Our Special Needs Financial
Our Team at
John Nadworny,Wealth Advisor,CFP®, CTFA
Director, Special Needs Financial Planning
John creates options and builds solutions for families with complex life situations. He is a recognized thought leader in the field of planning for families of individuals with special needs and his work with the family of a boy with autism was featured in May 2013 Money magazine . John experienced a crowning achievement in his 25 year career in 2013 ; his daughter, Alex, joined the practice to continue to serve our client families into the next generation. Read more about the History of Special Needs Financial Planning and Our Decades of Advocacy.
John is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, Chartered Financial Consultant, and Chartered Life Underwriter. He is a Director of Special Needs Financial Planning, a specialty practice within Shepherd Financial Partners. John holds an MBA degree from Babson College, an MS from Bentley College, and a BS from Bridgewater State College.
In addition to his work at SFP, John has co-authored the book The Special Needs Planning Guide: How to Prepare for Every Stage of Your Child’s Life (Brookes Publishing) and is under contract to write a book on Residential Planning for individuals with disabilities. He has worked on legislative proposals to benefit individuals with special needs and currently serves on The Governor’s Commission on Intellectual Disability and the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress.
John lives in Melrose, MA with his wife Susan and son James, who has Down Syndrome. He enjoys running and biking in his free time and has completed an Ironman race in Lake Placid, NY.
Cynthia R. Haddad, Wealth Advisor CFP®
Director, Special Needs Financial Planning
Cindy is a committed and vital partner to families planning the lifelong care for their family member with special needs. As a sister of an adult brother with disabilities, Cindy has dedicated her career to helping other families address their unique financial planning requirements. Based upon her personal and professional experience, she has recently published an eBook: Sibtips, Vocabulary for Siblings. For over 20 years, she has held positions of leadership in a variety of public policy advisory organizations and is a sought-after speaker at conferences for individuals with special needs and their families throughout the country. Read more about the History of Special Needs Financial Planning and Our Decades of Advocacy.
Cindy is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and a Director of Special Needs Financial Planning, a division of Shepherd Financial Partners. During her time at SFP, she continues to write and speak on the issues of special needs planning and has developed a program to bring greater awareness to brothers and sisters who share the lifelong care of their sibling with special needs. She currently serves on the board for the Massachusetts Sibling Support Network (MSSN).
Prior to joining SFP, Cindy shared her personal experience and professional expertise, co-authoring The Special Needs Planning Guide: How to Prepare for Every Stage of Your Child’s Life (Brookes Publishing) with her partner for over 20 years, John Nadworny. Cindy and John are currently under contract to write a book on Residential Planning for individuals with disabilities.
Cindy has also served on the board of The Arc of Massachusetts, as well as the Central Middlesex Area Advisory Board for the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services. She also served as an advisor to the MARC Trust, Inc. (currently Planned Lifetime Assistance Network of Massachusetts, Inc.) in past years.
Cindy earned her BA in Finance and Economics from Simmons College and is a member of the Financial Planning Association. She lives in Belmont with her husband and two children and is actively involved in her Church and local community. In addition to serving as an advocate for her brother Ron, she enjoys cooking, gardening, ice skating, and having fun with her family.
Alex Nadworny, Wealth Advisor,CFP®,CTFA
Alex joins SFP as a wealth advisor and a member of the Special Needs Financial Planning group. In addition to her 5 years of formal experience in the financial services industry, she grew up with and now joins her father, John, in his financial advisory practice. Alex has her Series 6,7 ,66 and life, accident and health insurance licenses. She is a registered representative with LPL Financial and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner. Read more about the History of Special Needs Financial Planning and Our Decades of Advocacy.
Alex grew up in Melrose, MA with two younger brothers, one having Down Syndrome. She is on the Local DDS Advisory Board and an active participant in several organizations and fundraisers benefiting people with disabilities. Alex participates in the DDS Future Planning Task Force committee and is a volunteer for Junior Achievement. Alex also gives her time to Donate Life Melrose, a nonprofit for which she plans and attends events to spread awareness of the need for organ donation. She enjoys traveling and experiencing different cultures and having quality time with her family.
Alex is a is a Registered Representative with and offers securities and financial planning services through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Shepherd Financial Partners and Special Needs Financial Planning are separate entities from LPL Financial.
Jaclyn Lessing, Client Relationship Manager
Jackie has the key role of assuring that all of our client’ s service needs are met with efficiency and excellence. Her level of knowledge and experience in client service allows her to manage with ease the most complex and involved client service-related cases. Jackie holds her Life and Variable Insurance license with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She implements our team's insurance recommendations by working with clients throughout the application process and keeping them updated on the status of the policy.
Jackie joined the Special Needs Financial Planning group in January 2010 and joined Shepherd Financial Partners with the team in 2011. She graduated from University Of Massachusetts- Dartmouth in 2009 with a BA in Marketing. Jackie resides in Acton, MA and enjoys golf and running with her dog, although much of her free time is spent learning about and working on renovating her home.
Patty Manko, Marketing
Patty works collaboratively with the advisory team to create and publish fresh and relevant information about financial planning for families and professionals. She is our resident blogger and has responsibility for the content and management of our website, as well as messaging via social media. As an integrated part of the Special Needs Financial Planning team at Shepherd Financial Partners, Patty creates and produces the materials for our programs and presentations and coordinates the creation and production of our publications.
Patty began working with the Special Needs Financial Planning team in 2011 as part of her responsibilities as the Chief Marketing Officer for Shepherd Financial Partners. She holds both an MBA from the Stern School of Business at NYU and a BS in Mathematics from the University at Albany (NY). Previously she worked in capital markets at Lehman Brothers, where she was a Corporate Vice President and Marketing Manager for International Capital Markets