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Bryson Financial

Trent Bryson

Trent Bryson, CEO of Bryson, has established success as one of Southern California’s leading insurance
brokerage and corporate retirement firms. After graduating from University of California at Santa
Barbara with a degree in Business-Economics, he began his career at Merrill Lynch while training for the
Olympic Trials in Track & Field for the Nike Farm Team in Palo Alto. In 2001, Trent retired from Track &
Field and rejoined Bryson Financial with a strategic plan to improve employee benefits consulting. As an
established pillar in the Long Beach community, Bryson Financial, celebrating its 50th anniversary,
provides insurance, risk, and financial solutions to thousands of individuals and businesses, both locally
and nationally.
Trent’s vision and expertise have led him to receive regional and national awards and recognition, such
as City Bank National’s Entrepreneur of the Year and the Invest in Others Community Leadership Award.
In addition, Bryson’s excellence in the financial industry has been highlighted by Financial Times as an
“FT 401 Top Retirement Adviser.” Capitalizing on his leadership skills and industry knowledge, Trent
brings his clients expert insight to the insurance and financial industry’s complexities as it pertains to
financial, operational, and legislative policy. This allows for cutting edge forecasting and unparalleled
negotiation skills of the industry.
Alongside his career, Trent is an adjunct professor in Human Resources at California State University
Long Beach, a KTLA news frequent expert contributor, an officer for YPO OC, and the Political
Involvement Committee chair for NAIFA California. He is also highly involved in the community, creating
a giveback program for nonprofits within his firm, and serving as a board member and chair for the Boys
& Girls Clubs of Long Beach, annual master of ceremony for Children Today’s annual gala, and a member
of Rotary International.
Trent also holds multiple credentials including: Licensed Life & Health Agent, Certified Financial Planner
(CFP), and a Registered Investment Adviser (RIA).


Rick Bryson

Rick Bryson is a true testament to the importance of hard work, perseverance, and the value of building
relationships. After graduating from Long Beach State University with a master’s degree in finance, Rick
began his career in the financial planning arena by working with Mass Mutual as a general agent for over
30 years. Within this time, he founded Bryson Financial in 1969 as a wealth management and financial
consulting firm focusing on life insurance.
Rick later went on to achieve the prestigious accreditations of CLU, Chartered Life Underwriter, and the
ChFC, Charted Financial Consultant from the American College. His continuing education includes
industry degrees from Bryn Mawr University in Pennsylvania, the University of Michigan, and the
University of Notre Dame.
Rick is an active member of the community, serving as past president of the Boys & Girls Club of Long
Beach, Pacific Hospital Foundation, Virginia Country Club, Hideaway, and holds a seat on the board of
the Memorial Medical Center Foundation board of directors.
In recognition of his contributions to the community, he was named the Junior Chamber of Commerce
Man of the Year and the National Boys and Girls Foundation Golden Boy award recipient. He and his son
Trent, now CEO, received City National Bank’s Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2017. Rick’s accolades
are too many to name, and the list continues to grow, as does his vision for the future of Bryson
Financial, for another 50 years and beyond.


Alana Ellis
Client Relationship Manager – Bryson Wealth Management

Alana Ellis is a licensed Client Relationship Manager with more than 10 years of experience in
investment services. Alana has expertise in investment research and plan implementation and is
currently pursuing her Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF) Designation.
Alana earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Northeastern University and joined
Bryson in 2017 to manage the Retirement/Wealth Management department. Alana and her team of
client service associates are responsible for daily account management, participant support and audit
assistance. Alana has strengthened Bryson’s relationship with TPAs and record-keepers to provide
diverse retirement plan solutions for plan sponsors and participants.


Celeste Villarreal
Client Service Assistant- Bryson Wealth Management

Celeste Villarreal is a Client Services Assistant in the 401k department at Bryson where she provides
enrollment support, participant education, and individual client assistance. Celeste holds her life and
health license as well as her FINRA Series 6 securities license, working with clients to open and sell
mutual fund shares and retirement plans.
She has her bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Sociology from University of California Irvine and is
bilingual, providing Spanish support to clients. Celeste’s favorite part about the job is educating and
assisting clients in feeling comfortable and knowledgeable about future retirement planning.


Jeanen Guevara
Retirement Services Assistant- Bryson Wealth Management

Jeanen Guevara is a Retirement Services Assistant at Bryson. Jeanen has three years of experience at
Bryson as a rollover specialist, helping participants move their previous 401K to their current employers
401K. She also aids in enrollment support, distribution/loan requests, and education meetings. Her
bilingual abilities allow for Spanish education meetings for clients. Jeanen provides valuable guidance to
participants, ensuring a smooth process and clear understanding of all aspects of retirement planning.



Torey Edwards
Investment Advisor- Bryson Wealth Management

Torey Edwards is a Registered Investment Advisor in the Bryson Wealth Management division. After
graduating from California State University Long Beach, he went on to play professional golf for 7 years.
In leaving the professional golf scene, Torey joined the Bryson team. For 10 years now, he has been
providing financial planning services, specializing in tailoring investment and insurance plans to help
prepare and protect clients for retirement.



Marie Gonzales
Lead Account Manager

Marie started her career in 2012 at Bryson as a Benefits Administrator, eventually paving her path to
become Lead Account Manager. Marie is responsible for overseeing and managing the employee
benefits team. Her 8 years at Bryson show great value to her team as she has grown internally, learning
the Bryson way. Marie understands the challenges that people face while trying to navigate the
complexities of the health insurance world and enjoys helping her clients through them.
Marie graduated from California State University Long Beach with her bachelor’s degree, doubling in
economics and marketing. Over the course of her insurance career, Marie has attained her Life & Health
Insurance License, Health Insurance Professional Certification, and recently completed a Human
Resources Certification course through her alma mater, California State University of Long Beach.
As a senior member of the Employee Benefits division, Marie is extremely diligent and meticulous with
each and every one of her accounts and is known for going above and beyond to WOW her clients.



Brett Hlista
VP, Property and Casualty

Brett Hlista has been a leading partner at Bryson Financial for thirteen years in the Property and
Casualty Division. Brett has positioned the property & casualty department to place and service all lines
of business insurance throughout the country, with all major national carriers and specialty programs,
with partnerships and support from the leading specialty underwriters. Along with running the P&C
division, Brett now oversees new product sales and services across all Bryson Financial divisions.
Brett holds nineteen years’ experience as a commercial insurance, property & casualty broker with a
background in life & disability insurance. He has insurance placement experience in all western states
along with Texas, New Jersey, New York and Florida and Insurance placement across all major industries
– contractors, construction & development, real estate, manufacturing, transportation (including
aviation), media & advertising, technology.
Brett provides due-diligence and cost reduction strategies for private equity firms and portfolio
companies as well as In-depth insurance program review, benchmarking, recommendations, placement,
and cost saving strategies. Ask Brett about the “Performance Edge”, Bryson’s unique, performance-based
compensation strategy.
In terms of product specialty, Brett handles high hazard liability insurance, workers’ compensation and
experience modification services, errors & omissions, employment practices liability, and executive
liability (directors & officers) including fund liability.