Management Team

Our business is about relationships, and we have a strong management team in place that understands this. They are committed to furthering the development of our financial representatives through training and guidance, so the representatives can establish enduring and solid relationships with their clients. Our goal is to ensure the continued success of our financial advisors, representatives, college interns and staff by providing the proper guidance and support to help them experience personal, professional and financial growth.

Steven Dugal credits the success of Northwestern Mutual to the strong leadership within the district network offices and its professional management team.

"The success of our group can be directly attributed to the high quality of leadership and the strength of our management team. Our goal is to ensure the continued success of our financial representatives by providing the proper guidance and support to help them experience both personal and professional growth."

 

 

 

 

Meet the Northwestern Mutual Management Team:

 
 Steven Dugal

Steven Dugal, CLU®, ChFC®, CLF®, LUTCF

Managing Partner
steven.dugal@nm.com
Office 504-831-8146

My Networks: LinkedIn Facebook Twitter

Steven Dugal CLU®, ChFC®, LUTCF is the Managing Partner for Northwestern Mutual of Louisiana.

Steven is orginially from Lafayette, Louisiana and graduated from University of Louisiana-Lafayette. He is married to Lisa and has two children: Katy and Nicholas.

Steven has been with Northwestern Mutual since March 1, 1989 and loves working for Northwestern Mutual because of the entrepreneur structure, as well as helping people create, protect and preserve their welath. He is passionate about helping others achieve their goals. Steven is filled with integrity, passion, and spirituality.

To learn more about the Managing Partner, click here.

 
 Avril P Habetz

Avril P Habetz, LUTCF, CLU®

Chief Development Officer
Office 504-831-8146

Avril Habetz has been a part of the Northwestern Mutual team for nine years. In her role as Chief Development Officer she works with Managing Partner, Steven Dugal, to lead the growth and development of Financial Advisors in Louisiana and Mississippi. Avril is a native of Lafayette, LA where she met her husband Dr. Vandon Habetz. Currently they side in New Orleans with their three children, Grace, Ellie and Luke. To learn more about Avril, click here.

 
 Benjamin Ross Wheeler

Benjamin Ross Wheeler, CLU®, LUTCF

Managing Director
Mobile 337-578-1712

My Networks: LinkedIn Facebook

Ben was a college intern with Northwestern Mutual prior to contracting as a full-time financial representative with the company in September of 2002. He attended school at University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL) and obtained a bachelor's degree in business administration with a concentration in risk management and insurance in 2001. He and his wife, Erin, have been married since 2006.  They have two children, Camille and Zachary. Bob Wheeler, Ben's father, has worked for the company for over 30 years and introduced Ben to Northwestern Mutual.

Ben uses a holistic approach when planning with his clients. While Ben’s practice is diverse in ages, life stages and occupations; his client base consists primarily of physicians, their families and their businesses.

As a representative, Ben strives to create a secure financial future for his clients. He works with them to identify and shape their financial and professional goals then create manageable strategies. As a Managing Director, he works to introduce high caliber individuals to our organization. His goal is to give them a platform to unlock their true potential and capacity for success in their professional and personal lives.

To learn more about Ben Wheeler, click here.

 
 Nicholas Jude Fiorito

Nicholas Jude Fiorito

District Director
Office 504-831-8146 ext 4783

My Networks: LinkedIn Facebook

Nick has been with Northwestern Mutual since 2004 and has held the position of Managing Director since 2011. He has been a Million Dollar Round Table qualifying member from 2008 through 2012. He is a member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors and has received the Quality Award for 2011-2012.

Nick is a lifelong resident of Louisiana, and graduated from Northwestern State University of Louisiana with a Bachelor of Science in Business. He and his wife Shelly have three beautiful children, Hayden, Zoe, Lyla. They reside in Mandeville, Louisiana.

To learn more about Nicholas Fiorito, click here.

 
 Stuart Cestia

Stuart Cestia, CLU®, LUTCF

Managing Director
Office 337-233-3663

My Networks: LinkedIn Facebook

Stuart Cestia is proud to serve as Managing Director of Northwestern Mutual of Louisiana- Lafayette. Stuart has been associated with Northwestern Mutual since 1997 and as Managing Director, he will continue to be apart of a network of specialists offering a wide array of products.

A native of New Iberia, Stuart received a Bachelor of Science in Marketing with a minor in Finance, from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Currently, Stuart serves on the Board of Directors for the Coastal Conservation Association.

To learn more about Stuart Cestia, click here.

