Meet Our Team
At Braun & Associates, 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.
What can we do for you? Please see below who to contact to help you best.
“Helping clients turn dreams and ideas into action that makes a difference.”
Steve is an expert connector who leverages the expertise of other top professionals in order to best serve his clients. With over 35 years of financial planning experience, he has a broad foundational knowledge that allows him to identify his clients’ unique needs, and then bring the right mix of resources to the table to meet them. He specializes in leveraging the strength of his carefully crafted network to provide clients with innovative financial planning solutions that address their wants and needs holistically.
Steve is passionate about sharing his knowledge with clients and other advisors and colleagues, and he’s been a featured speaker at events hosted by Northwestern Mutual and Forbes Media, as well as Crain's Small Business Forum.
Affiliations & Memberships
- National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA)
- Greater North Shore Estate & Financial Planning Council
- Association of Advanced Life Underwriters (AALU)
- Northwestern Mutual Financial Representative Association (FRA) Board—past president and board member
Awards & Recognition
In 2021, Northwestern Mutual awarded Steve with membership in its Forum group, which recognizes individuals for an outstanding year of helping clients achieve financial security. This was the 20th year that he received the Forum honor, an annual award that only five percent of Northwestern Mutual's more than 7,000 financial representatives achieve. Steve is one of only 49 active financial representatives who have qualified for this honor at least 20 times. Other awards and recognition include:
- Million Dollar Round Table Life Member (2017-2018, 2020)
- Million Dollar Round Table Qualifying/Life Member (1999-2016, 2019)
- Million Dollar Round Table Qualifying Member (1991-1998)
- Million Dollar Round Table Provisional Member (1990)
- NAIFA Quality Award (2011-2015, 2018-2019)
- National Quality Award (1989-1990, 1992-2010)
- National Sales Achievement Award (1988, 1991-2010)
Steve resides in Highland Park with his wife, Karen. Their daughter, Lauren, and her husband, Jacob, live in downtown Chicago with the family's first grandchild, Ben. David, their son, is also a graduate student at Stanford University and is married to Yeonjae. Steve enjoys theater, tennis, camping, photography and golf, and he also has a passion for supporting the community through a variety of great organizations. Click here to learn more about Steve’s philanthropic work.
Kelly is our primary point of contact who ensures that all client service requests are completed accurately and in a timely fashion. Kelly comes to us with an extensive background in technology and customer service and is looking forward to meeting the high standards of our service you have come to expect from our team.
How can Kelly help you?
- Complete insurance applications & schedule exams
- Assist with insurance service requests
- Provide information regarding additional purchase options and term conversions
Gavin is a Los Angeles native and a recent graduate of the University of Chicago. Gavin brings six years of administrative experience to this role with Steve Braun. Gavin is also a playwright, actor, and food enthusiast.
How can Gavin help you today?
- Schedule appointments with Steve
- Prepare illustrations for new and inforce policies
- Provide customer service
“We are committed to fostering long-lasting relationships with clients that go above and beyond basic financial planning. Forming solid relationships is how we are able to provide customized insight, strategic solutions, and ultimately long-term financial security to our clients.”
Our former director of client services, Demelza’s role has expanded to support a number of Northwestern Mutual financial representatives across the country. She continues to work behind the scenes to provide top notch support for insurance service inquires for our clients, but on a limited basis and coordinated through Kelly Taylor.
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 was 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
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
“I love knowing that our clients count on us. We are able to build true relationships with them and support them and their families.”
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. Vitaliy studied Finance and Economics at Loyola University Chicago. In his spare time, Vitaliy enjoys training for and completing at least one marathon annually.
How can Vitaliy help you?
- Deliver comprehensive financial plans
- Review asset allocations and make investment recommendations
- Provide investment performance reports