OUR FINANCIAL PLANNING SERVICES TEAM
We understand the stress and strains of everyday life and the potential confusion for those who are not familiar with the financial planning process. We’re different from other firms because we take it personally, and we have personal real-life experience. We simplify the financial planning process and provide solutions to make our clients feel comfortable with their financial planning process throughout their lives. We specialize in providing certified financial planning advice and services to those with special needs and disabilities, including autism.
Andrew Komarow MSFS, CFP®, CNP®
Founder – Certified Financial Planner
Andrew is the Founder of Planning Across the Spectrum and specializes in helping any self-advocating client or family with autism and intellectual disabilities.
Andrew is a passionate advocate for autism awareness in his community and for his work as a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP™) Certified Neurodiversity Professional (CNP®). He has always worked toward helping his clients gain financial security now and for their future. Putting both of these interests together, Andrew was inspired to launch Planning Across the Spectrum.
Andrew understands the difficulty and stigma that many individuals with special needs face. Having received his Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis as an adult, many questions about the struggles he had growing up, and as a young adult, were answered. Through this experience, Andrew knew that he wanted to do something to work with the special needs community to provide answers and security in the financial world. He took time to educate himself in everything he could to help this underserved community and now dedicates himself to it.
Andrew provides a unique planning perspective for those with special needs, their caregivers, and their families because he has “walked in their shoes.” He has experienced the medical, social, educational, legal, vocational, and relational issues that come with being a member of the autism community. Due to this, he can provide specialized aid to his clients, and most importantly, he understands that every situation is unique.
Planning Across the Spectrum is a company designed for more than just financial planning. Andrew created a resource to provide expert guidance and valuable resources for life decisions that are either unknown, not easily accessible or can be complicated to pilot for someone with special needs.
Andrew is currently serving on the board for the FOCUS Center for Autism as well as Autism Career Pathways. He has previously sat on boards for Autism Services and Resources Connecticut and The American College. He was appointed by the Connecticut house of representatives to their Autism Spectrum Disorders Advisory Council and frequently advocates for those with Autism and other Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Andrew is a frequent guest speaker on his own experiences or on various financial and insurance planning topics.
Andrew earned a Master of Science in Financial Services (MSFS) and has achieved the distinction of being a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP™) and a 2020 ABLE NRC Ambassador. He has certifications as a Behavioral Financial Advisor(BFA™), Chartered Special Needs Consultant (ChSNC®), and an Accredited Estate Planner (AEP®) among his other designations. As a business owner, husband, and father Andrew does not get much spare time, but when he does, he enjoys tinkering with electronics, travel, and bike rides. He resides in the Farmington Valley with his wife, daughter, and his dog Bentley.
Nolan Menachemson - Special Needs Advisor
Nolan Menachemson is a Special Needs Advisor with Planning Across the Spectrum. He will work out of our new Westport CT office, broadening our reach into Fairfield County. Nolan is a Chartered Special Needs Consultant (ChSNC®) and a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) with over 20 years' experience in Investments and Financial Planning.
Nolan has personal experience in dealing with the issues that our clients and families face. His meaningful work helps these families achieve a stable financial future and allows them more time to focus on their daily challenges.
Nolan resides in Westport and has a daughter in law school, and a son who transitioned from a private school for individuals with learning disabilities, graduated college, and is now working in the retail sector.
Elizabeth Yoder - Director of Financial Planning
Liz is a Certified Financial Planning Professional and is serving our clients as the Director of Financial
Planning. Liz joined Planning Across the Spectrum in February 2021 after working with two traditional
financial planning firms. She will work mostly remotely from Maryland, where she lives with her
husband, son, puppy and backyard chickens. She is excited to move beyond traditional into the
specialized world supporting families with I/DD and ASD.
Liz found the path to financial planning while attending national disability conferences held in the DC area when she was a live-in care giver and member of L’Arche home. Each conference, parents and siblings had the questions of how to keep lifeline benefits in-tact. At each conference, she met very few people who did not have a family member with a diagnosis. She grew frustrated that not enough people were doing the work to educate families and lift the earning potential of ready to work people who receive government benefits.
Liz grew up along shoreline Connecticut, where her family still resides.
Andrew Arboe - Director of Community Outreach
Andrew Arboe is the Director of Community Outreach of Planning Across the Spectrum. He reaches out to various autism/disability/neurodiversity organizations to start collaborations on empowering the community. Collaborations could be setting up speaking engagements, being involved in conferences, and connecting them to Planning Across the Spectrum’s other services. Other work includes managing the free-to-use national calendar and writing blog posts on various autism topics.
Other outreach includes virtual consultations for autistics learning how to drive in all 50 states. Andrew Arboe’s special interest is on driving and he wants others to navigate the driving journey with more supports than he had. He helped inspire the first driving program in Connecticut for the autism community through The Next Street. Andrew Arboe hosts monthly webinars that break the topic down and makes it approachable for families and individuals. He shares his personal journey, goes over motivation and strategies.
