Our Team

Cynthia E. Vance, J.D., CFP®, ChFC®, AIF®

Cynthia is the Chief Executive Officer and a founding partner of Sterling Investment Counsel, LLC. She is also a partner at Jensen, Marks, Langer, & Vance, LLC, a comprehensive wealth planning services firm.

Cynthia began working in the financial services industry in 1983. She is an accredited investment fiduciary, and earned her CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification in 1988 and her Chartered Financial Consultant designation in 2001. She has her Bachelor of Arts from the College of Business at Michigan State University, her MBA with a concentration in Taxation from Xavier University, and she graduated magna cum laude from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law. Cynthia has prior work experience practicing for a large Western New York law firm, where she specialized in the area of tax-exempt bond financing and commercial transactional work.

Cynthia is Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Buffalo-Toronto Public Media (WNED/WBFO). She is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Nichols School, where she chairs the Endowment Committee. Cynthia is a member of the Junior League of Buffalo, where she has volunteered many hours over the years.

As a past recipient of the Junior League of Buffalo’s Sustainer Council Award, the Board Volunteer award at the 7th Annual Champions for Justice Bash, the 2015 Women of Distinction Award from the Girl Scouts of WNY, the 2019 Women of Influence Award, and the 2020 Luminary Award from the Center for Elder Law & Justice, Cynthia’s dedication to many charitable organizations in our community is inspiring to the members of our firm and clients alike. She has served on a number of boards in the past, including Canisius College and was President of the Board of Trustees for The Center for Elder Law & Justice.

 

 

Christopher M. Marks, J.D., MBA

Chris is the Chief Compliance Officer and a founding partner of Sterling Investment Counsel, LLC. He is also a partner at Jensen, Marks, Langer, & Vance, LLC, a comprehensive wealth planning services firm.

Chris began working in the financial services industry with Jensen, Marks, Langer and Vance, LLC and its predecessor in 1997. His focus has primarily been working with closely held businesses and their owners and executives, professional practices, and wealthy individuals, helping them to develop and implement broad based financial plans. Previously, Chris practiced law at Phillips Lytle, a large law firm in Buffalo, New York and worked at the New York City office of the international accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he began his career. In his role as Chief Compliance Officer, Chris draws on his financial and legal experiences to oversee the adherence of the firm's policies and procedures. Chris is a member of Sterling's Investment Policy Committee.

Chris received his B.S. in Accountancy from Villanova University, his MBA from St. Bonaventure University, and graduated cum laude from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law. He serves on the Board of Directors of NativityMiguel Middle School of Buffalo and on the Board of Directors of Servotronics, Inc.

 

 

John Langer, MBA

John is a founding partner of Sterling Investment Counsel, LLC. He is also a partner at Jensen, Marks, Langer, & Vance, LLC, a comprehensive wealth planning services firm.

John's background includes over 25 years of financial and management experience with Buffalo Savings Bank/Goldome, Marine Midland Mortgage Corporation (now HSBC), and Citibank. Also, he was Chief Operating Officer with Title Network, Ltd. a WNY based title insurance business. He has been with Jensen, Marks, Langer & Vance LLC and its predecessor company since 2000. Utilizing his vast financial and management experience, he is a member of Sterling's Investment Policy Committee.

John holds a B.S. in Economics and Finance, with honors, from Canisius College, and a MBA with a concentration in Finance from Simon Business School at University of Rochester. He is a past adjunct Professor of Financial Planning, Retirement Planning and Employee Benefits, and Investment Planning in Medaille College's CFP®, MBA and Undergraduate Programs. He has taught in the Advanced Programs at D'Youville College and the Center for Financial Training.

 

Phillip K. Vance

Phil is a founding partner of Sterling Investment Counsel, LLC. He is also a partner at Jensen, Marks, Langer, & Vance, LLC, a comprehensive wealth planning services firm.

Phil began his career in the financial services industry in 1993 and has since focused his professional practice on providing comprehensive financial planning and investment management services to corporate executives, professionals and business owners. Phil is a member of Sterling's Investment Policy Committee.

Phil has an undergraduate degree from Montana State University. He is a past President and board member of the Ellicottville Ski Club, Inc. where he has served in an executive position for 13 years. He has also served actively in the community by coaching youth soccer and baseball and is a certified USSA ski race coach