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The Law Firm of Strazzeri Mancini LLP

Stephen J. Mancini, Attorney and Counselor at Law 

Professional Accreditation
The California State Bar; California Supreme Court; United States Tax Court; United States District Court; and Southern District Court of California. Certified Specialist: Wills, Trusts & Probate, the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.

A Laureate in Wealth Strategies at the Southern California Institute; Fellow of the Esperti Peterson Institute; Post Graduate Legal Diploma in Taxation, University of San Diego School of Law, San Diego, California (1980); J. D., University of San Diego School of Law, San Diego, California (1979); and B.A., Chaminade University, Honolulu, Hawaii (1976).

Wealth Counsel; American Bar Association; California State Bar Association; San Diego County Bar Association; Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Section; and Esperti Peterson Institute.

Former Partner Stacer & Mancini. Principal of the Founders Group, a Business Strategies Collaborative. Principal and Founder, Law Office of Stephen J. Mancini, APC, specializing in Estate Planning, Business Succession, Charitable Planning, Asset Protection and Retirement Issues. Principal & Founder: Law Firm of Strazzeri Mancini LLP.

Instructor for the Academy of Multidisciplinary Practices, courses accredited by the Estate and Wealth Strategies Institute at Michigan State University; Instructor, Paralegal Courses; Speaker for Continuing Education for Financial Professionals, including Certified Public Accountants, Attorneys, and Financial Planners.

Co-author “Giving — Philanthropy for Everyone” published by Quantum Press; Co-author, “Active Monitoring: An Alternative Strategy to Improve Alternate Valuation Results”, CCH Journal of Practical Estate Planning; Co-author, “The Uniform Acts: What Are They? What am I Supposed to Do with Them? Why Should I Bother?”, National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys; and Course materials on Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts for the Academy of Multidisciplinary Practices, courses accredited by the Estate and Wealth Strategies Institute at Michigan State University.

Community Service
Member: Palomar Pomerado Health Foundation — Planned Giving Advisory Council; former member: Rancho Penasquitos Town Council; and President of the Lions Club.

Happily married to Carol Mancini since 1972. Veteran of the Viet Nam War, 1968-1972. Honorably discharged from the U. S. Navy in 1972. In his free time, Steve enjoys fly fishing and other outdoor activities.

Joseph Strazzeri, Esq. – Counselor and Attorney for Successful Families and Business Owners. Educator for Wealth Advisors. Speaker and Author 

As a former general contractor, land developer, and business owner, Joe combines these skills along with more than 20 years of experience as an attorney to counsel families and business owners.

Through 4 distinct entities and with his partners, Joe educates wealth advisors, assists business owners to find “what’s next”, as well as protects families and their assets.

The Southern California Institute is a Thought Leader Community providing resources, education, and advice via collaborative think tanks, events, programs, online content, and introductions.

The Laureate Center for Wealth Advisors provides advanced training and support for wealth advisors, such as: Attorney’s, Accountants, Fiduciaries, Bankers, Financial Advisors, Insurance Professionals, and other wealth advisors. Learn how to attract, engage, and work with your perfect client and their trusted advisors.

Strazzeri Mancini LLP helps affluent families get to the heart of highly relevant matters and resolve messes in the areas of integrated tax and estate planning, business succession, and family governance counseling.

The Founders Group leads business owners through all phases of transition where increased clarity, net cash flow, and market value expands and solidifies choices for business transition: if, when, how, how much, and to whom.

Alexis C. Bastedo 

Attorney & Counselor at Law

Danny Wexler, Attorney and Counselor at Law 

Professional Background & Personal Information
Admitted to the California State Bar.
Courts Admitted to: California Supreme Court; United States District Court, Southern District of California.

J.D., University of Southern California Gould School of Law, Los Angeles, CA; B.A. State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY. A Fellow at the Esperti Peterson Institute and a Fellow at the Southern California Institute.

California State Bar Association, Trust & Estate Section; American Bar Association

Billinger Wexler Financial, Partner; The Principal, Financial Advisor; CitizensTrust, Wealth Strategist; Wells Fargo Advisor, Financial Advisor; Quinilvan Wexler LLP, Partner; Quinlivan & Kaniewski, Senior Associate; Law Offices of Jeffry M Zabner, Senior Associate; Horton Barbaro & Reily, Associate; White & Case, Associate.

