2016 Summit Biographies

Session 1 – Post-Election: What Now for the Markets and Volatility?

Russell Rhoads
Director of Education for the CBOE Options Institute

Russell RhoadsRussell Rhoads, CFA, is the Director of Education for the CBOE Options Institute. His career before CBOE included positions at a variety of firms including Highland Capital Management, Caldwell & Orkin Investment Counsel, Balyasny Asset Management, and Millennium Management. He is a financial author and editor having contributed to multiple magazines and edited several books for Wiley publishing. He is the author of six market related books including Trading VIX Derivatives, Option Spread Trading, Trading Weekly Options, and Options Strategies for Advisors and Institutions. He authored material to be included in Level II of the CFA program and material for the CMT designation. In addition to his duties for the CBOE, he is an adjunct instructor at Loyola University and the University of Illinois - Chicago. He is a double graduate of the University of Memphis with a BBA ('92) and an MS ('94) in Finance and also received a Master's Certificate in Financial Engineering from the Illinois Tech in 2003. Russell is currently pursuing a PhD from Oklahoma State University with an expected graduation date of December 2017.

Session 2 – Options Strategies for Unconventional Times

Alan Ellman
President of the Blue Collar Investor Corp.

Alan EllmanAlan Ellman is the President of The Blue Collar Investor Corp. and is a successful, self-educated investor with over a decade of investor experience. He has written over 200 journal articles on the subjects of economy and stock investing and has authored five books on covered call writing – his latest works include Stock Investing for Students, and Alan Ellman's Selling Cash-Secured Puts. He has also produced a 4-part series based on the seminars presented on covered call writing and has presented over 50 seminars during the past two years on stock options. Over the years, Alan has spoken at several events and seminars including being a featured speaker at the LIREIA December meeting.

Dan Gramza
President of Gramza Capital Management, Inc. and DMG Advisors, LLC.

Dan GramzaDan Gramza is President of Gramza Capital Management, Inc. and DMG Advisors, LLC. He is a trader, a consultant to domestic and international clients, an advisor to hedge funds, a developer of ETF securities, and an adjunct instructor for several academic institutions.

Dan has published works around the world and is completing Trading in the Eye of the Storm and The Handbook of Japanese Candle Trading Strategies. He has appeared on major network programming including CNN's "Moneyline" and has made contributions to several publications, namely The Wall Street Journal and the Chicago Tribune.

Dan develops and presents worldwide public and private courses on Essential Mental Techniques for Traders, Market Profile, options and options trading strategies, stock and futures industry fundamentals and operations. He has presented courses to traders from over 36 exchanges, 450 institutions, and 35 countries. Dan is an adjunct instructor for the CME Group, Eurex, SGX, Northwestern University School of Continuing Studies, Universitè de Genève, the Chicago Stock Exchange, and DePaul University.

He earned a B.S. in Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology on scholarship, and an M.B.A. in International Finance from DePaul University, graduating with honors.

Session 3 – Beyond the Election: Investment Strategies for 2017

Ralph Drybrough
Fort Point Capital Partners

Ralph DrybroughRalph Drybrough is a co-founder of StratiFi, a technology platform that empowers financial advisors to deliver better investment outcomes to their clients through the application of customized option overlay strategies. Ralph is also co-founder and Managing Partner at Fort Point Capital Partners, a boutique wealth advisor for high net-worth clients, applying that wealth management expertise to StratiFi’s products and clients. Ralph was also a co-founder at StratiFi-predecessor firm LOGe Risk Advisors, an RIA who employed option-based overlay strategies to solve for various forms of risk.

For nearly 20 years, Ralph's principal investment focus has been advising clients on the use of exchange traded and over the counter (OTC) options as risk mitigation and return enhancement tools. Prior to starting Fort Point in 2008, Ralph spent three years as a Principal at the Presidio Group in San Francisco focused on delivering bespoke wealth advisory solutions to entrepreneurs, family offices and foundations. He began his career at UBS in Chicago and with the Merrill Lynch Private Banking and Investment Group in San Francisco.

Ralph serves as a board member and head of the investment committee for the Raphael House. He has a B.A. from Indiana University and currently resides with his wife in San Francisco.

Randy Swan
President and CEO, Portfolio Manager of Swan Global Investments

Randy SwanRandy Swan is the founder, CEO, and Lead Portfolio Manager of Swan Global Investments and the creator of the propriety Defined Risk Strategy (DRS).

As President of Swan Global Investments and Chief Portfolio Manager of the DRS, Randy oversees and manages the strategy across numerous product portfolios and asset classes such as large cap stocks, emerging market stocks, foreign developed stocks, small cap stocks, long-term bonds, gold, and more.

Before founding Swan, Randy was a senior manager for KPMG's Financial Services Group, primarily working with risk managers and insurance companies. With the DRS, Randy began to use options as an investment vehicle to manage and hedge risk. The strategy uses equities and options to define a particular risk/reward structure in portfolio management, thus seeking to mitigate large risks in portfolios and markets.

Randy has been featured in multiple publications such as Barron's, Forbes, and Morningstar. Furthermore, he has also been a frequent speaker at many industry conferences such as the Options Industry Council's Wealth Summit, the Alternative Investment Summit. Additionally, he serves on the Advisory Leadership Council of the Options Industry Council. Randy is a 1990 graduate of the University of Texas with a master’s degree in professional accounting.

Tripp Zimmerman
Associate Director of Research, WisdomTree

Trip ZimmermanTripp Zimmerman began at WisdomTree as a Research Analyst in February 2013. Now, as an Associate Director of Research, he leads the Firm’s data analytics group, responsible for index creation, maintenance and reconstitution. Tripp travels domestically and internationally to speak about WisdomTree index capabilities and meets with clients across various sales channels. He is also involved in creating and communicating WisdomTree’s thoughts on the markets. Prior to joining WisdomTree, Tripp worked in various investment-related roles for TD Ameritrade, Wells Fargo Advisors, TIAA-CREF and Evergreen Investments. Tripp graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with dual degrees in Economics and Philosophy. Tripp is a holder of the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

Session 4 – Election 2016: A Post-Game Analysis

Lynn Vavreck
UCLA Political Science & Communication Studies

Lynn VavreckLynn Vavreck is a professor of political science and communication studies at UCLA and a contributing columnist to The Upshot at The New York Times. She teaches courses on and writes about campaigns, elections, and public opinion. Professor Vavreck has published four books, including The Message Matters, which Stanley Greenberg called “required reading” for presidential candidates, and The Gamble, described by Nate Silver as the “definitive account” of the 2012 election. The National Science Foundation and the American Political Science Association have supported her research. Professor Vavreck has served on the advisory boards of the British and American National Election Studies and is the co-founder of the Cooperative Campaign Analysis Project. She holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Rochester and held previous appointments at Princeton University, Dartmouth College, and The White House. In 2014, she hosted Hillary Clinton at UCLA’s Luskin Lecture on Thought Leadership and in 2015 she was named an inaugural Andrew F. Carnegie Fellow.

You can follow Lynn Vavreck on Twitter at @VAVRECK. She writes regularly for The Upshot at The New York Times.

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