Welcome to United Capital The Woodlands
Experience wealth management, reimagined.
Get clarity and control over your financial life — and focus on living the life you really want. See how we help you do it.
Byron EllisManaging Director
Stephen D. BauerWealth Adviser
Ron FolwellWealth Manager
Kiernan O’ConnorWealth Manager
Amber RobersonDirector of Operations
Colleen ZieglerSenior Relationship Manager
Angela SandersClient Service Manager
John TrentRelationship Manager
Nancy EtchisonAdministrative Manager
Karen BritanikAdministrative Manager
Byron Ellis, CFP®
Byron Ellis is a well-known financial educator in The Woodlands. Over 2,000 retirees have attended his presentations focused on prudent investing and tax-reduction strategies. For 25 years, Byron has directly counseled over 500 investors on ways to preserve their assets and avoid costly mistakes. His weekly column on estate planning, retirement investing and other personal finance issues appears in The Courier and The Villager in Montgomery County. Byron has appeared on KHOU TV Channel 11, Fox 26 and KRIV TV to discuss timely financial topics. He is Founder of the Montgomery County Economic Panel, a group of prominent business leaders dedicated to helping others navigate today’s economic uncertainty, and hundreds of area residents attended his popular panel.
Byron is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, which required him to take a two year course of study and pass six rigorous exams testing his comprehensive knowledge of personal financial issues. He enjoys taking highly complex subjects and making them easy to understand. Not only has he used his financial acumen and leadership to work with thousands of Houston retirees, but also the community as Chairman of the Board of the South Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Board for Leadership Montgomery County, Event Chair for First Night The Woodlands, Finance Committee Chair for the Montgomery County United Way Campaign, and more. He has been recognized by the Barron’s, Texas Monthly and the Houston Business Journal. Byron lives with his wife, Leslie, and daughter, Emily, in The Woodlands. His hobbies, when he’s not helping people transfer more wealth, include many fitness activities and photography. Ask to see some of his professional photography work.
Stephen D. Bauer
Stephen D. Bauer is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, which typically requires a thousand hours of study time: being the overachiever Stephen is, he completed it in nine months. Before majoring in Business at the University of Illinois, he studied Engineering. This mindset enables him to break his clients’ problems down piece by piece, find the source of the problem and create a simple response for each problem until the whole system has a plan.
Stephen is a speaker and educator in the areas of wealth management and guidance through the financial obstacles of losing a spouse. He lost his father early on in his career and helped his mother through emotional and financial obstacles. This significant and life-changing event created a calling for him to help prepare and guide others through the same circumstances. “Most people have lost a loved one, but losing a spouse is completely different; it takes an understanding heart and mind to help them through it.” Stephen has spoken at multiple retirement, civic and community organizations, including The Woodlands Chamber of Commerce and South Montgomery County Association of Retired Teachers. He has been recognized by Texas Monthly and the Houston Business Journal.
Involvement in the community is very important to Stephen. He serves as Vice Chair of his church Pastoral Council, is a Diplomat for the Woodlands Chamber of Commerce, is a very active member of the Woodlands Rotary Club and is a 2016 graduate from Leadership Montgomery County.
Stephen lives with his wife, Lisa, and two cocker spaniels, Snickers and Rudy (no children yet, but it is in his future). They enjoy working outside planting trees and working on the yard. He also enjoys being a jack of all trades, installing cabinets, shelves, utility sinks and whatever else Lisa assigns him. Stephen and Lisa are both involved in their church. They lead a small group, and he plays the drum set in the church orchestra.
Registered Representative of and offering securities through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC (“Cetera”), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advisory services offered through United Capital Financial Advisers, LLC (“United Capital”), an investment adviser registered with the SEC. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity.
Ron Folwell, CFP®, CRPC®
Ron Folwell has more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry and has worked with over 1,500 families in creating personalized solutions to help enhance and improve their overall wealth and financial security. Ron stands by his strong set of core values, which makes him successful at challenging and serving others.
An established Wealth Manager in The Woodlands, Ron is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and a CRPC® (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor). In addition to wealth planning, Ron previously designed and implemented an adviser recruiting process. For the duration of his career, Ron has been responsible for selecting and developing many advisers who have successfully built and grown practices in the Dallas and Houston markets.
Ron lives in The Woodlands with his wife, Laura, and their daughter, Claire. They have three dogs, Daisy, Diva and Diesel. They are members of Woodlands Church and like to spend their free time traveling together. Ron enjoys leading men’s small groups to promote mentorship and spiritual growth.
Registered Representative of and offering securities through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC (“Cetera”, doing insurance business in CA as CFGAN Insurance Agency), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advisory services offered through United Capital Financial Advisers, LLC (“United Capital”), an investment adviser registered with the SEC. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity.
Kiernan O'Connor is a speaker, author and educator in issues of wealth and legacy planning in The Woodlands, Texas. He is the author of Boomer Doom: Why Boomers are Doomed to Fail at Retirement, and What You Can Do About It – Before It's Too Late!, featuring a foreword by noted scholar, author and Forbes columnist Brian Domitrovic.
He has counseled scores of tax, investment and financial professionals nationally, providing thought leadership and innovation to assist them in serving their clients' complex needs. Some of his commentary and writing have appeared in Planned Giving Today, Houston Business Journal, The Woodlands Villager, The New York Times and Catholic Digest. He is the Developer of The Money Bucket Harvester, a unique solution for affluent retired investors.
