ABOUT SETTLEMENT PROFESSIONALS INC.
Pioneering The Plaintiff Loyal Settlement Industry For Over Three Decades: Our History…
Jack Meligan left a Portland, Oregon investment advisory and financial planning firm in 1986, and set off on his own to work with personal injury victims in structured settlements.
In those early days, settlement planning was usually nothing more than a structured annuity. But there was a problem…the amount of the annuity and its issuer were determined solely by defendants and their insurance companies, with no regard for the needs, wishes and opinions of victims and their families – people who depended on the settlement to put their lives back together.
Beginning with a 1987 article titled “Conflicts of Interest in Structured Settlements,” Jack began tearing down the walls that prevented injury victims and their attorneys from taking a prominent role in determining the size, structure and provider of settlement solutions.
Numerous articles and writings followed, all aimed directly at giving claimants greater control over their settlement choices and financial planning.
In 1992, Jack discovered the 468(B) Qualified Settlement Trust Fund regulations in the tax code and became one of the first practitioners in the country to use QSFs to help clients. Since then, more than 300 clients have settled their cases with Qualified Settlement Funds.
Then in 2000, Jack co-founded the Society of Settlement Planners, an organization that promotes the concepts of, and educates professionals about, the latest developments in the profession. A widely recognized settlement industry authority,
Jack later helped develop the curriculum for the nation’s only professional Registered Settlement Planner designation, a designation he has held since 2009.
Today, Jack and his growing force of professional settlement planners continue as fierce advocates for plaintiffs and trial attorneys. For more than 29 years, SPI has forged new paths, developing comprehensive, innovative solutions to protect victims and attorneys all over the U.S.
The SPI Vision
The wrongfully injured often experience hardships most of us can’t begin to imagine. At SPI, we strive to create a future where victims and their families get all the life planning and financial support they need.
- For the injured to resume lives of dignity and purpose
- For attorneys to be secure in the knowledge that they have achieved a fair and just outcome for their clients, and that they have taken the extra step of guaranteeing that those clients have had the finest in comprehensive settlement planning services
The SPI team is made up of some of the pioneers and most respected experts in the plaintiff loyal settlement industry. Our MSA experts are at the leading edge of the industry.
Jack L. Meligan
Position: Chairman of SPI Holdings, Inc. and President of Settlement Professionals, Inc. of Oregon
Certifications: Registered Settlement Planner, Board Certified Forensic Examiner – Annuities, Medicare Set-Aside Certified Consultant and Certified Medicare Secondary Payer Professional
Location: Portland, OR and Palm Springs, CA
A champion of plaintiffs’ rights and widely recognized industry authority, Jack L. Meligan is the founder of SPI and a 30-year veteran of the financial planning, structured settlement and settlement planning industries. He has assisted over 1,400 plaintiffs and their attorneys across the U.S. with major, high-dollar catastrophic injury cases.
Jack is the founding president of the Society of Settlement Planners, an association of settlement planners, structured settlement specialists, and special needs settlement-planning attorneys from around the country. This association advocates for settlement planning as a process to uncover and plan for the needs of injury victims and their families. He is also currently president of the Registry of Settlement Planners, a 501(c)(3) organization that is dedicated to the training, certification, and continuing education of members of the settlement planning profession.
A Board Certified Forensic Examiner (BCFE) in the field of annuity testimony, Jack is frequently called upon to testify for plaintiffs across the U.S. He is also one of the first Registered Settlement Planners in the country.
CHARLES E. LEDOYEN
Position: President of SPI
Location: Charleston County, SC
Charles E. LeDoyen is a 38-year veteran of the insurance industry, of which 26 years were spent in the structured settlement annuity industry primarily on the insurance company side.
Charles began his career as a CPA auditing life insurance companies and banks. Subsequently, he served as a CFO to two large life insurance and annuity companies and then took over the reins of three structured settlement divisions, two of which he established as startups. Also, Charles was instrumental in changing the structured settlement industry from defense-centric to include plaintiff representation. Since 2006, he has developed his skills as a plaintiff settlement planner and is currently focused on protecting plaintiff’s rights under Medicare, Medicaid and ERISA.
As president of SPI, his responsibilities include daily corporate administration, national marketing/advertising, and the execution of SPI’s business plan that calls for the recruiting and addition of up to 80 new SPI offices over the next five years.
Charles and his wife Katherine live near Charleston, South Carolina with their three children.
Position: President, SPI Mass Torts division and Settlement Planner, Settlement Professionals, Inc. of Arizona
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Mark Wahlstrom is recognized as a pioneer in the specialty of settlement planning. For more than 30 years Mark has made it his life’s work and mission to expand the practice of settlement planning across the country and into every trial lawyer’s practice.
Mark firmly believes that every injured plaintiff or their family should have access to competent, unbiased, highly professional and specialized planning. Planning that takes into account the unique nature of each client’s financial recovery.
