We’re Focused on Performance, So You Can Focus on Your Passions.

The work we do is technical and complex, requiring a high degree of skill and a considerable amount of knowledge and experience. But it is also a people business, demanding that we truly understand the people behind the numbers–and the passions that drive them.

Applying both our knowledge of the investment landscape and our understanding of each client’s unique goals and circumstances, we distill a broad universe of choices down to the most suitable investments. And then we pursue these investments with intelligence, energy and a healthy amount of caution.

Our mission is to help busy, successful people like you manage the details of your finances so you’re free to focus on the business of life.

Our Team

John Burke, MS, CFP®

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™

Financial Advisor

John.Burke@BurkeFinancialStrategies.com

As the founder of BFS Wealth Management, John has been a financial advisor for more than 35 years, and he has helped thousands of clients with financial planning and investment management during his extensive career. He focuses on asset management, helping clients work toward achieving the portfolio returns they need to reach their goals while remaining mindful of their risk profile. Throughout his client relationships, John is passionate about providing valuable advice and the education clients need to help them make constructive financial decisions that support their objectives.

John received his undergraduate degree in finance from Lehigh University. He went on to become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and earn a master’s degree in financial planning from the College for Financial Planning. John’s career began in 1983 at Merrill Lynch, where he was hired as a Financial Advisor after completing the firm’s Donald Regan program for financial planning. Subsequently, John worked at Smith Barney and Morgan Stanley. Since joining Raymond James in 2005, John has been named to the firm’s prestigious Chairman’s Council every year since 2011. In 2015, 2016 and 2018, John was listed by the Financial Times as one of the FT 400 Top Financial Advisors in the country. Additionally, in 2018 and 2020, John was recognized as a Forbes Best-in-State Wealth Advisor. He is also a well-respected financial strategist whose research was published in the July 2010 and June 2016 issues of the Journal of Financial Planning. John has appeared numerous times on Bloomberg Television, CNBC, Fox Business News and other media outlets.

John and his wife, Diane, have three adult children. He is an active member of his community and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Westfield, New Jersey, where he has served as treasurer. Along with Diane, John proudly supports and volunteers for the American Red Cross, in addition to supporting Children International, Community Food Bank and New York City Relief Bus. He is the owner of the Academy for Continuing Professional Education, which provides continuing education classes for accountants in central New Jersey.


Chairman’s Council membership is based mainly on assets under management, education, credentials and is not indicative of advisor’s future performance. No fee is paid in exchange for this award.
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.
The FT 400 was developed in collaboration with Ignites Research, a subsidiary of the FT that provides specialized content on asset management. To qualify for the list, advisers had to have 10 years of experience and at least $300 million in assets under management (AUM) and no more than 60% of the AUM with institutional clients. The FT reaches out to some of the largest brokerages in the U.S. and asks them to provide a list of advisors who meet the minimum criteria outlined above. These advisors are then invited to apply for the ranking. Only advisors who submit an online application can be considered for the ranking. In 2018, roughly 880 applications received; 45.5% (400) were selected for the final list. The 400 qualified advisers were then scored on six attributes: AUM, AUM growth rate, compliance record, years of experience, industry certifications, and online accessibility. AUM is the top factor, accounting for roughly 60-70 percent of the applicant’s score. Additionally, to provide a diversity of advisors, the FT placed a cap on the number of advisors from any one state that’s roughly correlated to the distribution of millionaires across the U.S. The ranking may not be representative of any one client’s experience, is not an endorsement, and is not indicative of an advisor’s future performance. Neither Raymond James nor any of its Financial Advisors pay a fee in exchange for this award/rating. The FT is not affiliated with Raymond James.
  • 2016: roughly 980 applications received; 40.8% (400) were selected for the final list
  • 2015: roughly 1,400 applications received; 28.5% (400) were selected for the final list
The Forbes ranking of Best-In-State Wealth Advisors, developed by SHOOK Research, is based on an algorithm of qualitative criteria, mostly gained through telephone and in-person due diligence interviews, and quantitative data.  Those advisors who are considered have a minimum of seven years of experience, and the algorithm weighs factors like revenue trends, AUM, compliance records, industry experience and those who encompass best practices in their practices and approach to working with clients. Portfolio performance is not a criteria due to varying client objectives and lack of audited data. In 2020, out of approximately 32,000 nominations from their firms, more than 4,000 received the award. In 2018, out of roughly 21,138 advisors nominated by their firms, 2,213 received the award. This ranking is not indicative of an advisor’s future performance, is not an endorsement, and may not be representative of an individual client’s experience. Neither Raymond James nor any of its financial advisors or RIA firms pay a fee in exchange for this award/rating. Raymond James is not affiliated with Forbes or Shook Research, LLC.
Raymond James is not affiliated with the other organizations mentioned.