Andrew found his path to community outreach because of his experiences as an autistic adult. He knows how outcomes are other adults and the ups and downs of the autism community. He aims to provide proactive values towards his work in the community. He prefers the brick-and-mortar approach to managing employment and transportation issues and promoting self-empowerment. He believes having people learn about self-help can make a major difference in their lives, then waiting for an invisible force to make things better.
Andrew graduated from Manchester Community College with an associate degree as a Disability Specialist. Andrew is attending Charter Oak State College for a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He hopes to get certified in both autism and driver rehab fields soon. Andrew’s past employment experiences include being a job coach for Plainville Community Schools, which taught him the importance of promoting employment skills and a school perspective in transitioning to adulthood. When not at work, he is into walks, ice coffee, and gaming (JRPGs). He is currently excited for NieR: Replicant’s release in April 2021.
“A future is not given to you. It is something you must take for yourself”
Haley Gearwar - Director of Client Services
Haley serves as the Director of Client Services at Planning Across The Spectrum. In her role, Haley handles a variety of client services including event planning and administrative duties. With a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and several years of experience working in customer service, Haley is well-prepared to work directly with people. Haley is passionate about helping others and is happy to assist our clients with anything they may need.
In her spare time, Haley enjoys reading any genre of book, trying out new baking recipes, and taking trips to the beach.
Robert Dillard - Medicare and Insurance Specialist
Robert Dillard has been involved in the insurance industry since 2007. Robert chose to focus on property and casualty insurance before discovering a passion for advanced planning through life insurance.
Because of his own struggles with dyslexia and his son’s autism spectrum diagnosis, Robert has realized a great need for knowledgeable professionals to help neurodivergent individuals and their families navigate the complex and often frustrating world of insurance.
Robert continuously strives to fill this need and ensure that those he serves are taken care of no matter the situation. In his free time Robert is usually with his wife, son, and two dogs, Abby and Daisy. They enjoy spending time outdoors, swimming, visiting aquariums, and hiking.
Becca Lory Hector, CAS, BCCS
Director of Individual Empowerment and Employee Wellness
Becca Lory Hector, CAS, BCCS, is the Director of Individual Empowerment and Employee Wellness at Planning Across the Spectrum. Her goal is to help all neurodiverse and autistic adults live their best lives and accomplish their goals. A published author and national speaker on diversity and inclusion, Becca speaks from personal experience as a late-diagnosed autistic adult.
In her current role as a neurodiversity and inclusion consultant, most of Becca's energy is spent advising organizations on projects that involve the neurodiverse community. Additionally, she provides Diversity & Inclusion training to a varied audience, combining her knowledge of neurodiversity with her public speaking skills to create dynamic presentations meant to advocate, educate, and entertain. Lastly, she utilizes her strength with the written word to communicate—via blog, vlog, article, and book—the needs expressed by so many in the greater disability community.
Becca is a passionate, driven, self-starter who leads by example. She wants every autistic adult to live their best life and works with individuals to help them achieve their goals.
Jillian Noyes - Director of Digital Content
Jillian Noyes is a Connecticut-based filmmaker, writer, designer, and advocate for mental health and autism related issues. Her passion lies in crafting stories about oft-marginalized communities—in particular, the disabled community. To that end, she writes candidly about her own experiences as an autistic woman for our blog and serves as its editor. She also designs graphics for our social media and compiles resources for our monthly newsletter.
Jillian holds a B.A. in Film Studies and Philosophy from Connecticut College. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, singing, playing board games with friends, and spending time with her two dogs.
Julia Vassallo - Benefits Research Assistant
Julia Vassallo serves as the Benefits Research Assistant at Planning Across the Spectrum. As such, Julia is devoted to compiling information and resources on numerous benefit-related topics to create and systemize a disability benefits resource database serving to provide valuable information and guidance to clients, employers, and members of the general public. In the process, Julia is also responsible for creating additional handouts, resource materials, and benefit-related blog posts.
Julia is currently working towards her bachelor’s degree in Political Science and her individualized second major, Disability and Law at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT. Julia will begin her pursuit of her Juris Doctor degree, enabling her to become a legal advocate for members of the disability community, including veterans and the elderly.
When not working at Planning Across the Spectrum, Julia enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, and experimenting in the kitchen with cooking and baking. Julia also spends time as an adult companion for a woman with Down Syndrome and a friend to members of Best Buddies International through her involvement in the UConn chapter.
Jeremy K Farrell - Director of Family & Personal Growth
Jeremy K. Farrell is a passionate Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Advocate and a proud person on the spectrum himself. He has been working with children with developmental disabilities, specializing in autism, since the age of 15. He started at his local summer camps and while teaching Hebrew at his local temple.
Since graduating with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Southern Connecticut State University, he has run social skills groups for teens and kids on the spectrum out of Western Connecticut Behavioral Health. He has worked with the Autism Services and Resources of Connecticut to provide recreational resources to their clients, and traveled the state of Connecticut as the Leader of Community Outreach and Recruitment for the Listening to Faces Speech and Language research out of Haskins Laboratories.
He has recently focused on freelance autism advocacy work where he helps create and run local programs for autistic individuals as well as work directly with clients to address their needs and difficulties through services such as mentoring and consulting.