Kevin R. Connolly is founder and Chief Executive Officer of Buffalo First Wealth Management, LLC and Chief Executive Officer of Buffalo First Advisory Group, LLC. Kevin Connolly received a MBA, Master of Business Administration Degree with a concentration in Strategic Management from Medaille College, Buffalo, New York, and holds a BS, Bachelor of Science Business Management Degree from Niagara University, Lewiston, New York. Kevin holds a Series 7 and Series 66 licenses, a New York State license for Health, Life, Disability, Long Term Care, and is certified with the New York State Partnership.
Prior to founding Buffalo First Wealth Management, LLC, Kevin served as a District Manager/Financial Advisor at Waddell & Reed, Inc. While at Waddell & Reed, he serviced customers in a variety of industries, with a primary emphasis on comprehensive financial planning, estate planning, institutional retirement plans, and wealth management. Kevin was formerly Chief Financial Officer of AAA Environmental, Inc.; Director of Business Affairs & Human Resources, State University New York at Canton; Director of Transportation Technology, Trocaire College; Director of Transportation, Ahold USA Tops Markets, Inc.; and Vice President of Operations at Superior Lubricants Co., Inc.
Kevin participates in a number of community and professional organizations: Medaille College Board of Trustees, Alumni Board of Directors, Board of Directors for the Network in Aging of Western New York, volunteer at Millard Suburban Hospital, member of the Amherst Chamber of Commerce and past member of the Clarence Chamber. He is a coach of Lou Gehrig Baseball, past coach of Mathewson McCarthy Baseball, past Vice President of Board of Directors for the Amherst Youth Foundation, past Board Member/Director Kenan Center, past Board of Directors member of Children’s and Family Services of Niagara County.
Kevin resides in Williamsville, New York with his wife Michelle and their four children. He also has two other daughters and is a proud grandfather.
Allen Dembski, is the Chief Operating Officer/Vice President of Buffalo First Wealth Management and also an Accredited Wealth Management Advisor℠. Allen is a graduate of Buffalo State College, where he attained his Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Business Studies. He also graduated from Erie Community College where he attained his Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Administration. Allen currently holds Series 6, 63, & 65 Securities Licenses. He also holds his NYS Life, Accident & Health Insurance License. He received his NYS Long-Term Care Partnership Certificate in 2008.
Allen worked in the insurance industry for eight years, during the first year of which he was promoted to a sales management position before entering the financial services profession in 2006. Allen’s approach centers largely on client education and interaction. This approach allows clients to be part of a team rather than bystanders. He utilizes his experience to develop strategies that focus on protecting assets from market volatility, and customizing portfolios to match an individual’s goals and objectives.
Allen and his wife Julie have two children, Cassie and Lucas. He enjoys hockey, golf, football, and most other sports. He has been an assistant or head hockey coach at Canisius High School since 2003, and has been a coach at other local high schools since 1998. Allen is past Co-Chairman of Emerging Business Leaders and is an active member of the Amherst Chamber of Commerce. Allen previously served on the Board of Directors at the Home Improvement Council of WNY, and volunteers at Goodwill, where he teaches financial education. Allen currently serves as an Advisory Board member with West Seneca CSD Academy of Finance and an instructor with Junior Achievement.
Michael V. Knapp, CMA, MBA
Michael earned his Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Professional Accountancy from Niagara University, as well as a Master of Business Administration from Medaille College. Michael is an Enrolled Agent (EA) with the Internal Revenue Service, holds his Series 65, life, accident, health license, and is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) with the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA).
Michael has been an entrepreneur since 2008, shortly after his first daughter was born. He believes in the adage, “a rising tide lifts all ships,” and as such, uses his practical business and public accounting experience to help educate clients on how to build wealth and succeed in business while keeping their taxes in check. He sees investments, especially retirement planning, as a way to build a lucrative future while taking advantage of short-term tax benefits.
When Michael isn’t enjoying the outdoors with his two daughters, Madison and Natalie, he can be found serving as Loan Committee Chairman and Small Business Mentor with the Westminister Economic Development Initiative (WEDI). In addition, he spends a good deal of time underwater as a Public Safety Diver on the City of Tonawanda Police Department Underwater Recovery Team (URT)
As a Financial Advisor, Jeff thrives on his desire to talk with clients every day; to educate, inspire and ultimately help them. He takes tremendous pride in serving Western New York, and is committed to his ongoing professional development. Jeff has over 19 years of experience in the insurance industry, both in management and sales. He holds a New York State Life, Accident and Health license and is also Series 6 and 63 registered.
Aside from spending time with his family; nothing is more exciting, energizing and fulfilling than building his business. It means continually striving to be better. It means doing what’s right and knowing that by doing right – by making it the soul of what you do – you’ll win much more than you lose.
Jeff and his wife Melissa have 3 children: Evan, Maxwell and Aaron. He loves sports, but he is particularly passionate about football, hockey, golf and lacrosse. In his spare time, Jeff is very active in the community, teaching and developing young athletes. He has completed his Level 4 USA Hockey coaching certifications and has been a volunteer assistant coach for youth hockey since 2009. Jeff has also been a Volunteer assistant coach with the North Tonawanda Athletics Association for Lacrosse since 2015.
Juliana Janson, MBA
After a career in government affairs and non profit management, Juliana decided to follow a lifelong passion for personal finance. She joined Buffalo First in November of 2021 as a Business Development Consultant and has immersed herself into all aspects of the business. She firmly believes that having a good understanding of one’s finances is the first step to attaining many goals and dreams and enjoys helping people do that.
After passing her Series 65 exam, she is now a Investment Advisor Representative. She earned her Master of Business Administration from The Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Economics from the University at Buffalo. Juliana serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Western New York Invention Convention, Hope for Sisi’s Kids, and volunteers with the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, She currently is thoroughly enjoying teaching a financial education course to high school seniors through Junior Achievement of Western New York.