CFP® | Certified Financial Planner™ |
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., owns the certification marks above, which it awards to individuals who successfully complete initial and ongoing certification requirements.

John Burke, MS, CFP®
Financial Advisor

Steven Criscuolo, CPA

Financial Advisor

Steven.Criscuolo@BurkeFinancialStrategies.com

Steve is a registered representative and investment management.

Steve focuses on providing comprehensive financial planning and investment management, oriented toward clients’ goals and aspirations. He is dedicated to serving as their trusted resource for any significant decisions that affect their financial lives. With extensive executive experience in private industry, he has particular expertise in working with business owners, because he understands the opportunities and challenges unique to these clients and the overlap between their personal and professional finances. He is also knowledgeable about real estate situations and can offer guidance to clients in this area.

Steve has had a lifelong passion for planning and investing, and throughout his career he has provided financial, investment and estate planning advice to business owners, professional colleagues, family and friends. He joined the team in 2012, bringing a wealth of business experience and financial capabilities to the team. Over the past 20 years, he has served as president and/or chief financial officer of a number of medium-sized, highly successful companies in the manufacturing, retail/distribution and real estate industries. In addition, he obtained the Certified Public Accountant certification while working for Price Waterhouse and received the prestigious J.H. Cohn Award for outstanding performance on the CPA exam. Steve earned a B.A. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. in accounting and financing from the University of Pittsburgh.

Steve lives in Westfield, New Jersey, with his wife, Claire. They have five children. In his free time, Steve is an active member of the Westfield community and Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church, where he was the athletic director of the parish basketball program. He also served on the board of the Union County CYO youth basketball league and as treasurer of the Westfield High School Band Parents Association.

Raymond James does not provide tax service or tax advice.
Steven Criscuolo, CPA
Financial Advisor

Diane Burke

Financial Advisor

Diane.Burke@BurkeFinancialStrategies.com

Diane Burke is a registered representative and financial advisor. She is part of the Client Service team.

Diane graduated from the State University from New York with a concentration in Marketing.

After spending seven years in retail management and buying for major department stores, she worked for 10 years as vice president of a packaging supplies company. This was followed by eight years at Computer Associates (CA), an IT management and software company. Her last position with CA was as Mid-Atlantic Director of Client Relations. In this position, she worked with Fortune 100 companies to help with problem-solving issues and ensure client retention and satisfaction. She brings many years of successful client-relationship building and business development to our team.

Diane is married to John Burke, who owns and manages Burke Financial Strategies. Together they have three children. With her husband John, Diane proudly supports Children’s International, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Good Shepard Home of Cameroon and The NJ Relief Bus.

Diane Burke
Financial Advisor

Christopher Trainor, CFP®

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™

Financial Advisor

Christopher.Trainor@BurkeFinancialStrategies.com

Chris graduated Seton Hall University with a BA in Social and Behavioral Sciences, with minors in Social Work and Political Science. He completed the Financial Planning certificate program at Fairley Dickinson University and earned the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation.

For almost 20 years, he has been advising clients and other advisors on ways of efficiently addressing risks to the financial well being of clients. In addition to acting as a financial advisor, Chris has served as Director of Financial Planning for a nationally-recognized life insurance company and an Assistant Vice-President of Retirement Plans at a global wealth management firm.

Chris lives in Clinton Township, NJ with his wife, Deirdre, and his son.

