herb@WidowersSupportNetwork.com/ (615) 579-8136

Comforting Widowed Men & Those Who Love Them.

Subject Matter Experts

Subject Matter Experts2018-10-23T18:41:50+00:00

ANOTHER REASON WHY The Widower’s Journey

Together with Herb Knoll, The Widower’s Journey’s team of experts will analyze the collective responses submitted by all of the contributing widowers.  Upon completion, these skilled yet very compassionate experts will outline easy to read summaries, actionable steps and best practices as offered by The Widower’s Journey’s contributors and then strengthening them by adding their own expertise. In addition to those listed, Herb plans to add experts in the fields of psychology, medicine, employment and more.  Our current featured advisor is Dr. Deborah Carr, Ph.D.

Rev. W. Gregg Elliott, Catholic Priest

Father Gregg Eliott, a Diplomate of the American Psychiatric Association, was ordained as a Roman Catholic Deacon in 1983 and a Priest in 2000.  Married for over 32 years, Father Gregg lost his wife Janette to cancer on March 25, 1996.  The father of three boys and a girl, Father Gregg spent over 28 years in the US military, completing 23 plus years on active duty with the USAF, retiring in 1984 as a Lieutenant Colonel.  Father Gregg previously served as the Parochial Vicar at St. Timothy’s Catholic Church located in The Villages, Florida prior to his recent retirement.

Father Gregg was a hospital chaplain in full-time ministry as a Deacon from 1989 until 1998 and as the pastor of two parishes and as a hospital chaplain from 2000 until 2011. Father Gregg has been a pastoral counselor for over twenty-eight years and has been active in youth ministry and marriage preparation counseling, among other activities as a priest.  Father Gregg is a Knight Commander in the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcre of Jerusalem and fourth degree Knights of Columbus


  • Roman Catholic Priest

DeborahCarr, Sociology


The Widowers Support Network was honored to have the support of Dr. Deborah Carr when both researching and later when she contributed to the pages of The Widower’s Journey –  Helping Men Rebuild after the Loss of Their Great Love.

Readers of The Widower’s Journey will find Dr. Carr’s expertise compliments the direction author Herb Knoll had intended for his breakout book for widowers to take, with an emphasis on the sociological underpinnings and impacts of bereavement and men.  Commenting on Dr. Carr’s contribution, Knoll said: “Dr. Carr’s insights helped make The Widower’s Journey the definitive resource for widowed men and those who love them. Serving as the lead subject matter expert on a team comprised of experts from the fields of financial planning, sociology, psychology, religion, medicine, law, and more. Dr. Carr enabled The Widower’s Journey to establish a necessary dialogue about the specific biases in our society that contribute to the impairment of men in the face of grief and loss.”

Having obtained her undergraduate degree from Connecticut College and her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dr. Carr currently serves as a Professor at Boston University.  Previously Dr. Carr served as the Chair of Rutgers University Sociology Department, held positions at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Carr is an internationally known expert on widowhood and bereavement, is the editor of Spousal Bereavement in Later Life (Springer, 2006), and the author of many journal articles and book chapters, many of which focus on psychological adjustment to widowhood and end-of-life issues. Her articles and chapters can be found at rci.rutgers.edu/~carrds.

Dr. Carr has authored several other books including Worried Sick: How Stress Hurts Us and How to Bounce Back (Rutgers University Press, 2014). She is editor-in-chief of Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences and sits on the editorial board of other academic journals including Research on Aging. Dr. Carr is chair of the Section on Aging and the Life Course of the American Sociological Association and is a Fellow at both the Academy of Behavioral Medicine and Gerontological Society of America and is Member, Sociological Research Association.


Fellow, Academy of Behavioral Medicine

Fellow, Gerontological Society of America Member, Sciological Research Association

MarkColgan, CFP®

Mark Colgan has been in the financial services industry for nearly 20 years. As the senior financial consultant of Colgan Capital LLC, his primary goals are to build and implement financial plans for individuals who want to “make their money matter”—so they can live a life of significance and leave a meaningful legacy. It’s this approach combined with his nationally acclaimed expertise that makes Mark uniquely qualified to help you.