Speaker for Continuing Education for financial professionals including Certified Public Accountants, Attorneys, Fiduciaries, and Financial Planners. Former Adjunct Faculty Member of the Estate and Wealth Strategies Institute at Michigan State University. Fellow at the Southern California Institute.

Co-author, “Love Money Control -Reinventing Estate Planning”, 2004; Co-author, “For California Doctors – A Guide to Asset Protection, Tax and Estate Planning,” 2009

Community Service
Make-A-Wish, Orange County and the Inland Empire, Member Board of Directors, 2001-2007.

Married to Caroline and father to Ashley and Emma.

Richard Katzman, Attorney and Counselor at Law 

Trinity College graduate in 1980 (BA in English and Psychology), Hartford, Conn. Graduated California Western School of Law 1984 Cum Laude, San Diego, CA.

Professional Membership
Member of The California Bar, Member of the San Diego County Bar, Member of Criminal Defense Bar Association, Instructor and Speaker at the Southern California Institute

Practice Areas
Domestic violence, DUI, Juvenile Crime, Drug Crime, Theft, Sex Crimes, Elder Abuse, Bail & Release, Immigration, Probation, Violent Crime, DMV hearings, and many more

Howard Kaloogian, Attorney and Counselor at Law 

2001-Present, National Planned Giving Director, Hillsdale College www.Hillsdale.edu

Responsible for working with large donors across the nation, presenting Estate Planning techniques and promoting charitable donations. Assisted in raising over $1.6 billion.

2012-Present, Board Member, The King’s University,


An accredited, Spirit-empowered, evangelical university with branch campuses and teaching sites in multiple U.S. cities. TKU offers students a complete educational experience by combining higher education with practical ministry experience within dynamic local churches.

2008 – Present, Co-Founder and Chair, Tea Party Express


The largest tea party PAC in the nation, Tea Party Express has become the most aggressive and influential national Tea Party group in the political arena. Committed to identifying and supporting conservative candidates and causes that will champion tea party values and return our country to the Constitutional principles that have made America the “shining city on a hill.”

2004 – Present, Board member, Move America Forward


A military charity dedicated to supporting the brave men and women of our Armed Forces and their missions to secure and defend America. It is our strong belief that our troops must know that they are in our hearts and prayers and that we will defend their service and honor them here on the home front while they protect America on the frontlines overseas.

2003 Chair, Defend Reagan Committee

Rallied supporters of Ronald Reagan to pressure CBS into admitting the mini-series “The Reagan’s” was an attempt at propaganda, forcing CBS to decline airing the program after it had produced it. The mini-series was released on ShowTime, a Viacom owned cable channel, in an attempt to recoup some of the $11 million invested in it by Viacom.

2003 – Chair, Recall Gray Davis Committee

Promoted the recall of Gray Davis through the internet, on talk radio statewide, nationwide on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, CNBC, C-SPAN authored numerous articles for the CA press and prompted numerous national press articles as well as rallies held throughout the state. Efforts resulted in 155,000 individuals volunteering to circulate petitions; 455,000 recall petitions were downloaded from the web site producing over 1.2 million signatures. Howard filed suit against the CA Secretary of State to force validation of the signatures during the initial counting that resulted in the special election for the recall instead of waiting until the next regular election, many commentators believed that was a main reason for the success of the recall.

1994-2000, CA State Assemblyman for North San Diego county

  • Represented the 475,000 people of the 74th Assembly District for the maximum number of years under the CA term limit provisions.
  • Cities represented: Escondido, San Marcos, Lake San Marcos, Vista, Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, and parts of San Diego.
  • Passed landmark parental rights education reform
  • Developed pension reform that became model legislation at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), adopted by MI, FL , AZ and 9 other states
  • Chairman Public Employee Retirement System (Cal-PERS) 1995-96
  • Chairman Budget sub-committee 3 Natural Resources 1995-96
  • Vice Chairman Banking and Finance Committee 1996-1998
  • Served as ALEC state chair 1996-2000
  • Served as National Council of State Legislators state chair 1996
  • Assistant Republican Leader 1997-98
  • Vice Chairman Revenue and Taxation Committee 1998-2000
  • Member committees on Judiciary; and Local Government; and Governmental Organization; and Health & Human Resources.
  • Member select committee on California-Mexico Affairs
  • Member, Atlantic Bridge; and American Council of Young Political Leaders
  • Delegate, National Summit on Retirement Savings, appointed by Speaker Gingrich

1988-1994 Self Employed, Attorney at Law

  • practiced estate planning, taxation, probate and trusts.