He is a member of the Business Ethics Forum and a past Board Member and featured presenter of the Planned Giving Council of Houston.
Kiernan and his wife, Jacqueline, are active in the homeschooling community. They reside in The Woodlands with their four children and their Wildrose black lab. Kiernan is also an avid writer. His blog of poetry and essays on family and culture, "Old Soldiers," has an international following.
Director of Operations
Amber Roberson is responsible for supporting Byron Ellis, Managing Director of the United Capital office in The Woodlands. Being an asset to an already organized and focused person is a high calling for Amber, and one at which she excels.
In her eight years in higher education and cancer research administration, Amber developed knowledge, skills and proficiency in all administrative tasks. Her natural curiosity and adaptability are a perfect synergy to her determination and drive to achieve. Always looking for innovative ways to streamline processes, she is poised to repeat the success she has had in increasing efficiencies and improving productivity.
A graduate of Texas A&M University, Amber holds a BS in Geography and a MS in Recreation, Parks and Tourism Sciences. As they say in Texas, she bleeds maroon and is a passionate Aggie football fan. Amber, her husband and their two children reside in The Woodlands. Faith and family keep her grounded while her personal focus is on spiritual growth and development.
Senior Relationship Manager
Colleen Ziegler is responsible for the financial planning team in The Woodlands. She engages with clients and strives to cultivate those relationships. Working directly with the Managing Director and Wealth Advisers, she helps develop customized financial plans that identify clients’ goals and provide guidance for achieving those goals. She is also responsible for the implementation and monitoring of complex investment strategies.
Colleen’s experience includes 19 years with global investment manager Invesco, where she was a product manager, portfolio manager and senior analyst, focusing mostly in municipals and fixed-income products. In her most recent role as VP of Trading and Analytics with a registered investment adviser, she explored and developed in the area of financial planning as well as trading equities, ETFs and alternative investments.
A graduate of University of Iowa, Colleen has a BBA in Marketing and has obtained her Series 65 and Series 7 licenses.
Colleen enjoys spending time with her husband, Mike, and son, Dylan. She tries to keep up with them and their activities, which include dirt biking, mountain biking and an occasional round of golf. She also has a strong bond with her family in Iowa and strives to see them as much as possible.
Registered Administrative Assistant of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC (“Cetera”), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advisory services offered through United Capital Financial Advisers, LLC (“United Capital”), an investment adviser registered with the SEC. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity.
Client Service Manager
Angela Sanders serves as a liaison helping to maintain and develop client relationships. She assists new clients with becoming acclimated with United Capital systems, answers incoming calls from clients with questions and communicates the needs of clients to other members of the team.
Angela has been in the Financial Services industry for over 15 years. She has obtained her Series 65, Series 7 and insurance licenses. A Sam Houston State University graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Business, she still rallies, “Eat ‘em Kats!”
Angela enjoys spending time with her husband, Carlton, and their four children, whose ages range from the school start line to the finish line. She has a strong passion for serving others at her church, in the community and in our office!
John Trent's primary focus is to organize and analyze client data for the development of a customized financial plan the Wealth Advisers of the office can use to help clients reach their goals. He is always looking for new and creative ways to deliver information and enjoys developing systems to make the planning process more dynamic.
A graduate of Texas State University, John admirably earned his BBA in Economics and International Business in three years. He enjoys basketball, reading and listening to music: if you can name a genre, chances are he listens to it.
John lives in Spring with his wife, Megan, and their Shetland sheepdog named Artemis.
Nancy Etchison is responsible for supporting the advisers in both the preparation and follow-up for client meetings. Her strong sense of responsibility as well as her attention to detail and good communication make her a great asset to the team.
Nancy’s previous places of employment have been diverse, ranging from a Houston oil & gas company to a church office to a public school system in North Carolina. She graduated from Indiana University with a BS in Education.
Nancy and her husband, Carl, have been married for over 37 years and have been involved in church ministry work their entire adult lives. They have three married children and enjoy being Nana and Poppy to six grandchildren.
Karen Britanik is responsible for supporting the advisers of The Woodlands team in establishing new accounts, assisting with brokerage account transfers and 401(k) rollovers. She assists in the development and implementation of new procedures and features to enhance the workflow of the Operations department.
Karen has been in the field of banking and finance for 15 years. She worked in Trust Operations at Security National Bank in Springfield, Ohio, for five years prior to joining the Ellis & Ellis Team in 2004. Karen has an Associate in Applied Science degree.
Karen enjoys listening to smooth jazz music, vacations to the beach, cooking and trying new recipes. Karen and her husband, Rick, reside in The Woodlands, Texas. They have two young adult daughters, Monica and Andrea.
Cathryn Prestigomo is the voice that first greets you on the phone and the face you first see when you come into the office. She helps everyone with a variety of different tasks and projects. The eternal optimist, she always has a solution.
Cathryn has an extensive and varied background including, shipping, trucking and catering. She attended Lee College in Baytown, Texas.
Cathryn makes her home in The Woodlands with her husband, Larry, son, Dylan and dog, Jack. She enjoys traveling with her friends, doing yoga and growing spiritually.
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1450 Lake Robbins Drive, Ste 100
The Woodlands, TX 77380
Securities offered through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC (“Cetera”, doing insurance business in CA as CFGAN Insurance Agency), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advisory services offered through United Capital Financial Advisers, LLC (“United Capital”), an investment adviser registered with the SEC. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity. Check the background of this investment professional on FINRA's BrokerCheck.