Mark earned his BS in finance from the Rochester Institute of Technology, became a registered representative in 1993, and earned his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification in 1998. In 2011, he joined Commonwealth Financial Network®, the largest privately held independent broker/dealer in the nation, to take advantage of all the services and resources they offer.

In addition to working with his clients to help them enjoy financial success and leave a meaningful legacy, Mark is a sought-after national speaker and expert on legacy planning. This specialty was born after he authored The Survivor Assistance Handbook: A Guide for Financial Transition, which he was inspired to write after his first wife passed away unexpectedly at the young age of 28. His articles have appeared in U.S. News and World Report, the Journal of Financial PlanningAmerican Association of Individual Investors, and Money Adviser, a consumer reports publication. He has also been cited by Fox News, CBS MarketWatch, Oprah and Friends, Morningstar.com, and other mainstream media.


  • CFP® practitioner
  • FINRA Series 7 registration (General Securities Representative)*
  • FINRA Series 63 registration (Uniform Securities Agent State Law)*
  • FINRA Series 65 registration (Uniform Investment Adviser Law)*
  • Life and health insurance licenses
  • Registered Representative and Investment Adviser Representative of Commonwealth Financial Network

Mark resides in Honeoye Falls, New York, with his wife, Kathy, and their beautiful children, Christopher and Emily.

JustinT.Denney, Ass’t Professor of Sociology

Justin Denney. Ph.D. attended the University of Colorado and currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Sociology and the Director of the Kinder Institute Urban Health Program at Rice University.  Dr. Denney is also a Health Disparities Scholar with the Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health.  As a health researcher, with sociological and demographic training, Dr. Denney’s work examines how individual and place-based indicators of family formation and socioeconomic status influence health and mortality disparities.  Dr. Denney is the author of many articles in leading scholarly journals and his work has been covered in various media outlets, including the New York Times, MSNBC, and US News and World Report.  Some of his most recent work on suicide examines 1 million U.S. adults over a 15-year period and finds that widowed men have 1.6 to 2.0 times the risk of death by suicide, compared to otherwise similar married men.


Director: Kinder Institute Urban Health Program – Rice University   Health Disparities Scholar – National Institutes of Health

JenniferFerguson, Financial Service Advisor

Jennifer is the CEO and lead trusted advisor for Symphony Financial Team,   a concierge financial firm.  Her company was established to meet the complete financial needs of her clientele.  She leads a team of specialized experts as a personal CFO, coordinating all aspects of personal financial affairs.

Jennifer is a Certified Financial Advisor and has earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Central Florida.

Jennifer ‘s passions of the heart extends to her membership in  Rotary, as  an advocate for numerous foster children agencies and an advocate for education with her involvement on the Foundation Board for Seminole State College.


  • Foreword for Values Based Financial Planning, by Bill Bachrach
  • Contributor to Women Entrepreneur Revolution: Ready! Set! Launch! by Jenn Aubert


  • CFP practitioner
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Central Florida
  • Licensed in FL, NY, MA

Alexis Pearce, Rabbi

A native of Los Angeles, Rabbi Alexis Pearce attended Brown University, the Jewish Theological Seminary, and was ordained at the Reconstructionist Rabinical College in Philadelphia in 1993.  She has served as Assistant Rabbi at Kehillat Israel in Pacific Palisades, Education Director at Temple Ami Shalom in West Covina, and West Coast Director of the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation, and Instructor at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles.

Rabbi Pearce is a member of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California, the Reconstructionist Rabinical Association, and is a past president of the San Diego Rabinical Association.  She served as Rabbi of Congregation Dor Hadash in San Diego 1996-2005.  Rabbi Pearce completed her Clinical Pastoral Education at Rady Childrens Hospital and Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, and became a Board Certified Chaplain and member of the Association of Professional Chaplains.  She has worked in Hospice for three years, providing spiritual care and grief counseling.