Chris is a parishioner at Immaculate Conception Church in Annandale, NJ. He is a member of The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Hunterdon County, an Irish-American fraternal organization that serves the local community through initiatives such as volunteerism, charitable donations, and scholarships.

Chris enjoys singing and playing guitar and piano and is intensely interested in Irish traditional folk music and the history that inspired it. He has also developed an interest in running and enjoys running 5k races.

CFP® | Certified Financial Planner™ |
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., owns the certification marks above, which it awards to individuals who successfully complete initial and ongoing certification requirements.

Christopher Trainor, CFP®
Financial Advisor

Melissa Montalvo, CFP®

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™

Financial Advisor

Melissa.Montalvo@BurkeFinancialStrategies.com

Melissa Montalvo serves as a Financial Advisor for the office. She is passionate about helping motivate individuals to make wise financial and investment decisions so they can live with purpose and give in abundance now and in years to come.

Melissa started her career on Wall Street as an operations analyst for Perella Weinberg Partners Asset Management in New York City where she learned from well-respected Portfolio Managers and Investment Bankers. She then joined Fidelity Investments so that she could move to the client-facing side of the business. While working for this large retail investment firm, Melissa helped hundreds of clients save and invest through personal investment accounts and workplace savings plans. Her desire has always been to build long-term relationships, earn high customer loyalty, and provide professional investment and financial guidance. In her 10 years with Fidelity, she advanced to become a financial advisor covering clients with almost $400 million in investments and provided financial planning to over 400 families.

Melissa graduated from Lehigh University with a Bachelor of Science in Business and Economics majoring in Finance and minoring in Real Estate.  She has also earned the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation.

Melissa resides in Cranford, where she is an active member at CrossFit KOA and FAITH RX’D. She was a collegiate Division 1 Student Athlete, and is an avid half marathon runner. Combining her faith and fitness, she pursues a lifestyle characterized by intensive exercise and sound nutrition. Over the years, she has given back to the community as a high school mentor through Young Life, and as a soccer coach. She is an original Circle of Hope Member of Imagine which provides free, year-round grief support for children, families and communities. As a member of Renaissance Church in Summit, she volunteers and advocates for World Vision and Women’s Small Groups. In her free time she will walk around the greatest city in the world while visiting her brother and wife in NYC and along the beautiful Jersey shore, where her parents reside.

CFP® | Certified Financial Planner™ |
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., owns the certification marks above, which it awards to individuals who successfully complete initial and ongoing certification requirements.

Melissa Montalvo, CFP®
Financial Advisor

John Kaiser, CFP®

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™

Financial Planner

John.Kaiser@BurkeFinancialStrategies.com

John received his BS degree in accounting from Drexel University and an MBA from Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science. He then completed the Financial Planning Certificate Program at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey.   John’s experience includes working as a fund auditor, a fringe benefits manager,and as a financial planner since 1999, most recently at an independent firm similar to Burke Financial Strategies.   John currently holds securities and looks forward to helping clients prepare for their financial futures.   He resides in Morris Plains, New Jersey with his wife Tara and two sons, Sean and Brian.  

CFP® | Certified Financial Planner™ |
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., owns the certification marks above, which it awards to individuals who successfully complete initial and ongoing certification requirements.

John Kaiser, CFP®
Financial Planner

Melissa Cipolletta

Operations Manager

Melissa.Cipolletta@BurkeFinancialStrategies.com

Melissa Cipolletta serves as the team’s operations manager and brings over 20 years of experience in the financial world to this position. Melissa was previously affiliated with Midwood Securities, Inc., Freehold, New Jersey, where she was a sales trader assistant and registered options principal. In those positions, she maintained client contacts and records, executed trades, worked with clearing firms to ensure trade settlement, assisted the operations department and supervised options trading. Prior to that, she was affiliated with Oppenheimer & Co. in New York City and First Fidelity Bank. Melissa is a registered representative and holds several key licenses that add value to the team’s operations. She graduated from William Paterson University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in finance.
Melissa Cipolletta
Operations Manager