Our Team

We are committed to providing exceptional customer service to all our clients.

Our team comes from various backgrounds and offers a variety of skills. Together, we provide a well-rounded and effective approach to customer service.

Northwestern Mutual Concierge Planning

We partner with a dedicated team of experts from Northwestern Mutual's home office that has more than 180 years of combined expertise in planning and designing solutions for high-net-worth clients. Click the link below to learn more about the team and the services they provide our clients.

Concierge Planning Team

Concierge Planning is a service available to select Northwestern Mutual advisors to help them plan with clients who have sophisticated needs, such as complicated Estate Planning and Business Succession, Executive Compensation Planning and Advanced Retirement Income Planning.

Steve Braun's Team

What can our team do for you? Please see below who to contact to help you best.

Demelza Y Steinfels

Demelza Y Steinfels

Director of Client Services
Office 847-521-8991

Demelza joined Steve’s team in November 2011. She is the main point of contact for client service requests and requests for policy information.

Demelza is originally from the Chicagoland area, and currently resides in Chapel Hill, NC.  She is married with 4 young children and enjoys exploring new places with her family.

How can Demelza help you?

  • Complete insurance applications & schedule exams
  • Assist with insurance service requests
  • Provide information regarding additional purchase options and term conversions
David W. Gordon-Johnson

David W. Gordon-Johnson

Investment Operations Associate
Fax 312-277-3440

David graduated from Indiana University with degrees in Voice and Theatre & Drama in May of 2015 and started with Northwestern Mutual in October of that year.

When not at the office, David can be found acting on stages around the Chicagoland area, reading a good book, or baking bread, which he works off by running.

How can David help you?

  • Open new investment accounts 
  • Assist with investment balances, purchases, & redemptions
  • Access your online account & going paperless
Stacy L Cochrane

Stacy L Cochrane

Director of Marketing and Business Operations
Office 847-915-2530

Stacy has been with Northwestern Mutual since October 2013 and joined Steve's team in January 2017. Stacy is the primary point of contact in our office for marketing and client loyalty activities.

Together Stacy and her husband have four children and two grandchildren. In their free time, they enjoy riding their Harley Davidson motorcycles, volunteering, and traveling. 

How can Stacy help you?

  • Welcome referrals and networking opportunities
  • Coordinate client loyalty events, community & volunteer outreach opportunities
  • Update client information
  • Appointment scheduling
Tanya Renee King

Tanya Renee King

Office 702-369-0405

Tanya joined Northwestern Mutual in August 2015. She serves as the liaison for Steve and our clients with the Home Office underwriters in processing all insurance business from start to finish.  Tanya began her career in the financial services industry in 1978 with various roles including Service Coordinator, Assistant to the Manager, Sales Representative, Compliance Manager, New Business Analyst and New Business Case Manager.

Originally from Detroit, Tanya now enjoys the beautiful mountain views and warm days in the sun in Las Vegas. Tanya's talents aren't limited to finance, her first book, "Get It or Get Got!", will be published in October 2018.

How can Tanya help you?

  • Help with insurance customer service to change owner, payer, and/or beneficiary
  • Process insurance policy changes: policy loans, type of payment, and billing frequency
  • Provide in-force ledgers, consolidated cash value, & policy reports
Vitaliy K Sturlis

Vitaliy K Sturlis

Investment Assistant
Office 312-641-8900

Vitaliy has been with Northwestern Mutual since 2008 and develops comprehensive financial plans for our clients to help better understand their financial goals. He serves as the point person for creating our clients’ investment portfolio analyses and investment recommendations.  He studied Finance and Economics at Loyola University Chicago.

In his spare time, Vitaliy enjoys training and completing at least 1 marathon annually.

How can Vitaliy help you?

  • Deliver comprehensive financial plans
  • Review asset allocations and make investment recommendations
  • Provide investment performance reports
Alap Balkrishna Patel

Alap Balkrishna Patel, CFA®, CFP®

Office 312-641-8613

Al is responsible for the Planning Services of Northwestern Mutual-Chicago. In addition, Al’s professional specialties include: Financial and Retirement Planning, Investment Strategies, Wealth Management, and Northwestern Mutual's Private Client Services. Al received his BS in Finance from the University of Illinois with a minor in Mathematics. He earned his CFA in 2009 and obtained his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM certificate in 2012.

Al is an avid bowler and huge Cubs fan. He and his wife, Amanda, are passionate about working with Nephcure Kidney International to help raise money and awareness for rare kidney diseases and the research to end them. They also enjoy activities that include their dog, Ace (named after Batman's dog).

How can Al help you?

  • Retirement planning
  • Investment strategies
  • Liaison to NM Private Client Services

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM  and CFP®  (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.


Steven L. Braun, CLU®

Wealth Management Advisor


To learn more about Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC and its financial representatives, visit: FINRA BrokerCheck