Meet this year's awardees:

Amar Bellara, CFP® CHFC® CLTC® LUTCF®
Bellara & Associates LLC

Amar Bellara has dedicated his professional career to growing an advisory practice focusing on young aspiring professionals, executives, small business owners, and retirees. For each of his clients, he helps to protect, save, and grow their wealth.

Since 2006, Amar has been an active member of the industry, and prior to this role, was an accountant with Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc. in Westport, Connecticut. Currently, Amar is a member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, the Fairfield County's Community Foundation Rising Professional Advisor Council, and holds a Series 7, 6, & 63. Amar obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Elms College, studied at The American College of Financial Services, and is nationally recognized by the Board of CFP®.

Amar resides in Woodbridge, Connecticut with his wife and son. He is an avid soccer and sports fan who loves to travel. Amar appreciates each of the four seasons, all types of cultural cuisines, and enjoys learning new languages.

Richard Bauer, Jr. LUTCF
Barnum Financial Group

Rich Bauer is a highly successful financial advisor with the Barnum Financial Group. Richard graduated from Quinnipiac University with a Bachelor of Science degree in financial management and has been in the financial services industry since 2009. As a Financial Planner, Richard services the financial needs of individuals, families, and businesses while seeking to build long-term relationships. He collaborates with his clients to determine their financial goals and navigates through each of the 6 areas of financial planning to help them achieve them.

Integrity and dedication to his clients are two of his outstanding qualities which he has stressed throughout his dozen years of practice. That practice encompasses financial planning, insurance-based solutions, estate planning and sophisticated advanced market planning. He believes risk management is the foundation every client should have to protect one’s family and assets. “I feel so fortunate and blessed to be able to have the ability to assist clients with their planning needs,” Rich says. He adds that “no matter what stage of life or planning phase folks are in, they usually do not have something I refer to as either a ‘Risk Mitigation Tool’ or ‘Volatility Hedge.’ These are steps that are often missed. He’s been awarded and named to a multitude of awards including NAIFA’s 40 under 40 list in 2017, Connecticut Magazine’s 2017 Five Star Wealth Manager Award*, as well as achieving MassMutual’s Blue-Chip Council in 2018 & 2019, and Leaders Conference in 2020.

Rich is also very active in the Barnum Foundation for Life, a non-profit that contributes to the communities Barnum serves and in the firm’s Bikes for Kids program, which donates bikes to underprivileged children.

Noelle Casey
Certified Financial Services

Noelle finished 4th in the class of 2020 at Trinity College and graduated with a BA in mathematics and music. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.

As someone who has always been good with numbers, Noelle finds a certain satisfaction in analyzing and solving problems. Noelle takes her ease with numbers and intertwines it with her gift of creativity to guide her clients through financial organization and maximization for their futures.

Noelle works with her clients to educate and prepare them for their short- and long-term goals, taking into consideration the unpredictability of the future. She works to ensure her clients that no matter what journey they take, they can rely on Noelle to be their financial advocate and educator through it all.

Growing up in a musically inclined family, Noelle believes that people should follow their dreams and do what they love. That is why she has committed herself to relieve the stress of others and help them gain financial confidence during every step forward.

Noelle is an active member of her community and is part of a professional band with her four sisters, the KC Sisters; whom she competed with on Nickelodeon’s America’s Most Musical Family. She plays multiple instruments, enjoys reading, and being active outdoors.


Daniel Papuga, JD, CFP®
Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company

Dan received a Bachelor’s Degree in 2008 from Bryant University. He continued his education at Quinnipiac University School of Law receiving a Juris Doctorate in 2012. Dan has been a managing member at Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company for over 8 years. His expertise stems from his training as a tax attorney and financial planner.

Prior to joining Northwestern, Dan held positions with numerous legal and financial institutions including General Electric and the Internal Revenue Service. In addition to his business and law degrees, he holds the professional designation of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) professional and is licensed to advise on many investment and insurance solutions.

Dan’s mission is to help empower clients to take control of their finances and reduce one of the top causes of stress in our country: money (or lack thereof). He is committed to keeping up with trends in industry and spends most of his time educating clients and other advisors around the country on financial planning and wealth management strategies. He has received the James A. Trowbridge Professional Responsibility Award Distinguished Academic Achievement Award.

Born and raised in Connecticut, Dan is highly involved in the local community and supports many causes. He enjoys spending time with his family on the shoreline, boating in Long Island Sound, and skiing in Vermont.


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