1990 – 1991 Adjunct Professor of Law

  • Thomas Jefferson School of Law San Diego, CA

1986 – 1987 Armstrong and Associates, Inc., San Diego, CA

  • Attorney at Law, managed 13 attorneys in the Estate Planning division

Juris Doctorate 1984 Pepperdine Law School

1985 Admitted to practice law in California (#118954, active)
1985 Admitted to the United States Tax Court
1987 Admitted to practice law in Michigan (P40378, Emeritus)

  • Admitted to the Federal Court for the Southern District of California.
  • Bachelor of Arts in Business 1981 Michigan State University
  • Interned for then Sen. Minority leader John Engler
  • Member of the Michigan Delegation to the 1980 Republican Convention
    Founder, Michigan State University Republican Club
    State Youth Chair Reagan/Bush 1980


  • CA Pro-Life Council Champion 1995-2000
  • A+ Rating by the N.R.A. 1995-2000
  • American Electronics Association legislator of the year 1995
  • ALEC National Legislator of the Year 1996
  • CA Chiropractic Association Legislator of the year 1996
  • Local Government Council Samuel Adams award 1998
  • Golden State Mobil Homeowners League Legislator of the Year 1998
  • Save Our Land Values Coalition Legislator of the Year 1998
  • Fairbanks Ranch Republican Women’s Federated County Elected Official of the Year 1999
  • CA School Board Leadership Council legislator of the year 2000
  • Women’s Resource Network Champion 2000
  • National Federation of Independent Businesses A+ rating
  • A+ rating by the Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse
  • CA Chamber of Commerce 100% rating

Media Highlights

Howard has appeared on FOX News, FOX Business, CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, MSNBC and One America News and has been published in National Review, the Wall Street Journal, and Human Events along with many articles in various newspapers.

He also substituted numerous times for Roger Hedgecock on his nationally syndicated radio program.

Carmen Bianchi, Family Business Counselor 

Carmen Bianchi has been a Family Business Consultant since 1991. She was the founder and director of the EMC Business Forum at San Diego State University, servicing the growth needs of family and closely held businesses. She was the founder of the University of Texas at El Paso Family Business Forum and was the executive director of the Forum. Ms. Bianchi has relocated to the San Diego area and is the founder and a principal of Carmen Bianchi & Associates, a consulting firm in Family Business. She currently teaches in the College of Business at SDSU to graduating seniors, a class on Family Business Management.
As a family business consultant, Ms. Bianchi has served as a facilitator for family business retreats, facilitator for conflict resolution and an advisor on a variety of strategic business issues. Ms. Bianchi is also an expert in family systems and the relationship between family, business ownership and the professional roles within a family firm.

Ms. Bianchi received national recognition and was elected to be the President 2007-2009 of the Family Firm Institute, the premier organization in the U.S. for professionals specializing in family business and wealth management. The Family Firm Institute in recognition of her outstanding achievements and contributions to the field of family business advising awarded her fellowship status. She was the Conference Chair for the FFI Global Summit 2013 held in San Diego. Carmen is the recipient of the Barbara Hollander Award, which exemplifies Barbara Hollander’s love of education and learning, life-long commitment to social causes, dedication to civic responsibility, belief in the human capacity to change for the better, and belief in giving to others generously.

