Meet The Team

Fred Taylor President and Co-Founder

Fred co-founded Northstar Investment Advisors in 1995. His responsibilities include working with Northstar clients to build portfolios that meet their investment and income objectives and serving on the firm’s investment committee. He also leads Northstar’s business development efforts.

Fred began his investment career in 1984 on the municipal bond trading desk of Mabon Nugent in New York City. Over the next decade, he worked at various financial institutions analyzing, trading, and selling equities and fixed income investments to institutional and retail clients. This experience provided him with invaluable market knowledge and a keen ability to evaluate both equities and bonds.

He founded Northstar to provide an alternative to the traditional commission-based model of investment advising. Fred’s goal was to offer financial advice customized to meet an individual’s specific needs, free of any conflict of interest.

Fred has used his 35 years of investment experience to help some of Denver’s largest nonprofits improve their financial futures. He serves as chairman of the Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation board and vice chair of CollegeInvest, Colorado’s 529 college savings plan.

Fred is past board member and chairman of the investment committees of The Children's Hospital Colorado, The Denver Foundation, the Colorado Zoological Trust, The Women’s Foundation of Colorado and Kent Denver School.

In recognition of his work with Denver’s non-profits, Fred was named a recipient of The Denver Foundation’s 2017 Philanthropic Leadership Award and was in the first class of the Denver Business Journal’s 40 under 40 Awards in 1997.

From 2008 to 2010, Fred served as an economic advisor to Colorado Governor Bill Ritter. He is also a member of the Colorado Forum, a collection of business leaders focused on critical policy issues facing the state.

Fred is a Colorado native and graduated cum laude from Middlebury College with honors in American History. He lives in Denver with his wife Claudia, and stepdaughter Isabella. He has two grown children: Caroline and Moses; and a granddaughter, Ray Marie.

Bob Van Wetter Bob Van Wetter Co-Founder, COO and CCO

A graduate of Dartmouth College, Bob is a cofounder of Northstar, in charge of day-to-day operations and compliance for the firm. Bob also divides his time at Northstar between portfolio management, equity research and spending time with clients.

Bob’s first investment industry job was as a runner on the floor of the Pacific Stock Exchange in 1983. Having witnessed many ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ market events firsthand over the years, Bob appreciates the importance of consistency in portfolio management.

A vital community is enhanced by the presence of impactful, mission-driven, not-for-profit institutions. Throughout his career, Bob has contributed his organizational skills and financial expertise in the leadership of many Colorado organizations. He is a past board chair of Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado and currently serves on the board of Denver B-Cycle. A full list of Bob’s non-profit board memberships can be viewed here.

A Colorado resident since 1989, and a native of Lake Tahoe, California, Bob and his family have an affinity for outdoor activities and the beauty of mountains. Bob is married to Dr. Betsy Brew, a general surgeon and a partner at Surgical Specialists of Colorado. They are raising three children.

Charlie Farrell, J.D., LL. M. Charlie Farrell, J.D., LL. M. CEO

As Chief Executive Officer of Northstar Investment Advisors, LLC, Charlie guides the firm’s investment philosophy and business management structure.

He focuses on assisting individuals and families with the management of their personal wealth and his services include: Portfolio investment management, retirement income management, and portfolio tax management. Prior to working as an investment advisor, Charlie was a tax attorney representing privately held businesses on tax, retirement and estate planning matters. Click here to view a full list of his community involvement.

Charlie is the author of the book Your Money Ratios: 8 Simple Tools for Financial Security, published in 2009, and called “one of the best financial books to cross our desks this year” by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ, 12/19/09).

His research on personal and business finance has been published or cited in The Wall Street Journal, Smart Money, Journal of Financial Planning, Money Magazine, Investment News, American Association of Individual Investors Journal, Consumer Reports Money Advisor, Denver Business Journal, and the Chicago Tribune.

Charlie has a B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA, and received his law degree from The American University Washington College of Law, in Washington, D.C., where he graduated summa cum laude and was an editor of the American University Law Review. He also holds a master of laws in taxation from the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

Charlie and his wife live near Nederland, CO, and enjoy fishing, hiking and their horses. Charlie also spent a few years doing amateur stand-up comedy.

You can reach Charlie at

Dan McGilvray, CFA Dan McGilvray, CFA Director of Portfolio Management

Dan guides each step of the portfolio management for Northstar – from asset allocation model development and portfolio tracking to account rebalancing and security trading. He also directly manages client portfolios and is a member of the firm’s Investment Committee.

Before joining Northstar, Dan served as the Director of Investment Management for Highland Private Wealth Management in Bellevue, WA, where he focused on asset allocation, fund manager due diligence, individual stock and bond research, and overall portfolio management. He previously worked as an Equity Analyst at Kirr, Marbach, and Co., LLC, in Columbus, IN and as a Budget Analyst, Financial Manager, and Financial Team Lead for the Air Force Space and Missile Center, where his work earned him the Financial Management Civilian of the Year Award and an Air Force Commendation Award.