 
 Ted P Harless Jr

Ted P Harless Jr, LUTCF

Managing Director
Office 337-436-8940

My Networks: LinkedIn Facebook

In 1984, Ted Harless entered the insurance and financial services industry, and in 1992 joined Northwestern Mutual as a Financial Representative. In 2008, he was named Field Director of the Northwestern Mutual of Louisiana - Lake Charles office and became Managing Director in 2009. Since Ted has become Managing Director, the Lake Charles office has grown exceptionally from enriching lives, fulfilling dreams, securing futures. Our values are growth, integrity, professionalism, and passion.

Ted specializes in Life, Disability, Long Term Care, Annuities, and Investments. Ted obtained his designation of Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF) through the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) in 1992. He has also been recognized as a financial professional with an expertise in Long Term Care insurance by achieving the Certified in Long Term Care (CLTC) designation in 2008. In 2008 and 2009, Ted qualified for membership in the MillionDollarRoundtable (MDRT), an international, independent association of nearly 19,000 leading life insurance producers. He has been very active in Southwest Louisiana chapter of NAIFA, holding all officies including President in 1993 and again in 2012. Ted has been the recipient of the National Quality Award and National Sales Achievement award from NAIFA for many years.

To learn more about Ted Harless, click here.

 
 Andrew Ray Tregre

Andrew Ray Tregre

College Unit Director
Office 337-769-1836

My Networks: LinkedIn Facebook

Andrew Tregre is from Lafayette, LA and is the College Unit Director in our Lafayette Office. He graduated from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette with a degree in Finance, Insurance, and Risk Management. Andrew has been with Northwestern Mutual for four years. He was Intern of the Year in 2013 and 2014. Andrew is passionate about challenging himself, his team, and his clients to become the best version of themselves personally, professionally, and financially. Andrew leads mission trips with high school or college groups to Central America to share experiences, love, faith, and resources with others. He enjoys being with people, being active, and traveling.

 

Learn more about Andrew by visiting his website, http://andrewtregre.nm.com/.

Follow Andrew on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/andrewtregrenm

 

 

Fant Ball IV

Chief Financial Officer
bill.ball@nm.com

Bill Ball is a native of New Iberia, LA and graduated from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette with a degree in Accounting. He is married to Jackie and they have one son, Liam. Bill is a licensed CPA with a predominant experience in taxation. He joined Northwestern Mutual in November of 2015. Prior to joining the company, he worked closely with private companies and individuals in his role in the tax department at a regional CPA firm. He is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the Society of Louisiana CPAs.

As the controller, Bill works closely with the Managing Partner and Managing Directors to understand the financial components of their contracts and illustrate profitability and forecasting future financial results. Additionally, he works with financial representatives to understand the many components of compensation and assisting them on evaluating profitability.

Bill's hobbies outside of the office include playing golf, attending sporting events, and spending time with family.

 
 Benjamin Paul Richard

Benjamin Paul Richard, LUTCF

Field Director
Office 337-233-3663

Benjamin Richard, Field Director in Lafayette, has been representing Northwestern Mutual since 2006 in the Lafayette Office. Most recently, Ben finished #1 in the country in Field Director/Growth Development Director competition for 2016.

To learn more about Benjamin, click here.

 
 Brian D Hope

Brian D Hope

Field Director
Office 318-227-0711

Brian Hope is the Field Director in our Shreveport Office. To learn more about Brian, click here.

 
 Chris Randall McGhee

Chris Randall McGhee

College Unit Director
Office 225-293-9527

Christopher McGhee is a Financial Representative and College Unit Director in Baton Rouge for Northwestern Mutual. Christopher started his career with Northwestern Mutual in 2009 as a Financial Representative Intern while enrolled at Louisiana State University. He was attracted to Northwestern Mutual because of the impact and independence the career provides. Christopher has built a solid financial security practice helping business owners, professionals and families align their financial needs and desires with their actions.

Originially from Alexandria, LA Christopher graduated from Louisiana State University. He was a 4 year Lettermen for the LSU Baseball program and a member of the 2009 National Championship Team.

To learn more about Christopher McGhee, click here.

 
 Christopher C Johnston

Christopher C Johnston, CLU®, ChFC®

Wealth Management Advisor
Office 601-664-1212

My Networks: LinkedIn

Christopher Johnston is the Growth Development Director for the Ridgeland, MS office. Christopher has been with the Ridgeland Office since June of 2006. He grew up in Jackson, MS and is a 2002 graduate of Jackson Preparatory School. He continued his education at The University of Mississippi where he earned a B.A. in Psychology in 2006. He and his wife, Amanda, live in Madison with their children: Jane Marie, Curren, and Eliza. They attend First Presbyterian Church of Jackson. In his free time, Christopher enjoys playing golf, hunting and attending Ole Miss athletic events.