In September 1998, Ms. Bianchi was invited to start a family business forum at the University of Jyvaskyla, Finland where she worked with MBA students on family business issues. At the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) Conference in February 2000, Carmen Bianchi & Associates was awarded the “Best Workshop Award in Family Business”. In January 2004, Ms. Bianchi has been invited by numerous national and international organizations to speak on family business issues. She has taught and put on a number of workshops on family business; June 2008 in Santiago Chile, March 2007 in India at the University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad and the Graduate School of Management in Coimbatore, India, the American University of Beirut where she did a 2 day seminar on family business issues and case studies in May 2006 and in October 2006 she presented a 2 day seminar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. In December 2010 Carmen ran a 3-day education program for bankers and other financial service providers in Hong Kong for FFI’s Certificate Program in Family Business. Carmen was invited to South Africa to speak to family businesses involved in agriculture. She worked with numerous South African families on spouse and family issues. She has been a speaker/presenter at many seminar conferences. In 2014 she presented at The Exit Planning Institute Annual Conference, The Subway Global Convention, Selzer,Caplan Law Firm, UCLA Anderson School of Business, and at the University of Monterrey, Mexico. In 2015 Carmen presented at the FFI Conference in London as well as to IWDC convention in Sarasota, Florida.

Ms. Bianchi was born in South Africa where she was brought up in her family’s businesses, Bianchi Hotels, Inc. and Bianchi Investment Corp. She was a financial comptroller of South African Breweries Hotel Division.
She speaks six languages, having completed her high school in Florence, Italy and attending the Sorbonne University in Paris. She received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Texas, El Paso. When not consulting to family business, Carmen spends as much time as she can with her family especially her 8 grandchildren. Or she can be found playing tennis, bridge, hiking, bicycling, skiing, and visiting art galleries, Opera and theatre. She serves on several charitable boards in her community.

Carol Mancini 

Carol was a paralegal, the Client “Signing Coordinator”, and Client Liason for the Firm. She supervised the signing of estate planning and other documents and is therefore able to interact on a personal level with our client “family” as well as the Firm’s team members. Carol brought a ten-year background of mortgage banking and thirty years of administrative abilities and previous legal experience to the Firm.

Carol is active in the community as a member of several women’s groups and has been on the gala planning committees for Scripps Hospital for a number of years. Carol’s passion, besides Steve, is traveling and she enjoys finding unique getaways. Carol and Firm Partner Stephen Mancini have been happily married since 1972 and has thoroughly enjoyed working with each other. Carol retired in 2014 and we miss her.

Michael P. Armstrong, Director of Digital Technologies 

Having worked together since 1995, Mike and our Partner, Alex Matuk, joined the Firm in April 2002. Since then, Mike has worked with Strazzeri Mancini in every aspect of the firm. His transition into the firm brought his paralegal experience in Litigation and Business Planning. In addition to his assistance with our computer network and website, and a year as the Office Administrator, Mike has cross-trained in the FamilyCare™ Estate Group and has been the lead Strategic Assistant and Paralegal to the FamilyCare™ Estate Succession Department and FamilyCare Business Group.

Mike continues to grow both professionally and personally. He currently works as the firm’s Director of First impressions and Director of Digital Technologies.

Personally, Mike can often be spotted throughout San Diego with his dogs Boots and Bandit. Their favorite Sunday afternoon activity is laying in their back yard, the OB dog beach while Boots plays with the other dogs. He spends his fall, winter, and spring months enjoying the San Diego Gulls and the Los Angeles Kings. His patience in awaiting the return of the San Diego Gulls and professional hockey to San Diego has been fulfilled. He has formerly served as the Vice President of The Colony, a Gulls’ fan-based Booster and Community Support Club and facilitated the transition of the Colony to be the Official Booster Club of the San Diego Gulls. He continues to root for the Los Angeles Kings’ in their drive for their third Stanley Cup.#LetsGoGulls #GoKingsGo

Kevin Garofalo, Legal Clerk 

Kevin was originally hired in 2003 and quickly moved up to become a Strategic Assistant in our Trust Settlement Department. He is currently the lead assistant in the Estate Planning Department where he supports the firm in drafting estate plans and other legal documents for our clients. In his spare time, Kevin enjoys spending time with his wife, two young children and, of course, enjoying America’s Finest City (including its wonderful weather as he is a native of Buffalo, New York – brr).

Shelley Lightfoot 

Shelley is the Executive Director for the Southern California Institute; responsible for driving seven high-quality, collaborative, educational, and informational programs. Shelley’s unique combination of experience, passion, and creativity are an excellent contribution for Strazzeri Mancini’s objective of helping families and their advisors.Born and raised in Kansas City, MO (most recently Overland Park KS), Shelley moved to the San Diego area in 2007 while employed with Bank of America, Inc.

