Our Team

Our Team

Mark A. Paganelli, CFP®

Co-Founder and Managing Partner

"Our relationships with our clients are based on trust—the confidence that we act in our clients’ best interests."

As managing partner of RFG Associates, Mark makes certain that the organization delivers the investment strategies, products, and services necessary to help our clients meet their financial goals. Mark spends most of his time meeting face-to-face with clients, providing financial, retirement and investment advice. He also interacts regularly with money managers, employee benefits specialists, and insurance company representatives who assist in our investment and employee benefits strategies.

Mark is a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology with a BS in business administration. He is a member of the Financial Planners Association and a variety of other organizations related to financial services. He received his CLU® and ChFC® designations from the American College in 1991. He also earned his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM certification from the Institute of Certified Financial Planners in 1997. Mark is a Registered Representative and Investment Advisor Representative of Commonwealth Financial Network®. He is also an Investment Advisor Representative offering additional financial planning and asset allocation services outside of RFG Associates.

Outside of work, Mark enjoys all types of sports, including golf and running, travel, and family activities. Mark and his wife, Kelly, live in Honeoye Falls and have two sons.

John A. Paganelli


"I believe that it is the mission of our organization to provide financial services to our clients in an environment that places the clients' interest first."

Over the course of his 50+ year career, John served clients in a wide variety of roles, from personal financial advisor to chief executive officer of a billion-dollar financial services company. He and his son, Mark, founded RFG Associates in 1987, establishing the model the company maintains today: listening to clients, developing a unique financial plan based on each client’s needs and goals, and always rising to ethical standards that earn clients’ trust.

John and his wife, Diane, have been married more than 60 years and have three children and six grandchildren. Outside of work, John enjoys travel, golf, tennis, wine collecting, and family time.

Daniel A. James, MBA

Partner and Financial Advisor

"I am proud of the way our organization puts the needs and interests of the client first when working toward their financial goals."

As a Registered Representative and Investment Advisor Representative of Commonwealth Financial Network®, Dan works with new and existing clients at RFG on their financial, retirement, investment, and insurance planning needs. His ongoing activities include developing and monitoring financial strategies to help his clients achieve their goals. Dan manages client accounts and coordinates regular, in-person reviews with his clients to keep them informed and to better understand their needs.

Dan holds a master's degree in business administration from Missouri Baptist University in St. Louis, MO.  He is also a graduate of Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA, with a BA in business administration. Dan joined RFG in 2010 and his previous experience at a large brokerage firm and his operations background have provided him with extensive knowledge in all areas of financial management, particularly in financial and investment planning.

Dan and his wife, Tamra, live in Victor with their three boys, the youngest of which are identical twins. Outside of work Dan enjoys spending time with family and friends and is also actively involved in coaching lacrosse, both at St. John Fisher College and as part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA).  

Karen L. Shelly

Office Manager and Senior Client Liaison

"I am excited to work for an organization that is so focused on building long-term, trusting relationships with clients."

Karen has been an integral part of RFG since the company’s founding more than 30 years ago. She uses technology and human resources to provide our financial planning professionals with all of the necessary tools to deliver the highest level of customer service. She also serves as the primary interface between our firm and our clients, making certain that client requests and inquiries are addressed promptly.

Karen lives in Victor and has a son, a daughter, and a grandson.  She enjoys traveling and spending time with her family and friends. 

Linda E. Cole

Administrative Assistant

"I am delighted to have joined this organization. I love working with people who care so much about their clients' well-being and future."

Linda provides administrative support to her fellow colleagues. She graduated from The University of Dayton with a BA in elementary education, specializing in early childhood education.  After teaching in Ohio and Germany, she and her husband, Matt, have raised four children.  They spent five years in Germany and seven in Canada, and are now happy to have resettled in Honeoye Falls.

Outside of work Linda enjoys travel, gardening, reading, and cheering on her kids as they play hockey, run, or ski.

Ann M. Knaak

Service Advisor

Ann joined us in 2021 as a client service associate. She has since passed her Series 7 and 66 exams to become registered and has recently moved into a service advisor role. Ann now establishes many of our new accounts, assists with trading and collaborates on financial plans, while still providing top-notch customer service to our RFG clients. Ann brings a unique perspective to RFG from her past positions in education, college consulting, and higher education with a focus in financial aid and transfer admissions. A common thread during her career has been working with families to make educated financial decisions during important times in their lives.

Ann lives in Rochester and has two grown children. When she isn’t spending time with her family and friends, she is discovering hidden gems of the greater Rochester area and capturing them all on film.