Mark is a recognized leader in the handling of mass tort and multi-claimant settlements through the creative application of Qualified Settlement Funds and IRC Section 468B Trusts. Engaged by many of the leading national mass tort firms, as well as established regional trial lawyers, his expertise in managing client settlement planning, structured legal fees and deferred compensation programs for trial lawyers is well known.
Mark fought for two decades to curtail the now discredited practice of defendants mandating settlement terms and investment choices to unrepresented or uninformed plaintiffs. As a result of his and other dedicated planners’ efforts, plaintiffs and their attorney now have the right to engage their own settlement expert to help them design settlements that are suited specifically to them and their needs.
Position: Settlement Planner, Settlement Professionals, Inc. of Colorado; VP, Training and Education – SPI
Certifications: Certified Medicare Secondary Payer Professional, Chartered Life Assistance Planner and Certified Financial Planner ®
Location: Denver, CO
Michele Whitmore is a nationally renowned lecturer, speaker and financial expert in legal, settlement and disability planning. She protects and promotes the financial stability of critically injured individuals and their families by applying the principles of portfolio management, insurance protection, estate and special needs planning, and the benefits available from public assistance programs.
Michele has provided financial consulting services nationally since 1983. She is a fierce advocate for plaintiffs and their attorneys, promoting special needs and litigation planning, comprehensive funding and financing, and structured settlement expertise since 1984.
She has authored numerous articles for state and national publications, including Trial Magazine, Trial Talk, Colorado Lawyer, TBI Challenge, The Neurolaw Letter, NeuroRehabilitation and The Life Planning Newsletter.
Michele is a graduate of the University of Colorado and the founder and president of Settlement Strategies, Inc. She has served as the Colorado state director for the Estate Planning for Persons with Disabilities program. Michele is a founding member, past-president and former secretary of the Society of Settlement Planners, a founding member, director and past-treasurer of the National Alliance of Medicare Set-Aside Professionals and a current member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.
Position: Settlement Planner and Consultant, Settlement Professionals, Inc. of Orlando
Location: Orlando, FL
Mirena Umizaj is a firm believer in individual justice who draws on her expertise and compassion in a wide variety of personal injury and mass tort actions. She helps plaintiffs and their counsel successfully navigate the difficult transitions caused by unfortunate, life-altering events.
Her work is distinguished by her holistic approach to helping injury victims and mass tort claimants, providing support designed to help them and their families with present and future needs as well as goals and dreams.
In 2013, Mirena founded Frameless Consulting, a company dedicated to assisting mass tort claimants with comprehensive legal concierge services. These include helping hundreds of clients nationwide find doctors, secure funding, coordinate surgeries and maintain updated client contact information to ensure notification of important information.
Mirena attended Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, earning a degree in international relations and a minor in communications, both with honors. A native of Albania, one of her first jobs was working for UNICEF at the age of 16 translating for American troops who assisted victims of genocide in Kosovo Albania. In the U.S. she has worked for the Department of Justice and Immigration helping translate for those seeking immigration status in the United States.
ANTHONY V. ALFIERI
Position: SVP, In House Counsel, SPI Holdings, Inc. and Settlement Planner, Settlement Professionals, Inc. of Washington
Certifications: Juris Doctor, Registered Settlement Planner and Certified Medicare Secondary Payer Professional
Location: Seattle, WA
Anthony V. Alfieri has worked with plaintiffs and their attorneys since joining Settlement Professionals, Inc. in 2001. He is also a practicing personal injury attorney whose top-notch educational and professional background enhances his ability to provide outstanding settlement planning advice and services for plaintiffs across the nation.
A passionate defender of plaintiffs’ rights, Anthony has directly participated in initiatives to improve the rights of claimants in structured settlement transactions. The most notable being the petitioning of the United States Treasury Department to publish literature authorizing the use of qualified or designated settlement funds for single claimant settlements.
Anthony earned a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from Gonzaga University in 1991, and his Juris Doctor degree from Gonzaga School of Law in 1994. He earned his Registered Settlement Planners (RSP) designation in 2009 and his Certified Medicare Secondary Payer designation in 2015.
Position: Financial Planner, Settlement Professionals, Inc. of Cottonwood Heights, UT.
Location: Cottonwood Heights, UT
Bio coming soon…
DOUGLAS J. HAMMOND
Position: Settlement Planner, Settlement Professionals, Inc. of North Carolina and South Carolina
Certifications: Certified Fair Credit Reporting Act Interviewer, Certified Credit Educator, North and South Carolina Licensed Health, Life, Accident and Fixed Annuities Producer and Certified (ACA) Affordable Care Act CMS Federally Facilitated Market Place Agent Broker.
Location: Fort Mill, South Carolina
Douglas J. Hammond joined SPI in 2014 to help plaintiffs and their attorneys with expert, professional advice and exceptional settlement planning services. His resume includes a multitude of executive roles within the credit services industry. Sought after for his industry expertise, Doug has been a frequent guest on Fox Television Charlotte’s Money Mondays.
