Dave Kelley is a leading national authority on dividing pensions in divorce. He is the author of Dividing Pensions in Divorce: Negotiating and Drafting Safe Settlements with QDROs and Present Values, Third Edition, has testified over 1,500 times in court and taught over 100 CLE courses.
The owner of QDRO Group, LLC he belongs to the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. He earned his B.A. degree from Manhattan College and his M.A. from the University of Connecticut where he also completed his doctoral coursework with an emphasis in statistics and research design.
He has written many of the most comprehensive treatises ever done for domestic relations attorneys, including: primers on survivorship, defined contribution plan tracing methods, and the history of Social Security as marital property.
He takes special pride in the accomplishments of his four children: two ERISA attorneys, a computer scientist, and an M.B.A. specializing in internet marketing. His sport of choice is the one he participated in at college and later coached: track and field.
Director of Staff Operations, Jennifer Golden has emerged as a gifted educator and organizer within the company. A magna and summa cum laude graduate from Johnson & Wales University and Kent State University, she has supervised and reviewed the drafting of thousands of orders and has developed a special expertise on survivorship and early retirement subsidy/supplement issues.
Before coming to QDRO Group, Jennifer was the Executive Chef and General Manager of a local Irish pub, overseeing finances and profitability while demonstrating exceptional personal skills and attention to detail.
James Myers, an ERISA attorney and Staff Attorney for QDRO Group, has extensive experience researching ERISA issues, as well as drafting briefs, motions, complaints and position statements on a wide variety of technical pension, labor, and employment topics. He is a licensed attorney in both Ohio and Indiana. A cum laude graduate of the University of Toledo College of Law, he has a special expertise in multiemployer plans.
Prior to joining the QDRO Group, James worked for two private law firms spending the majority of his time interpreting, drafting, and negotiating contract language, as well as, acting as counsel to multiemployer (Taft-Hartley) retirement and welfare plans. James has represented clients in state and federal courts, arbitration, mediation, and administrative agency proceedings. He has presented oral arguments before the Eighth District Court of Appeals, and written briefs in cases before the Ohio Supreme Court.
While in law school, he was an extern for the Sixth District Court of Appeals where he drafted legal opinions with the assistance of the staff attorneys and his assigned judge. He also served as a law clerk for an international labor union, and was a Peggy Browning Fellow.
In 2010, James received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Miami University.
While not at work, James spends his time with his growing family that includes his wife Erin, their two children, and their Boston terrier Maisie Mae. Growing up, James worked on the family farm in Northwest Ohio, where he learned the importance of working hard, being flexible when the unexpected happens, and making sure the job is done right the first time.
Erin Myers, a staff attorney for QDRO Group, has a special interest in providing legal services for the disadvantaged, especially in efficiently dividing limited retirement benefits and understanding the benefits available under Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Starting with volunteer time at Legal Aid in Western Ohio helping indigent individuals through divorce and dissolution actions, she has focused on developing the tools necessary to help this under-served population.
A graduate of the University of Toledo College of Law, Erin is licensed in Ohio and Indiana. In addition to her experience with Domestic Relations and QDROs, she has worked for the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office appearing at arraignments and interviewing victims of crime. She has written extensively on the interaction of Social Security with state and federal pensions not integrated with Social Security.
In 2011 she received her Bachelor of Arts in political science from Miami University where she served as president of Kappa Delta. The mother of three she enjoys reading and sewing in the limited free time she has.
A senior present value consultant and experienced courtroom expert, Joe Minor is a mathematics major with a minor in statistics from Cleveland State University. He specializes in the valuation and division of government pensions, especially military and federal government orders.
This level of specialization has allowed him to advise thousands of attorneys on the dangers of drafting orders on government pensions, especially in securing survivorship.
He has a special interest in the legal precedent of using Social Security offsets when dividing public pensions which are not integrated with Social Security. His detailed understanding of the benefit calculations for Social Security, public pensions and the orders dividing those public pensions gives him a broad background in advising attorneys.
