his wife and three daughters.


Kathryn Courain, CFP®

Kathryn has more than two decades of experience assisting high-net-worth clients with their total wealth management needs, including perpetual trust planning, private foundation and charitable planning, commercial financing and tax planning. She specializes in managing legal and tax advisor relationships in order to provide clients with a comprehensive vision of their overall financial goals.

Since each client has unique investment and planning objectives, Kathryn employs different strategies and solutions to meet specific needs. She provides the necessary unbiased advice and financial analysis necessary that helps guide clients through the wealth management process to ensure goals are met.

Kathryn grew up in Santa Barbara County and was an avid equestrian for more than 30 years. She has a passion for supporting animal welfare charities, such as C.A.R.E.4Paws and the Santa Maria Valley Humane Society. She also enjoys hiking, morning beach walks and spending time with her rescue Labrador, Bodie.

Jon Courtney, MBA, CFP®

Jon is a Financial Planner at Avalan Wealth Management. His practice specializes in working with retirees and professionals transitioning into retirement.  Jon has been a Certified Financial Planner™ for 10 years and has an MBA in Financial Planning from California Lutheran University.  He is a member of the Provisors Networking Group, USC and CLU Alumni Associations, TEAM Referral Network, and Toastmasters International.

Jon is also the author of Referonomics – an empirical study of group referral networks and the science behind professional referral relationships.  He has relied heavily on his educational background in economics, formal study of risk and return theory, and his interest in behavioral finance to create the Referonomics Referability Formula.  He is a much sought after speaker on the topic in the Los Angeles and Ventura County business community.

A native of the Conejo Valley, Jon is married to his high school sweetheart, Kimberly, and they live in Moorpark with their two sons, Preston and Wesley.


Aaron Ritter, CFP, MS

Aaron Ritter, CFP®, MS has been a financial advisor since 2006. He holds the Certified Financial Planner™ designation, as well as a Master’s of Science in Personal Financial Planning.

In addition to serving clients, Aaron has served the community by teaching classes through The Center for Lifelong Learning and UC Santa Barbara on topics ranging from retirement planning to portfolio management.

Aaron is also a member of the Santa Barbara Estate Planning Council and the Purposeful Planning Institute.

He is on the Board of Trustees for Unity of Santa Barbara and volunteers at Food From the Heart of Santa Barbara. Aaron is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and resides in Santa Barbara with his wife, Kristen, and two children, Matthew and Michelle. Aaron enjoys spending time with his family, exercising, reading, and traveling.


Elizabeth Saghi, CFP

Elizabeth, Liz, has over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, working for major investment banks in London, New York and San Francisco. She holds a Bachelor's degree from Boston University and earned the Certified Financial Planner designation after completing studies at the College of Financial Planning in Denver.

Elizabeth has lived in Santa Barbara for 15 years and is very active in the community. She was a founding board member of NAWBO Santa Barbara and served on the Board of the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Santa Barbara for 7 years, where she continues as a volunteer. She also volunteers as the Director of Theater Events for the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation.

Elizabeth enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, playing tennis, dancing, and trying new recipes.


Nayivi Velez, MBA, CFP®

Nayivi works in the Westlake Village, CA office as a Financial Planner.  Nayivi’s responsibilities include supervising the office’s analytical, technical, and operational activities.  Her areas of expertise include retirement planning and long-term investment management.  She enjoys seeing clients make financial decisions with confidence, and enjoying the fruits of their labor. 

Nayivi has been in the industry for over 11 years, having previously worked as a Senior Financial Analyst and as a Junior Financial & Tactical Wealth Coach. She holds a Certified Financial Planner™ designation and is a member of the Financial Planning Association, UCLA Alumni Association and the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting.  In Westlake she saw a need for a professional women's networking group and along other women founded Women to Women Westlake, a group focused on meaningful connections for personal and professional growth. 

Nayivi received a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History from the University of California Los Angeles and an MBA in Financial Planning from the California Lutheran University. For the past 6 years she lives in Mission Hills, CA with her husband and their rescue dog, Lady.


Rahul S. Kalsi

Rahul joined Avalan in July 2016 after serving as Financial Advisor with UBS Financial Services in Chicago, IL.  He has almost a decade of experience working with high net worth households focused on developing tailored wealth management solutions to grow, protect, and transfer assets. In addition, Rahul brings a strong understanding of alternative investments, private placements and risk management products in the areas of life, health, and long-term care insurance.

Rahul specializes in serving the unique needs of business owners, including having worked extensively with medical practices. He positions himself as the chief financial officer taking on the responsibilities of managing investment decisions, employee benefit plans, and risk management. By freeing up a client’s two most important resources, time and energy, business owners can concentrate on their core competencies and focus on building and growing their business.

Outside of the office, Rahul spends time serving his alma mater, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as Vice-President of the College of Business Alumni Association. He also is the President of Pratham Chicago Young Professionals Network helping to address gaps in the education system in India by providing low-cost and scalable programs to underprivileged. Most recently, Rahul was asked to join the Auxiliary Board of ChildServ, whose mission since its founding in 1894 has been to help Chicagoland’s at-risk children and their families build, achieve and sustain better lives.

Rahul resides in the River North area of Chicago.