Doug is an independent consultant and entrepreneur whose specialties include nonprofit organizational development, outreach and brand creations including several successful implementations of HUD organizational program approvals.
Currently, he serves as the president of the International Stem Cell Society (STEMSO), a nonprofit 501 (c)(6) trade association, and is a licensed insurance agent with Carolina Health Connections.
Past roles include outreach programs director at Alliance Credit Counseling in Charlotte, North Carolina, vice president of market development at Ascend One Corporation, divisional sales manager at Trans Union Credit Reporting; North and South Carolina state director for Consumer Credit Counseling of Virginia; mortgage loan officer at Wells Fargo; and merchant credit services at First National Bank Omaha.
Doug has also served as a Helicopter Pilot Platoon leader for the 145th Medical Evacuation Company at Dobbins AFB in Atlanta, GA. He has an FAA Commercial Pilot Rotary Wing Instrument Rating.
Doug holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota.
JEFFREY R. SILVERMAN
Position: Settlement Planner, Settlement Professionals Inc. of New York and Director of Special Needs Planning, Center for Wealth Preservation.
Certifications: Certified Financial Planner® and Licensed Attorney in New York
Location: New York
Phone: (516) 682-3363
Jeffrey R. Silverman is the Director of Special Needs Planning for the Center for Wealth Preservation. Being both a Certified Financial Planner® practitioner and a licensed attorney in the state of New York, he has the combined experiences in financial and legal matters to successfully handle the many issues involved with special needs matters. Jeffrey works with his clients to develop and implement effective, lifetime planning strategies to assure that their needs are properly handled throughout their lives.
He began his professional career as an associate with the leading Long Island law firm of Certilman, Balin, Adler & Hyman. Jeffrey then formed his own law firm where he practiced in the areas of real estate, estate planning and special needs planning. Seeing the need for specialized financial planning services in his practice areas, he shifted the focus of his professional practice from providing legal services to the development of a financial planning firm that focused on special needs planning and estate planning.
Jeffrey earned a degree in economics from the State University of New York at Albany, and a law degree from St. John’s University School of Law. He is a member of the Financial Planning Association of Long Island and the Suffolk County Bar Association. Jeffrey has been a featured speaker for many special needs organizations, and a contributor to newspaper and magazine articles, including being a contributor to the “Ask the Expert” column in Newsday on special needs issues. He has also been the host of the weekly radio program “Special Needs Long Island” that was broadcast on WGBB 1240 am.
He has been involved with community activities that include being a coach with Special Olympics New York, a Member of the Board of Easter Seals in Long Island, and a course instructor with the Association for Children with Down Syndrome’s 5 Plus program.
Jeffrey resides in East Northport, New York with his wife Beth, and his daughters Lauren and Lea.
Position: Financial Services Professional, Settlement Professionals, Inc. of Playa Del Ray, CA.
Location: Playa Del Ray, CA
Kelly Hornbaker is a financial services professional, specializing in structured settlements, with more than 12 years of experience in providing his clients with superior service. His in-depth knowledge of structured settlements, life insurance, disability income insurance, long-term care coverage, traditional annuities, PPACA Advice and advanced planning strategies allows him to provide a full-spectrum approach for long-term financial needs to help protect his clients today and in the future.
Position: Associate, Settlement Professionals, Inc. of Oregon
Certifications: Series 6, 63 and life insurance licenses
Location: Portland, Oregon
Joe Calentino was born and raised in San Francisco, spending much of his after-school hours at his grandfather’s law firm. His grandfather, Joe R. McCray, had a reputation for taking on General Motors in court, regarding the saddle bag fuel tanks on the late 1970s Chevy pickups, and winning. One of the most notable cases against GM resulted in a $10 million settlement, and Joe McCray meeting Jack Meligan (Founder of Settlement Professionals, Inc.) for the first time.
While this case was going on, Joe (at 10 years old) sat with the claimant, a child of the same age, and kept him company. The boy had been burned over a large portion of his body, and had gone through a tremendous ordeal losing two of his close family members in the accident. For Joe, this case brought a real appreciation and understanding about the importance of Jack and his grandfather’s work.
Joe went on to study political science at Arizona State University. During his time in Arizona, he spent eight years working for Chase Bank and acquiring a series 6, 63 and life insurance licenses. While at Chase Bank, Joe worked under one of the region’s highest producing financial advisors, helping to bring in new clients.
After one too many years under the Arizona sun, Joe decided to move to Portland, Oregon closer to family. He now lives on Sauvie Island, (predominately farming country, northwest of Portland) near his grandparents. Shortly after moving to Oregon in 2017, Joe was reintroduced to Jack Meligan. After meeting with Jack, Joe was compelled to join SPI in their efforts of aiding trial attorneys, like his grandfather, in the settlement planning industry for claimants.