Of course, his understanding of the federal statutes and legal precedent in dividing public pensions along with a deep and precise expertise on the specifics of the plans is supplemented by his mathematics background which includes Calculus, Probability Theory, Linear Algebra, Multivariable Calculus, Numerical Analysis, Mathematical Modeling, Statistical Methods, Time Series Analysis, and Categorical Data Analysis.
An avid baseball player and fan, he is reveling in the resurgence of the Cleveland Indians and attending his first World Series games.
A public drafting consultant, Phillip Wilson, is a cum laude graduate of Cleveland State, with a 3.49 GPA in Political Science, and is a member of Phi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society.
Phillip also works in litigation support for the QDRO Group’s five expert witnesses preparing direct and cross examination questions as well as exhibits and other materials for litigated cases.
This was a natural progression from his internship at Litigation Management Inc. where he helped discover and structure medical records for pending lawsuits. Phillip also credits coursework, such as Civil Rights & Civil Liberties, Constitutional Law, and Data Analysis, for increasing his attention to the factual details necessary when drafting complex government orders.
In his spare time, Phillip enjoys playing basketball, hiking, and watching Cleveland sports.
Kecia Johnson joined QDRO Group in September, 2019 as a Present Value Consultant. She has a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Troy University, with a concentration in Economics. Other coursework included Calculus, Linear Algebra, Modern Geometry, Differential Equations, Mathematical Statistics, Methods of Regression, and Analysis of Variance.
Prior to joining QDRO Group, Kecia worked for Buford City Schools in Buford, Georgia, north of Atlanta. Her duties included maintaining student information for reporting data to the Department of Education in Georgia, Buford City Arena Manager, and finance coordinator for the Buford City Schools Daycare, managing the school Facebook page, and working closely with the Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent on various projects. All of these duties required good time management skills, organization, communication, and attention to detail.
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and keeping up with her 2 daughters who both cheer, one at Mississippi State University, and one in high school – and her 2 sons at University of Toledo and Kennesaw State University.
James Coco, our CPA, specializes in tracing (and testifying on) the separate property component in defined contribution plans having performed over 2,000 in the last 20 years and testified nearly 40 times. A 1982 cum laude graduate of Cleveland State University, he is one of the approximately 20% of all CPAs who have passed all four elements of the certification test on his first sitting.
His accounting career started with employment with national and international CPA firms, and corporate experience as a VP/Controller in charge of finance. Since 1993, he has been employed full time with his own CPA firm.
A QDRO drafting consultant, Russell Cruz, graduated from Cleveland State with a 3.75 GPA in sociology. His focus is on advising how to divide private 401(k)s after researching plan documents and procedures along with our extensive data base on the details of specific plans.
An avid “connector”, Russell is fascinated with the process by which new ideas and products enter the mainstream of American life through Facebook, Instagram, and Linked In, and was thus a natural to serve as the company’s Social Media Coordinator. Much of his aptitude for “going the extra mile” in helping attorneys was honed – like several other staff members – in the customer service/ retail sector.
Russell is a member of Alpha Kappa Delta Honor Society, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Tau Sigma National Honor Society, and the National Society of Leadership and Success.
In his spare time, Russell enjoys singing and making music with his friends, watching Indians and Cavaliers games, and spending time with his family.
A cum laude graduate from Baldwin Wallace University with a Bachelor of Science, Stephanie Sawczyszyn is an Administrative Assistant & CLE Coordinator for Lawyer Services. She supports the entire team in this role by utilizing her attention to detail, as well as her ability to prioritize multiple tasks and projects occurring at the same time. Stephanie is responsible for new case intakes, as well as assisting QDRO drafting consultants, when needed, to make sure all files are dealt with in a timely fashion. She also helps to develop and refine administrative systems and procedures for the company.
Prior to joining QDRO Group, Stephanie worked as a Preschool teacher for 13 years, where she thoroughly developed her organizational and communication skills. She now has two young daughters of her own at home, and enjoys spending her time outside of work with them, and her husband.
In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys sharing her love of gardening with her children. While her daughters “assist” her with the gardening by eating tomatoes and playing in the dirt, Stephanie grows, cans, and freezes food from the garden for her family to enjoy throughout the year.