Raised in Fort Collins, Dan attended the University of Colorado at Boulder, graduating with a degree in Business Administration and a minor in Economics. While earning his degree, he worked as an intern at the Center for Responsible Investing. He later received an MBA in Finance from Indiana University along with minors in Strategic Accounting Analysis and Economic Consulting. While attending IU he was a faculty-selected member of the Investment Management Academy and a graduate assistant in International Finance.

Dan has earned the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Designation and is a graduate of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce Impact Denver Program, which provides up-and-coming professionals with the knowledge, network and skills needed to enhance their impact in the community.

Dan serves on the finance committee for CrossPurpose, a Denver-based non-profit that provides underemployed adults with job training and personal development programs. He is also a volunteer in his children’s schools. In his spare time, Dan enjoys spending time with his wife, Heather, and four sons; playing tennis, golf, and other outdoor activities, and travelling.

Danette Penrod Danette Penrod Client Services & Operations Manager

Danette is a financial services industry veteran with two decades of experience providing operations support for investment advisors, banks and mutual fund firms. As Client Services & Operations Manager, she manages the operations side of client services and assists with ongoing account administration.

Danette most recently served as operations and marketing manager for Guerin Financial Services, where she oversaw a wide range of operational responsibilities, including information technology, website management, human resources and client communications. She has also worked as a personal banker for US Bank and an investor communications representative for Janus Mutual Funds.

A graduate of the Colorado Institute of Art, Danette has a degree in video production.

Outside of work, Danette enjoys spending time with her son, Talon, and husband, Steve; cooking, traveling, participating in obstacle races and managing her son’s lacrosse team. She also serves as a volunteer at her son’s school, where she has taught Junior Achievement classes and led Destination Imagination teams.

Jackie Mendoza Jackie Mendoza Client Account Manager

Jackie is a client account manager at Northstar, overseeing all aspects of new account on-boarding, ongoing account administration, money transfers and securities transfers. Jackie joined Northstar in 2012 with five years of experience in client services.

She began her finance career in the banking industry, serving as a banker for three years at Steele Street Bank & Trust in Denver and two years working with Valley Bank & Trust in Brighton.

Jackie is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in finance at Metropolitan State University and is a fluent Spanish speaker.

A Colorado native, Jackie enjoys hiking, running and spending time outdoors. Her favorite pastime is cheering on her active son Eric in a variety of sports.

John Riecke John Riecke Operations Administrator

John joined Northstar as Operations Administrator in 2016, with more than a decade of experience in the financial services industry.

At Northstar, he has a range of operational responsibilities, including executing trades, rebalancing client portfolios and maintaining asset allocations for the Northstar Income Indices. He also provides client service support.

Before joining Northstar, John worked for four years for the wealth management firm Envestnet, where he provided relationship management and technical support to more than 350 manager partners. He also held analyst positions at WealthTouch Inc, supervising a team dedicated to reconciling financial portfolios and performed customer service for Aurora Loan Services.

He successfully passed the Series 65 Uniform Investment Adviser Examination, which qualifies him to serve as an investment adviser representative.

John holds a degree in Political Science from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

A resident of Capitol Hill, John is a volunteer for the local neighborhood organizations, Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation & Capitol Hill United Neighborhood and enjoys studying economic systems and engaging in city planning. He has been married to his wife Susan for nine years. They have one child, a black Labrador Retriever named Remy.

Cheryl McDonald Cheryl McDonald Business Manager & Compliance Administrator

Cheryl McDonald is the Business Manager at Northstar Investment Advisors and manages all aspects of vendor relations. She also directs the visitor/client experience, assists with compliance administration, marketing and performs event planning. Her responsibilities also include oversight for human resources related work and systems management.

Cheryl brings to Northstar stellar management and customer service skills built through many years of nonprofit work. Prior to joining Northstar, Cheryl spent 12 years serving in the programs department at Rose Community Foundation. During her tenure, she worked as both a program assistant and grants manager, overseeing the organization’s grantmaking process.

Cheryl was also a program coordinator for the Urban League of Metropolitan Denver, where she managed both youth and adult programs and served as an outreach and education coordinator for the Aurora Healthy Start Initiative, a program of Metropolitan Community Provider Network.

She is a past national member of the Association of Black Foundation Executives and regional member of the Rocky Mountain Region - Grants Managers Network. Cheryl studied Elementary Education/Education Studies at Hastings College in Hastings, Nebraska, where she was a member of the women’s basketball team.

Outside of work, Cheryl enjoys spending time with her family. She and husband Wayne are the parents of five adult children and have two grandchildren. They are avid sports fans and enjoy football and basketball games regularly.

Cheryl McDonald Lexi Schmidt Client Service Associate

As a client service associate for Northstar, Lexi serves as a key member of the Client Service Team, helping to meet service requests and ensuring outstanding account support. Lexi’s duties include opening new accounts, money transfers, beneficiary changes and handling other administrative requests that may arise.

She comes to Northstar with experience in account management, client relations, business support, data analytics and project management. She previously served as a product and marketing manager for an online retailer of specialty products and an account manager for a hair care brand.

Lexi holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Florida State University. In her spare time, she enjoys skiing; hiking with her dog; traveling with family and creating art and culinary masterpieces.