  • Jewish Theological Seminary – Ordained 1993.

DiedreWachbrit Braverman, Lawyer

Diedre is one of the nation’s leading estate planning attorney’s and was named a Rising Star in Super Lawyers magazine. A graduate of Stanford Law School, Diedre served as Chair of the Stanford Journal of Law, Business & Finance. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of California, Irving Summa Cum Laude where she graduated first in her class of over 800 students.

Diedre is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law by the California Board of Legal Specialization. Her practice focuses on: Estate Planning, Special Needs Planning, Asset Protection, Elder Law and Business Planning.

Prior to opening her law practice, Diedre was a Senior Associate at the international consulting firm, McKinsey & Company where she provided strategic busienss advice to some of the nation’s largest and best-known firms.

Previous positions have included her serving as an Associate at Sullivan & Cromwell and at Kirkland & Ellis, both international law firms.

Diedre is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and of Wealth Counsel, both organizations of premier providers of sophisticated legal planning. She has studied estate planning at both Stanford Law School and UCLA. and currently serves as a teaching fellow at the Southern California Institute.

Memberships include: Member of the State Bar of California, San Fernando Valley Bar Association, the Ventura Bar Association, Los Angeles County Bar Association, the Colorado Bar Association, and the Boulder Bar Association. Braverman is as a nationally-recognized speaker with teaching and speaking credits which include:

  • “Tax strategies and estate planning for new residents of California” to top executives at Amgen corporation, August 2004, January 2005, and January 2006.
  • “Legal Planning For Young Families” to Wealth Counsel attorneys, Scottsdale, AZ, May 2005
  • Teaching “Estate Planning 101”, to WealthCounsel attorneys, 2006
  • “Breastfeeding and the Law” La Leche League national conference, Washington D. C., July 2005.

Publications include articles in:

  • Wall Street Journal
  • Apartment Finance Today
  • The Link
  • Time Magazine
  • Better Homes and Gardens magazine
  • The Ventura County Star

Diedre is the author of three widely used guides: The Parents’ Guide to Protecting Great Kids; The Family Asset Protection Guide and the Family Business Survival Guide. These Guides have been featured in numerous publications including The Autism Digest.  She also authors a blog on estate planning, asset protection and taxes as well as on special needs planning.


  • Admitted to practice in California and Colorado.
  • Board-certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law.
  • (California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization)

Edward F.Zimmer, Clinical Psychologist

Edward F. Zimmer is a native of Buffalo, New York, and a clinical psychologist currently practicing in Hillsborough, North Carolina. Ed received his graduate training at Wayne State University (1974) in Detroit, Michigan, his postgraduate training at the University of Michigan, and has advanced clinical training through the Psychoanalytic Education Center of the Carolinas.  Ed served as the Clinical Director of the South Woodward Clinic in Birmingham, Michigan (1980-1991).  His  professional experiences includes having facilitated support groups at the Duke University Unicorn Bereavement Center and as an instructor and field supervisor in Disaster Mental Health for the American Red Cross.  Ed was deployed to the Pentagon following 9/11 where he worked with Pentagon employees traumatized by the attack. He later was deployed to Mississippi to assist the victims of hurricane Katrina in 2005.  As a clinican, Ed specializes in trauma and issues related to unresolved grief and complicated mourning.


License No:  2241 North Carolina
Specialties: Trauma and PTSD, Relationship Issues and Grief

KNOW A SUBJECT MATTER ADVISOR? Tell them about the Widowers Support Network and their opportunity to contribute to its content.

Subject matter experts are needed to insure the Widowers Support Network has the most relevant content available which can aid those we serve.  If you are a expert in the fields of: Psychology, Employment Counseling, Medicine or another relevant field, and would like to contribute your expertise to our efforts, please contact our office at: 615.579.8136.  If you happen to know someone who has the required skills, please be sure to tell them about WidowersSupportNetwork.com and how to inquire about contributing.

Of course, don’t forget to follow us at @WidowersJourney