Our Professionals

James J. Tyrpak, MSFS, CLU®, ChFC®, AEP®

More about Jim

Tyrpak Wealth Strategies, Williamsville, NY

Jim has more than 35 years of experience in the financial planning field. He has a Master of Science in financial services with a specialty in pension planning and estate planning.

Jim is heavily involved in his profession and the community. He has been past president of many organizations including the national and local chapters of the Society of Financial Service Professionals.

Jim and his wife, Donna, live in Amherst and enjoy traveling throughout the U.S. and Europe.

Michael J. Tyrpak, AIF®, BFA, CPFA®

More about Mike

Tyrpak Wealth Strategies, Williamsville, NY

Mike has been encompassed by the financial service profession his whole life. He pursued several financial service-related careers before joining Tyrpak Wealth Strategies in 2009.  Mike has focused his practice area on retirement plans, trusts and non-profits.  He also works heavily with professionals looking to create a comprehensive wealth picture for themselves and their family.

In 2018 he earned the Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®) designation from fi360. The AIF® prepares investment professionals and those managing investments on behalf of others to carry out their fiduciary responsibilities. To meet these responsibilities AIF® practitioners employ the Prudent Practices and Mike uses this process to train and consult investment committees to understand and implement best practices of fiduciary care for the groups they represent.  In 2022 Mike earned the Behavioral Financial Advisor (BFA™) designation created by Kaplan Financial (now the College for Financial Planning) and think2perform.  This part of Mike’s practice can involve working with families to determine their values and helping to align those values with their financial and personal goals. In 2022 he earned the Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor (CPFA®) designation from the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA) another important fiduciary credential developed by some of the nation’s leading advisors and retirement plan experts.  Advisors who earn the CPFA® demonstrate expertise required to act as a plan fiduciary or help plan fiduciaries manage their roles and responsibilities. In working with employer sponsored retirement plans, Mike analyzes the unique needs of the client and their business(es) to determine what solutions will work best for them. This custom approach utilizes many vehicles (401k, SIMPLE, SEP IRA, 403b) and various levels of advisory, investment options and platforms.  Mike has also completed a NAPA certificate program in ESG (Environmental Social Governance) investing for 401(k) Plan Advisors and has written a white paper on ESG investing.  He is frequently learning from the organizations and thought leaders in the financial services profession and works with his clients to bring that thought leadership to the Buffalo area and beyond.

Mike has been published several times in the Journal of Financial Service Professionals, one of the oldest practitioner Journals in the financial services arena.  He has qualified for Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT®) six times including Court of the Table four times and Top of the Table twice.

Mike is also very involved in the community and profession. Mike is Past President of the Buffalo Chapter of the Society of Financial Service Professionals. He is also the President and a longtime trustee of the Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village, where he is able to put his passion for history toward a good cause. Mike is current President of the Rotary Club of Niagara Falls, NY and has served as president of the Rotary Club of Amherst as well as the Roundabout Rotary Club. He is currently serving on the Alumni Board of Canisius High School, his alma mater. Mike and his wife, Sarah, live in Niagara Falls with their sons, Will and Charlie. They love travelling to another great tourist area, Orlando. Mike is a marginal sailor and poor trap shooter. Mike & Sarah (and occasionally Will) also enjoy bogey golf.

David R. Stromecki, CLU®, ChFC®, CIC

Brown & Stromecki Agency, Orchard Park, NY

As a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®), David helps individuals and families develop customized strategies built around their unique lifestyles in order to help protect and build their future. He prides himself on serving as a trusted financial advisor to his clients so they can focus on what is most important to them – their businesses, careers, and families. David graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in business management from Canisius College and has earned the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®) and Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designations.

David is a member and past National Director of the Society of Financial Service Professionals (SFSP), and the Professional Insurance Agents (PIA). David currently serves as a Director and on the Steering Committee for the Buffalo Niagara Business Ethics Association, a Director of the Brian Moorman’s PUNT Foundation and New York State Ambassador for the Hunt of a Lifetime Foundation.

David and his wife Kim reside in Elma. In 2018 they lost their 13 year old son, Ben, to brain cancer and have become empowered to help families dealing with childhood cancer. They are volunteers at the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, assist with programs for the PUNT Foundation and are the Ambassadors for the Hunt of a Lifetime Foundation in New York State. Their goal is to continue putting smiles on kids’ faces when they are undergoing very difficult times. When he has some spare time, David enjoys spending time in the outdoors, fishing, hunting, trapping, and working with his son’s black lab, Bullet.

Paul R. Chisholm, MBA

Insurance Associates Marketplace, Tonawanda, NY

Paul has been in the investment field since 1989.  He brings his expertise in business consulting to our team.  He works with clients on business planning as well as exit and succession strategic planning.

Paul began his career in the insurance field in 1986 adding the investment component to his practice in 1989.  He has operated his independent insurance agency since 1993 and now manages a group of 7 Western New York agencies with over 10,000 clients.  Paul has bachelor’s in Finance and Accounting from the University at Buffalo and an MBA from Canisius College.

Paul is very committed to his community serving on a number of boards and committees including: WNY Planned Giving and Leave a Legacy Board, Elmlawn Cemetery and Crematory Board, Kenmore Rotary Foundation Board, Kenmore Tonawanda Meals on Wheels Board, James V Ryan Foundation Board, Buffalo Niagara Sales and Marketing Executives Program Committee and the Construction Exchange Legislative Committee.

