OUR PEOPLE

We have assembled a senior-level professional group with deep industry experience to provide you with thoughtful investment management and client service determined to excel.  Family is important to us; your family as well as our own.  We are accessible for questions about your portfolio and welcome conversations to help you develop or update your personal goals and objectives. 


Alan Cole, CFA, CIC
President and Chief Investment Officer

Building on over 20 years of professional investment experience, Alan established Parkside Investments, LLC in 2017 – an investment advisory firm he leads as Owner, President, and Chief Investment Officer.  Before founding Parkside, Alan was vital in growing and managing Cedar Hill Associates, LLC and, for the final segment of his Cedar Hill tenure, he steered the firm in tandem roles as President and Chief Investment Officer.

Alan received his Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Vanderbilt University and his MBA in Finance and Accounting from Indiana University.  Upon graduation from Indiana, Alan worked for Ford Motor Company and Ford Motor Credit Company in Dearborn Michigan, performing profitability and competitive analysis.  Seeking to return to the Chicagoland area, Alan subsequently worked for U.S. Bancorp where he was responsible for profit and acquisition analysis. Alan’s professional credentials include CFA® charterholder, member of CFA Society of Chicago, and Chartered Investment Counselor.

An avid family man, Alan is a native of Chicagoland’s north shore community, where he lives with his family – including a recent college grad.  Congratulations!


Chris Engelman, CFA, CIC
Managing Director

Chris has deep experience in portfolio management and alternative investment strategies and is an equity owner of Parkside. He held the position of Chief Investment Officer at Cedar Hill for two years before moving to Parkside where Chris is instrumental in client communications and shaping investment strategy for our clients. Prior to joining Cedar Hill in 2003, Chris worked at Asset Consulting Group, assisting family offices in developing asset allocation strategies and evaluating traditional and alternative investment managers.

Chris earned his Bachelor’s degree from Gettysburg College and his MBA in Finance from Washington University in St. Louis. Chris is a CFA® charterholder, Chartered Investment Counselor and a member of the CFA Society of Chicago.

Chris has generational ties to the north shore where he resides surrounded by females:  his wife, tween daughters and Peaches, the lab. 


John Kearney, CFA
Portfolio Manager/Principal

John’s critical responsibilities at Parkside include identifying new investment opportunities, analyzing those companies’ operating fundamentals and return potential, and monitoring the outlook of existing portfolio holdings. He compiles detailed research reports on current and prospective investments and assists in trading at Parkside. Well-versed in economic and market dynamics, John develops Parkside’s quarterly letters and other investor communications.

John received his Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In advance of joining Parkside, John was Senior Research Analyst at Cedar Hill Associates, LLC and his preceding position was Senior Equity Analyst at Morningstar, Inc. He is a CFA charterholder and a member of the CFA Society of Chicago.

As a father, John has an intense appreciation for considerations of long-term planning and intergenerational wealth.


Debbi Frenzel
Vice President/Client Service

Beginning her career while a mere youngster, Debbi has acquired formidable knowledge of the investment industry over her 40-year work history.  She manages Parkside’s portfolio systems, reporting, and client service, with an emphasis on — and enjoyment of — fostering excellence in client service and relationships. Prior to joining Parkside, she led the Operations group at Cedar Hill Associates for 20 years and beforehand supervised the Portfolio Administration team at Gofen and Glossberg. 

Debbi values time spent with husband and family, especially the exhilarating, exhausting days spent with her grandchildren.


Dawn Keach
Principal/Chief Compliance Officer

As Chief Compliance Officer, Dawn reviews and evaluates all Parkside activities for conformity with regulatory requirements and state and federal law. She coordinates clients’ alternative investments, including Parkside proprietary funds. For two decades, Dawn was wholly-rooted at Cedar Hill Associates, acting in various capacities over time including coordinating alternative investments and as Chief Compliance Officer. Previously, she was the administrative partner of a graphic design firm and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Gatherings of four family generations from ages 2 to 92 are treasured times for Dawn and her husband. And, there is truly nothing like being “Grandma.”


Todd Needlman
Vice President/Equity Derivatives Specialist

Todd’s key Parkside duties are trade execution and preparing risk analytics for specific investment strategies.  His lengthy industry experience includes 20+ years of equity derivatives trading in positions including senior portfolio manager with Goldman Sachs, proprietary strategy trader for Peak6 Investments, a Chicago based Hedge Fund, and Interactive Brokers Key Accounts Division. Todd received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Todd is the embodiment of someone who prioritizes family matters.  The extended Needlman family are long-time inhabitants of the north shore where Todd lives with his wife and kids.


Robert Kula
Portfolio Administrator

Robert is a valued member of our group, administering client service intricacies of documentation, wiring, and account maintenance with great aplomb, a role similar to his recent position at Cedar Hill Associates, which he held for seven years.  Preceding Cedar Hill, Robert was a Portfolio Administrator and Trader for Wintrust Wealth Management, where he provided client and system support to the portfolio management team and the trading desk. Robert’s career began at Talon Asset Management as a Portfolio Associate and Assistant Trader. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Loyola University with a focus on Finance and Operational Management, but Robert really began his business education from the ground up, working as a teen with his dad in the family business.

Robert, his wife, son and daughter joyously celebrate their extensive, extended family with frequent gatherings of four generations – and even an annual beach trip for 20+ at year end.


Nelson Greene
Wealth Advisor

Nelson works closely with Parkside’s clients to help them prepare for and enjoy a purpose-filled retirement. Prior to joining Parkside, Nelson was the Vice President of Technology Consulting for TD Ameritrade’s institutional division. He also has experience working for several industry-leading financial technology firms, specializing in portfolio management and artificial intelligence. Nelson received a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of North Florida.

Outside his role as Parkside Wealth Advisor, Nelson gives back by working closely with vital community organizations such as United Way, Take Stock in Children, and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

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