Our Team | Commonwealth Financial Network - Jay Higgins
John J. Higgins, CFP®, AIF®, CFS®
Wealth Manager and Retirement Plan Consultant
With more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry, John is deeply committed to educating clients and helping them plan for retirement and their financial well-being. As an Investment Adviser Representative, John’s primary role is to give comprehensive retirement planning and investment advice to clients.
Prior to joining Commonwealth Financial Network®, John was a financial advisor and manager with the Cowan Financial Group, a MassMutual agency. There, he earned CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) certification and his life and health insurance licenses. He also holds FINRA Series 7 (General Securities) and Series 24 (Registered Securities Principal) securities registrations. John decided to leave MassMutual and join Commonwealth so he could become a “true” fiduciary asset manager and specialize in providing comprehensive retirement planning advice to plan sponsors and participants.
John is passionate about working with companies that truly want to help their employees save for retirement and make the right financial choices. He personally does a lot of meetings with plan participants, as he believes that everything begins and ends with the participant—making sure that they understand what their employer is providing and that they’re maximizing their benefits and retirement savings.
John holds a BS in business administration, with a minor in finance, from Villanova University. He grew up in Westfield, New Jersey, and while at Westfield H.S., he played both football and lacrosse for the Blue Devils. He met his wife, Tracey, at Villanova, and they raised four children in Bridgewater, New Jersey, where he enjoyed coaching and watching his three sons play lacrosse, basketball, and football and his daughter play volleyball. Jake and Justin graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University/Madison and Clemson University, respectively. Zachary attends the University of Utah, and Kasey is a student at Gettysburg College, where she continues to play volleyball.
In his free time, you can find John outdoors gardening, playing golf, fishing during early summer mornings at their home on Culver Lake, or enjoying the New Jersey shore in Long Beach Island (LBI).
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
— Winston Churchill
Kelly A. Kurtz, CPC, QPFC, QPA, QKA
Certified Pension Consultant
As our director of retirement services with the highest credential currently conferred by the ASPPA (American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries), Certified Pension Consultant (CPC), Kelly works very closely with our clients, third-party administrators (TPAs), and recordkeepers to ensure top-notch service. She has been part of the team since 2006 and is an invaluable resource, bringing a wealth of knowledge to the table for plan sponsors and participants.
As a dedicated and skilled member of our team, Kelly provides highly individualized attention. She is a great asset to employers and plan participants alike—facilitating compliance with complex legislative and regulatory matters while also providing 401(k) enrollment and education services. Kelly’s hands-on approach to servicing plan sponsors and participants begins during the plan’s setup and implementation and continues throughout the life of the plan. It’s not unusual to find Kelly exploring solutions to complex, technical matters or assisting with educating plan participants on strategies to increase their retirement readiness.
Prior to joining us, Kelly worked for a TPA designing retirement plans, gaining an appreciation for how complex designing and administering a plan can be. She also spent time as an account manager with a large 401(k) recordkeeper and mutual fund company, where she learned about administration and transaction processing. Her sincere interest in delivering an exceptional customer experience came to play even earlier, when she was employed by a large electronics manufacturer and handled the most sensitive consumer inquiries that were directed to the company’s executive office.
In addition to achieving the CPC credential, Kelly earned the designations of Qualified Plan Financial Consultant (QPFC) and Qualified Pension Administrator (QPA). Kelly is also a member of the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) and the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA).
She grew up in North Arlington, New Jersey, a close-knit community in Bergen County, and graduated from Montclair State University. Today, Kelly lives in Hunterdon County and cherishes time with her family, including two teenage children. You’ll find her on the sidelines of their lacrosse games and cross-country and track meets or running in a local 5k for some exercise of her own. The Jersey Shore holds a big place in her heart. She is blessed to spend summers “down the shore” with three generations of family and friends.
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
— Oscar Wilde
Andrea (Andi) Demberg
Director of Group Benefits
Andi has been part of the team since 1995. Client education and interaction and getting to know people on a personal level are her favorite things about her job. She holds FINRA Series 7 (General Securities Representative) and Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law) securities registrations, which she received while working for investment management firm Neuberger Berman, where she started her career. After that, Andi worked at Goldman Capital Management, Inc., an investment management firm, and then at the Cowan Financial Group, a MassMutual agency. There, she earned her life, health, accident, and annuities licenses.
Born in Brooklyn, Andi grew up in upstate New York. With the help of a Regents Scholarship, she earned a BS in business/economics, with a minor in finance, from the State University of New York at Oneonta.
When she isn’t working, Andi enjoys spending time with her husband, three teenage daughters, and their rescue golden doodle, Henry, who helps balance out the male/female ratio in the house (at least a little). Andi is passionate about health and wellness. In between the busy schedule of watching her daughters play basketball, soccer, field hockey, and lacrosse, not to mention track and field, she has several interests of her own that occupy her time: pilates, tennis, yoga, skiing, reading, rooting for the Giants and the Mets, and exploring. A traveler and adventurer, Andi backpacked in eight different countries early on, and she splits vacation time nowadays between some of her favorite spots, including Long Beach Island in New Jersey, Fort Lauderdale, Vermont, the Big Apple, and Inishbofin Island in Ireland (try saying that 10 times fast).
“Love the life you live, and live the life you love.”
— Bob Marley