Paul’s legacy planning expertise extends to his own business as he has transferred operations of his Property and Casualty agency to his son Carl.  Paul is an avid golfer and if the weather is nice, you’ll likely find him at Park Country Club.  He and his wife, Nancy who works in insurance agency, have been married for over 45 years. In addition to Carl, their daughter, Nicole, is a stay-at-home mom with two children.

Philip E Russell, MSE, ChFC, CLU, LUTCF, CRPS

Lockport, NY

Phil brings a unique skillset to our team having previously been the education field prior to becoming a financial professional in 1983.  Phil brings his knowledge of education planning and helps us assist our clients with comprehensive retirement solutions where defined benefit plans may be a component complimenting a 403b or 401k.

Phil has a Master’s degree in Education from his time prior to the investment field.  He quickly became a student of the financial services field passing five FINRA exams and receiving designations including the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®), the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®) the Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF®) and the Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist (CRPS®)

Phil is very involved in both the Lockport and Wilson communities of Niagara County.  He serves as a Village Trustee in Wilson, he is an active member of the Barker Lions Club, the Niagara Area Business Exchange and Toastmasters.  Phil is also a golfer and bowler living up near Lake Ontario with his wife Chris.

Thomas J. Cannavo, JD

Pillar Wealth Solutions, Williamsville, NY

A lifelong Western New Yorker, Tom graduated from St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute in 1986. He then attended Canisius College, earning a bachelor’s degree with All College Honors in 1990. Tom immediately pursued a law degree at The State University of New York at Buffalo Law School, where he completed the tax law program. In 1991 he studied European Community law and international business transactions at University College London Faculty of Laws in London, England. Tom graduated law school in 1993 and has been advising individuals, families and small businesses in a comprehensive manner for well over 25 years.

After practicing law for almost 20 years, Tom joined a large, global financial firm to add financial and retirement planning to his comprehensive client services. Wanting to provide a more personal and customized experience for his clients, Tom founded Pillar Wealth Solutions, providing advice and counsel to individuals, families and small businesses in the areas of retirement planning, estate planning, business planning and risk management.

Tom is active in community and business groups, including: WNY Business Helping Business; the Erie County and New York State Bar Associations; the Financial Planning Counselors of Western New York; and the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. Tom is also a member of the Knights of Columbus and has previously served as an officer of the St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute Alumni Board, the St. Mark School Board and the Holy Name Society.

Check the background of investment professionals on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.

Tyrpak Financial offers our insurance brokers full-service strategies for their life, long term care, disability and annuity clients.  We work with our brokers on custom options for clients and will help at all stages in the process including point of sale availability for cases requiring advanced concepts.  We are happy to quote your business and professional clients a wide array of products and assist with concepts including buy-sell insurance, keyman coverage, be your own banker, and advanced estate planning.

As a full service general agency, we can prepare quotes and paperwork, request paramed exams and attending physician and work with the agent and underwriters to help the underwriting process work as smoothly as possible in an ever changing insurance environment.

For life insurance agents with other practice areas we are happy for you to “hand off” cases to us to serve as an agent on the case as well and go through the entire process including the new and expanded NYS Regulation 187 (Suitability and Best Interest in Life Insurance and Annuity Transactions) requirements.

For investment licensed financial professionals Tyrpak Financial offers OSJ services through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. named 13-time Investment Advisor magazine Broker-Dealer of the Year.  Our team works collaboratively with many clients offering a wealth of knowledge and experience in a variety of practice areas including small businesses, professionals, retirement planning, non-profits and endowments.

Disclosure: Investment Advisor magazine, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2008, 2007, Division IV; 2003, Division III. A broker-dealer becomes eligible for this honor only after a minimum of 10% of its producing financial advisors cast valid ballots. The ballots rate the broker-dealer in 15 different categories defined by Investment Advisor as relevant challenges and concerns. Broker-dealers receiving the highest marks in each of four are declared Broker-Dealer of the Year. Results are based on experiences and perceptions of participants surveyed in June of each of the years listed. Experience may vary. This recognition is not representative of investment performance or returns of representatives. Visit advisorone.com.

Check the background of investment professionals on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.


Tyrpak Wealth Strategies

6622 Main Street, Suite 6
Williamsville, New York 14221

Office: 716-631-1600
Fax: 716-631-1605

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Honorees of Million Dollar Round Table must achieve a sales goal predetermined by the MDRT organization and maintain this level throughout the course of one year. Qualified individuals must pay a membership fee in order to participate. Sales amounts are independently verified by the MDRT organization through certifying letters. Qualification for recognition is based on the amount of premium/commission dollars produced over the previous year. This recognition is not representative of any investment performance or returns. Years won are six.

Society of Financial Service Professionals Top FSP Leaders 40 and Under 40 is based on a nomination process from the public, results released in 2012. Winners must be active in the financial services industry and be under the age of 40. This award is not based on investment performance.​

Securities offered through Registered Representatives of Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a broker-dealer, member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advisor Representatives, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Cambridge and Tyrpak Wealth Strategies are not affiliated. Due to various state regulations and registration requirements concerning the dissemination of information regarding investment products and services, we are currently required to limit access of the following pages to individuals residing in states in which we are currently registered. We are licensed to sell insurance products in the following states: CA, FL, MD, ND, NY, NC, NV, OH, and PA. We are registered to sell securities in the following states: AZ, CA, FL, MA, MD, MS, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TX, and VA.

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