Certified Fiduciary Services, Inc.
CFS was founded in 1999 by Pamela Johnston who saw a need for competent management of both financial and personal services for elderly and incapacitated individuals.
CFS has developed a knowledgeable and experienced staff through comprehensive recruiting and continued training. With each new addition, CFS seeks to complement the extensive range of experience of its current staff to further promote the broad level of services provided to its clients. CFS extends the same level of service to the families and beneficiaries of clients who have passed away.
The administration of an estate can be difficult during a time of grief or when family and friends live far away. CFS staff will administer the estate competently and in a timely manner by combining their knowledge of the probate system and range of experience.
Tara Lara – Principal Fiduciary
Tara joined CFS in 2014 as an Account Administrator. She became a licensed fiduciary in 2018 and transitioned to Principal Fiduciary in 2020. Tara studied Accounting at Arizona State University and Rio Salado College. Tara has 15 years of experience in the accounting and banking fields, and over 7 years of experience in the fiduciary industry with a focus on trust administration, forensic accounting, financial management and taxes. She holds an active fiduciary license and is a member of the Arizona Fiduciaries Association. She is also an active certified Enrolled Agent.
Tara is an Arizona native, and lives in Phoenix with her fiancé and their five-year-old son, and eleven-year-old daughter. In her free time, she enjoys playing the violin, BMX racing, spending time with her family and friends, and mentoring women in her church.
Susan Henley – Licensed Fiduciary
Sue is a licensed Fiduciary and a native of Arizona. She attended Alhambra High School, Phoenix College and Arizona State University. Her experience includes more than 32 years as a Paralegal in the Probate, Guardianship and Conservatorship field. She has extensive background in Financial Exploitation and Elder Abuse, working with the court system, counseling with seniors and speaking at various organizations on the topics of Caring for the Caregiver, Grieving, A Part of Life and Finding Your Purpose. Sue is a member of the Arizona Fiduciaries Association and Arizona Geriatric Society.
Sue enjoys working with animals, riding her horse, and tending to her many varieties of animals. She spends time with her husband and grandchildren, enjoys movies and gardening.
Kallie Knight – Senior Paralegal
Kallie has over 22 years of experience as an Elder Law Paralegal in Arizona, with a career focus in Probate Estate & Trust Administration & Litigation, Guardianships, Conservatorships, Estate Planning, Financial Exploitation and Elder Abuse. Kallie is a member of the Maricopa County Bar Association Paralegal Division, and its Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Section.
Although born in the Midwest, all of her schooling, K-12th Grade, was in the Scottsdale Unified School District. Away from the office, she loves spending time with her family and traveling.
Alexandra Greene – Estate Administrator/Property Manager
Alex was born in Scottsdale, AZ and grew up splitting time between parents in Phoenix and San Francisco. She grew up in the Scottsdale School District, and later graduated from University of Phoenix with a degree in Business Marketing. Having spent 13 years in various areas of real estate and relocation services, and several years involved in non-profit leadership and event coordination, Alex was excited to get involved in fiduciary services in 2021 to make a deeper difference in the lives of others.
In her free time, Alex loves cruising around town in her Jeep with my music too loud, usually with at least 1 of her four dogs in tow, spending time with her family including a teenage son and daughter, and getting involved with local and global outreach work at her church. Alex and her husband Bob (a professor at GCU) love going to classic rock concerts, trying new restaurants, and weekend getaways to Vegas or the beach.
Gwen Kemnitz – Paralegal
Gwen joined CFS in 2021 as a Paralegal. She has been a Paralegal for 25 years, working in various areas of the law, including Elder Law & Estate Planning, Family Law, and Real Estate. Before becoming a Paralegal, Gwen worked for a home health care agency, where she acquired in-depth knowledge of the legal and medical issues impacting seniors and their families. Gwen earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Arizona State University and is a Certified Legal Document Preparer licensed with the Arizona Supreme Court. She is also a member of the Arizona Association of Independent Paralegals.
Gwen is an Arizona native, is married and has two sons. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering with local non-profit organizations and her church, cooking, spending time outdoors, and traveling with her family.
Nina Hadzic – Estate Administrator
Nina joined CFS in 2021 as Estate Administrator. Before joining Certified Fiduciary Services, Nina worked in a legal field for over 12 years. In 2018, she began working in the fiduciary field and immediately fell in love with it. Nina’s experience includes administration of guardianships, conservatorships, trusts and service as agent under Power of Attorney.
Nina was born and raised in Bosnia & Herzegovina where she attended Law school prior to moving to the United States. She enjoys hiking, camping and traveling with her family.
Lara Childers – Fiduciary Assistant
Lara joined the team in early 2022 as Fiduciary Assistant. New to Arizona, Lara lived most of her life in Colorado before she and her husband moved to Arizona. She has administrative assistant experience in the legal, banking and trust department fields and the brokerage industry over a span of thirty-five years. As a seasoned assistant, Lara is excited to deepen her knowledge of the fiduciary industry and is excited to be part of the team.
Away from the office, she loves being outdoors riding bicycles, hiking, traveling, and spending time with her husband and family. She is interested in Arizona history and is looking forward to exploring the many exciting things our state has to offer.
Pamela Johnston – Founder
Vice-President and previous owner of CFS, Inc., Pam is a native of Arizona. She attended North Phoenix High school, Phoenix College, and is a graduate of Cannon Financial Institute. Pam has been a Licensed Fiduciary since 1999 and an NGA Registered Guardian since 2001. Her work experience includes more than 15 years as a probate paralegal and 10 years as a Vice President and Trust Officer of a local bank. In 1999, Pam founded Certified Fiduciary Services.
Her professional affiliations include the Arizona Fiduciaries Association; National Guardianship Association; Associate Member of the State Bar of Arizona-Mental Health and Elder Law and Probate Trust Sections. In 2007, Pam was honored by the Arizona Fiduciaries Association with a Leadership Award for her contributions to the fiduciary community. She was recognized for outstanding leadership in advancing the fiduciary industry with ongoing contributions in the areas of client advocacy, fiduciary education, standardization, and compliance. From 2007 – 2013, Pam served on the Fiduciary Board of the Arizona Supreme Court.