Joe Strazzeri, Esq.

Counselor and Attorney for Successful Families and Business Owners. Educator for Wealth Advisors. Speaker and Author.

As a former general contractor, land developer, and business owner, Joe combines these skills along with more than 20 years of experience as an attorney to counsel families and business owners.

Through 4 unique brands and with his partners, Joe educates wealth advisors, assists business owners to find “what’s next”, as well as protects families and their assets.

The Southern California Institute is a Thought Leader Community providing resources, education, and advice via collaborative think tanks, events, programs, online content, and introductions.

The Laureate Center for Wealth Advisors provides advanced training and support for wealth advisors, such as: Attorney’s, Accountants, Fiduciaries, Bankers, Financial Advisors, Insurance Professionals, and other wealth advisors. Learn how to attract, engage, and work with your perfect client and their trusted advisors.

Strazzeri Mancini LLP  helps affluent families get to the heart of highly relevant matters and resolve messes in the areas of integrated tax and estate planning, business succession, and family governance counseling.

The Founders Group leads business owners through all phases of transition where increased clarity, net cash flow, and market value expands and solidifies choices for business transition: if, when, how, how much, and to whom.

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Steve Mancini, Esq.

Professional Background & Personal Information

The California State Bar; California Supreme Court; United States Tax Court; United States District Court; and Southern District Court of California. Certified Specialist: Wills, Trusts & Probate, the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.

A Laureate in Wealth Strategies at the Southern California Institute; Fellow of the Esperti Peterson Institute; Post Graduate Legal Diploma in Taxation, University of San Diego School of Law, San Diego, California (1980); J. D., University of San Diego School of Law, San Diego, California (1979); and B.A., Chaminade University, Honolulu, Hawaii (1976).

Wealth Counsel; American Bar Association; California State Bar Association; San Diego County Bar Association; Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Section; and Esperti Peterson Institute.

Former Partner Stacer & Mancini. Principal of the Founders Group, a Business Strategies Collaborative. Principal and Founder, Law Office of Stephen J. Mancini, APC, specializing in Estate Planning, Business Succession, Charitable Planning, Asset Protection and Retirement Issues. Principal & Founder: Law Firm of Strazzeri Mancini LLP.

Instructor for the Academy of Multidisciplinary Practices, courses accredited by the Estate and Wealth Strategies Institute at Michigan State University; Instructor, Paralegal Courses; Speaker for Continuing Education for Financial Professionals, including Certified Public Accountants, Attorneys, and Financial Planners.

Co-author “Giving — Philanthropy for Everyone” published by Quantum Press; Co-author, “Active Monitoring: An Alternative Strategy to Improve Alternate Valuation Results”, CCH Journal of Practical Estate Planning; Co-author, “The Uniform Acts: What Are They? What am I Supposed to Do with Them? Why Should I Bother?”, National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys; and Course materials on Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts for the Academy of Multidisciplinary Practices, courses accredited by the Estate and Wealth Strategies Institute at Michigan State University.

Community Service
Member: Palomar Pomerado Health Foundation — Planned Giving Advisory Council; former member: Rancho Penasquitos Town Council; and President of the Lions Club.

Happily married to Carol Mancini since 1972. Veteran of the Viet Nam War, 1968-1972. Honorably discharged from the U. S. Navy in 1972. In his free time, Steve enjoys fly fishing and other outdoor activities.



Shelley Lightfoot
Executive Director, Principal
Southern California Institute

Shelley is the Executive Director for the Southern California Institute (SCI); responsible for driving seven high-quality, collaborative, educational, and informational programs. Shelley’s unique combination of experience, passion, and creativity are an excellent contribution for SCI’s objective of helping wealth advisors attract and engage clients through collaborative efforts with other advisors. With over 20 years of financial management experience, Shelley often educates advisors from all disciplines through SCI programs and speaking engagements at affiliated organizations.

Professional Background
Shelley has been engaged in the financial services industry since 1986; having held various executive management positions including Vice President of Investments, Compliance Officer, Operations Manager, Sr. Management Consultant, and Business Development Manager. Born and raised in Kansas City, MO (most recently Overland Park KS), Shelley moved to the San Diego area in 2007 while employed with Banc of America, Inc. During her 5 year tenure with BofA, Shelley was second in command of 80 branch locations with 112 employees producing $25 million; extending her industry experience to virtually all areas of financial services, including branch management, regulatory compliance audits, sales supervision, business plan coaching, operational efficiency and national policy review. In addition, Shelley has successfully provided independent compliance and management consulting for financial advisors and broker dealers.

Prior to BofA, Shelley held various management positions with Prudential Securities , DST Systems, and George K. Baum & Company in the Kansas City area. Over the years, Shelley has also participated in the management of several company mergers and acquisitions, numerous financial advisor transitions, training and development programs, back office automation and administration, and served on Prudential’s National Operations Advisory Council for over 3 years.

Shelley currently holds the series 7, 8, 63, and 65 designations.

Personal Information
Shelley and her fiance, Kent, are loving life in San Diego. Combined they have 5 children ranging from 4 to 24 years of age. In her free time Shelley enjoys exercising, entertaining, decorating, reading, going to the beach, and hanging out with the kids (and dogs)!



Mike Armstrong
Director of Digital Technologies

Having worked together since 1995, Mike and our Partner, Alex Matuk, joined the Firm in April 2002. Since then, Mike has worked with Strazzeri Mancini in every aspect of the firm. His transition into the firm brought his paralegal experience in Litigation and Business Planning. In addition to his assistance with our computer network and website, and a year as the Office Administrator, Mike has cross-trained in the FamilyCare™ Estate Group and has been the lead Strategic Assistant and Paralegal to the FamilyCare™ Estate Succession Department and FamilyCare Business Group.

Mike continues to grow both professionally and personally. He currently works as the firm’s Director of First impressions and Director of Digital Technologies.

Personally, Mike can often be spotted throughout San Diego with his dogs Boots and Bandit.  Their favorite Sunday afternoon activity is laying in their back yard, the OB dog beach while Boots plays with the other dogs.  He spends his fall, winter, and spring months enjoying the San Diego Gulls and the Los Angeles Kings.  His patience in awaiting the return of the San Diego Gulls and professional hockey to San Diego has been fulfilled. He has formerly served as the Vice President of The Colony, a Gulls’ fan-based Booster and Community Support Club and facilitated the transition of the Colony to be the Official Booster Club of the San Diego Gulls.   He continues to root for the Los Angeles Kings’ in their drive for their third Stanley Cup.#LetsGoGulls  #GoKingsGo



Taz Darian
Programs Director

Taz joined the Strazerri-Mancini and Southern California Institute family in early 2019 as the Strategic Assistant and Project Coordinator for the Executive Team and Partners. Her role is to coordinate meetings, assist the partners, and plan for upcoming events.

With a degree in Psychology from California State University San Marcos, Taz has an innate drive to help others, and thrives on building connections.

In 2017, Taz and her partner Marcella made a bold decision to travel for an entire year in a renovated vintage trailer. While visiting over 25 National Parks in the United States and Canada, they volunteered on organic farms through a program called WWOOF (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms,) learning about sustainability and organic agriculture. Now that they’re back in San Diego, they enjoy finding new places to explore, going to the beach, hiking, camping, and taking their beagle Rusty out on adventures!