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Our Team

Pines Financial Group is a collective of financial partners providing a broad range of services to help address the specific needs of you and your family. Our team combines experience with a passion for educating and empowering others. At Pines, we listen, answer questions, and help you make informed decisions regarding your financial future.

Sam Culella, ChFC • CLU


Sam Culella has devoted the past 50 years to providing quality, reliable financial guidance and instruction to his clients. Sam’s reputation is centered on mutual respect, knowledge, and trust as he diligently dedicates his time and attention as a financial planning consultant and a securities registered representative in St. Louis, Missouri.

Experience combined with determination has granted Sam concentration in financial planning advisory services, retirement and estate planning, as well as retirement income planning. Sam's primary clientele includes individuals, professionals, and business owners interested in developing and maintaining wealth.


  • Local financial planning practice since 1971
  • Series 24 Registration - General Securities Principal, 1983
  • Investment Adviser Representative
  • Chartered Financial Consultant, 1983
  • Chartered Life Underwriter, 1976
  • Bachelor of Science, Business Admin., University of MO - St. Louis, 1970
  • Conducted seminars on tax, estate and retirement planning


Sam is Series 1, 24, 51 and 63 registered. He carries the appropriate insurance licenses in Missouri and Illinois and is separately securities registered in the following states: AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NV, NY, OH, OK, PA, TN, TX, VA, WA, WI and WY.


Tony Culella, CFP(R)


Tony Culella is a Partner of Pines Financial Group, Inc. Tony began his experience in the financial industry in 2002 as a retirement consultant and registered representative. After gaining knowledge and skill, Tony accompanied his father, Sam Culella, as an associate with Pines Financial Group in 2005.

Acting as a family CFO, Tony is able to assist clients in pursuing their investment goals. Whether it’s saving for a down payment on a home, planning to fund a child’s college education, or retirement and estate planning, Tony is committed to helping his clients obtain results.


  • Retirement Consulting at major brokerage firm
  • Investment Adviser Representative
  • 1 Year at Valparaiso University School of Law
  • BA, Major in Business and Minor in Communications, Hanover College, 2001


Tony is Series 7, 24 and 66 registered. He carries insurance licenses in Missouri and Illinois. He also has securities registrations in the following states: AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NV, NY, OH, OK, PA, TN, TX, VA, WA, WI and WY.

Marvin Kiel


Marvin is a Partner of Pines Financial Group, Inc. He has been providing services since 1979 as a financial planning consultant.

Financial Planning addresses all areas of concern from insurance to investment needs. Marvin's clientele consists of business owners, professionals, corporate executives and individuals.


  • Business Management Degree, Murray State University, 1977
  • Investment Adviser Representative
  • LUTC Business Insurance and Estate Planning
  • LUTC Disability Income
  • LUTC Estate and Retirement Planning


Marvin is Series 6, 7, 22 and 63 registered. He also carries the appropriate insurance license in many different states and is securities registered in CO, FL, IL, KS, MO, and TX.

Heather Stapleton

Office Manager

Heather joined Pines Financial Group in 2012. Prior to that she served as the “family CEO” for 14 years while raising her children and volunteering at both their schools and at church.

As Office Manager, Heather is the glue that holds the Pines team together. Her degree in communications and her many years of volunteering have provided her the education to back up her gift for building relationships. She draws on this skill set every day, establishing rapport with clients and providing them with a customer service experience of the highest quality.

In her spare time, Heather enjoys date nights with her husband, Chris, beach vacations and spending time with her three sons.

Ellen Stain

Administrative Assistant

Ellen joined the Pines team in 2015. Prior to that she spent 11 years working as a client services representative for Permalok.  Her experience has given her a sharp eye for detail and an enviable skill set in finding creative resolutions for our client's service requests.  

Outside of work, Ellen enjoys traveling with her husband, Greg, hiking with her Golden Retriever, Douglas, the wineries, and volunteering at the Humane Society.