Shelley and her fiance, Kent, are loving life in San Diego. Combined they have 5 children ranging from 4 to 24 years of age. In her free time Shelley enjoys exercising, entertaining, decorating, reading, going to the beach, and hanging out with the kids (and dogs)!

Jane Ozuna 

Since 2005, Jane has been the comptroller of the firm and its associate companies. She handles all aspects of the firms’ finances. She is also the accounting liaison for the firms’ “Laureate Clients” and uses her extensive knowledge to gather and compile each client’s information so that the firm and the client can reach their Estate Planning goals.She has been involved in the Accounting/Bookkeeping field for over 20 years.

Originally raised in the Air Force, Jane found San Diego in 1986 and considers it to be her “home”. She and her husband Bill have been married since 1988 and have four sons and two grandchildren.

Alberto L. Sagardia, Client Relations Coordinator

Alberto is our Client Relations Coordinator. Since October 2014, he has served as the point of contact between our potential and existing clients and family members, referral sources, advisors and other professionals seeking assistance with estate planning, business planning, estate settlement and elder law from our counseling attorneys. Alberto is able to coordinate the appointment calendars for all the attorneys in order for our clients to meet with them as soon as possible. Alberto efficiently handles the gathering of all client documents in a timely manner and prepares the attorneys’ office and telephone consultations.

Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico (yes, a beach bum by heart), Alberto completed his education at The University of Kansas. He called the Kansas City, MO area home for 20 years while he enjoyed and experienced fantastic professional growth in the telecommunications industry in sales, project management, supervisor, group manager and director positions both in KC and southern CA. In January 2000, he relocated to southern CA where he lived in Orange County and Long Beach. Alberto is living in, and loving, San Diego since April 2014. He enjoys music, ocean swimming, quality time with his close friends and sings with over 100 men in 10 annual stage performances.

Amanda Simpson, Paralegal 

Amanda has joined the Strazzeri Mancini team after being a part of the California Estate and Elder Law team. She was raised in Houston, but found her way back to her birth state in the middle of 2013. She currently lives in Pacific Beach with her Fiance and one-eyed dog, Willy. When she is not assisting in the Estate Settlement Department, she is at the beach in the summer and snowboarding in the winter.

Taz Darian, Strategic Assistant 

Taz joined the Strazerri-Mancini family in early 2019 as the Strategic Assistant and Project Coordinator for the Executive Team and Partners. Her role is to coordinate meetings, assist the partners, and plan for upcoming events.

With a degree in Psychology from California State University San Marcos, Taz has an innate drive to help others, and thrives on building connections.

In 2017, Taz and her partner Marcella made a bold decision to travel for an entire year in a renovated vintage trailer. While visiting over 25 National Parks in the United States and Canada, they volunteered on organic farms through a program called WWOOF (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms,) learning about sustainability and organic agriculture. Now that they’re back in San Diego, they enjoy finding new places to explore, going to the beach, hiking, camping, and taking their beagle Rusty out on adventures!

Ashley Dennis, Strategic Assistant 

Ashley joined the Strazerri-Mancini family in March 2020 as the Strategic Assistant and Project Coordinator for the Executive Team and Partners. Her role is to coordinate meetings, assist the partners, and plan for upcoming events.

With a bachelor’s degree from California State University Northridge, and an 8 year background in Private Aviation, Ashley has an innate drive to provide top notch customer service, and thrives on long lasting personal connections.

Ashley grew up in the San Diego area, and when not at the office, you can find her with family, friends, or at a live music event. She also enjoys a hike on one of San Diego’s amazing trails or a day at the beach.

Tomiko Hoshijima, Strategic Assistant 

I am Alexis’ assistant, so I mostly manage her calendar, schedule her meetings, and coordinate with clients and advisors. I also assist in the drafting and sending of documents and take notes during meetings.

I am from Orange County, CA. I went to school at the University of California, Santa Cruz and am a few weeks away from graduating via Zoom with a degree in Political Science. I played soccer for the school, as well. I enjoy travelling, hanging out with friends and family, and spending time in the outdoors. My dream is to one day own a ranch. I plan on attending law school in the next couple of years.

Chrissy Chase

Strategic Assistant