 

"My goal for those I work with is to passionately drive home my desire for helping clients make decisions they otherwise would not make themselves through a values based planning approach enabling them to enjoy a lifetime of financial security."

 

To learn more about Christopher, click here.

 

 

 
 Donny Joseph Schmitt

Donny Joseph Schmitt, LUTCF

Field Director
Office 225-293-9527

Donny Schmitt, LUTCF joined Northwestern Mutual in June of 2007 as a College Financial Representative while attending Nicholls State as a Marketing major. Upon graduating from Nicholls State, Donny joined Northwestern Mutual as a full-time Financial Representative in August of 2007. As a full-time representative, Donny has achieved the National Quality Award, Growth Award, Best Year Ever in 2009, Life Imapct Award, as well as gold, sapphire, and silver awards.

Donny helps his clients with financial security solutions, while focusing on the needs of young families and doctors. The cornerstones of his practice are excellent client service, commitment to continuing education and long-term relationships.

To learn more about Donny, click here.

 
 Gustavo Ruiz De Chavez

Gustavo Ruiz De Chavez, LUTCF


Office 225-293-9527

My Networks: LinkedIn

 
 Jeffrey Ryan Goldberg

Jeffrey Ryan Goldberg, LUTCF


Office 504-620-4480

My Networks: LinkedIn

 
 Jonathan Harold Conrad

Jonathan Harold Conrad

Field Director
Office 337-436-8940 ext 7824

Jonathan Conrad is from Sulphur, LA and graduated from McNeese State Univeristy in 2011 with a double major in Accounting and Finance. He is married to Leah and they have a son, Everett. Jonathan loves working for Northwestern Mutual because of the possibilities that Northwestern Mutual has provided for him. He loves the idea of helping clients achieve their financial goals. Jonathan has been with Northwestern Mutual for almost four years.

What makes Jonathan passionate about working for Northwestern Mutual? His mother passed away when he was 11 years old and had no life insurance. He watched his dad struggle to pay the bills when he was younger. Jonathan wants to make sure that no family in Lake Charles will have to go through what they went through.

To learn more about Jonathan Conrad, click here.

 

 
 Paul Gerald Hodge

Paul Gerald Hodge, CLU®, ChFC®


Office 985-246-5857

My Networks: LinkedIn Facebook

Paul Hodge has been a part of the Northwestern Mutual team since 2007. His mission is to help enrich lives, fulfill dreams, and secure futures for as many individuals, families, and businesses as possible. Paul understands it takes time and energy to secure your future and protect what is important to you. With this in mind, he takes his clients through a Personal Needs Analysis that highlights what is most important to them, and make innovative recommendations to reach their goals.

Paul is a resident of Mandeville, LA. Him and his wife, Kolby, enjoy going to Saints games, traveling and spending time with family and friends. They are proud parents of two children: Emmie Rose and Porter Daniel. Paul has recently completed several triathalons including an Iron Man in April of 2015. Paul is a member of the Planned Gifts Committee at his Alma Mater Holy Cross High School, the Holy Cross Business Association in New Orleans and the Northshore Home Builders Association.

To learn more about Paul Hodge, click here.

 
 Richard D Lyons Jr

Richard D Lyons Jr

College Unit Director
Office 985-246-5857

Richard Lyons has been with Northwestern Mutual since 2013. Before joining the blue and gold, Richard received his Bachelors from the University of Kentucky Wildcats. During his time at Kentucky he played wide receiver following in his father's footsteps in wearing the blue and white. After completing his time in Kentucky, Richard decided to take his talents into another profession, private investigation. He excelled in the new role, but was looking for a larger opportunity, which arose when Paul Hodge recruited him to become part of Northwestern Mutual.

Since 2012, Richard has built an integrated financial security practice by applying lessons he learned on the football field of discipline and consistency. The work ethic he learned has enabled him to qualify to join 100 Lives Club and Premier Group while helping his clients ensure their financial security for the future. Richard is married to Mindy Lyons and they have three children: Little Richard, June, and John.

To learn more about Richard, click here.

 
 William Todd Blanchard

William Todd Blanchard, MBA

College Unit Director
Office 337-436-8940

My Networks: LinkedIn

Todd Blanchard is the College Unit Director in Lafayette, LA. He has been representing Northwestern Mutual since 2014. Todd grew up in Moss Buff, Louisiana and graduated from LSU with a Bachelor of Science. He then went on to earn a degree in Nuclear Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Todd married Meagan Blanchard, of Kinder, Louisiana in 2005. They have two boys: Bennett and Camden.

To learn more about Todd Blanchard, click here.

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