December 16, 2010 at 1:50 pm EDT | by Garrett Peck J. Max Barger Ernesto Santalla
Helping clients plan for the future

Mike Shuptar (Photo courtesy of CAGLCC)

When Mike Shuptar, vice president at PNC Wealth Management, moved to Washington from Philadelphia in May 2009, he immediately found a warm reception. He had been involved in the Philly gay chamber, and knew the advantages of finding a similar business community in D.C.

“Two of the first people I met when I got here were Glen Ackerman and Ernesto Santalla,” Shuptar explained. “Glen said, ‘Be sure to join this group.’ But that didn’t take a whole lot of arm twisting.” Shuptar soon joined CAGLCC. This led to introductions to members of the Gay Lawyers Association and opportunities to work with their clients in wealth management engagements.

PNC is the fifth largest bank in the U.S., and PNC Wealth Management provides a full array of capabilities for affluent individuals and families. With more than 60 wealth planners located across PNC’s geographic footprint, the Group relies on its wealth planners’ extensive experience, state-of-the-art software and planning tools, and extensive research capabilities. Gay couples in particular face many federal and conflicting state legal challenges to overcome.

This is where Shuptar’s expertise comes in. “A lot of what we do is ongoing discussion with the client,” Shuptar said. “There’s no magic involved.” He builds customized client solutions to invest and manage assets, but his view extends far beyond finances. Planning for unmarried and same-sex couples can take into consideration such issues as hospital access to partner, health care decisions, loss of property, hostile family home invasion, adoption, guardianship of children, unavailability of marital deduction, and power of attorney. These things require specialized service.

“I want to give my clients the peace of mind that they are dealing with an experienced professional who understands and is sensitive to their unique needs,” Shuptar explained.

CAGLCC Programs and Events

New Year? New job? In 2011, CAGLCC is introducing a new membership benefit: Chamber Job Connections. Led by CAGLCC member Don Doggendorf, the group will meet on a weekly basis to help members searching for new employment hone their skills to improve the odds of landing the next job opportunity. Doggendorf holds a master’s degree in administration with a concentration in human resources from Central Michigan University’s College of Extended Learning and has been active in the job placement and human resources industries for more than 20 years.

In today’s tough economic climate, having the right skills to get hired is essential. This group will explore the different approaches to securing that coveted position. Discussion topics will range from resumé writing and review, networking, using social media, to practice interviews. Doggendorf will facilitate the weekly group meeting, where participants will get more than good advice and valuable guidance; Chamber Job Connections will provide a support group, stress relief, and a forum for idea exchange.

“CAGLCC has always been an excellent resource when looking for a new job,” says executive director Mark Guenther. “In fact, I was hired from within the ranks of the Chamber. Chamber Job Connections will provide infrastructure and organization to the advice and help we’ve been giving members for more than 20 years.”

Chamber Job Connections will launch in early 2011. For more information contact Mark Guenther at

CAGLCC Member News

Wildfire Design’s correct web address is CAGLCC Member Romain McLean was profiled in the Dec. 3 installment of CAGLCC Business Connections.

Max Barger, Esq. of Ackerman Legal PLLC, was awarded a Distinguished Service Award from GAYLAW for “recruiting and training and volunteer attorneys to participate in the estate planning clinic at Whitman-Walker Clinic for the past five years.”

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