My Team

As a Wealth Management Advisor for Northwestern Mutual, my team and I are committed to helping our clients whether they are concerned for their own financial needs or those of their family or business. I don't do it alone. 

Together, we stand committed to providing the best customer service possible. If you have a problem or need assistance at any time, please let us know.

Chris Higham

Chris Higham

Associate Financial Representative
Mobile 925-389-0751

Chris Higham is the Lead Advisor on Team Welton where he is focused on managing existing client relationships and forging new ones by first gaining an understanding of his clients’ goals. Prior to joining Northwestern Mutual in 2019 as a Financial Representative, Chris spent many years in technology sales for companies such as LeadAngel, Paychex, Insperity and Oracle. Chris loves his current role especially when he can help families achieve financial peace.  He is a graduate of Chico State with a degree in Business Marketing and holds a Series 6, 63 and California state insurance licenses. A Bay Area native, Chris is married to his wife Erin and is the proud father of four-year-old triplets.  When he isn’t chasing after his little ones, Chris enjoys snowboarding, mountain biking, backpacking and camping. 

Stephanie Chen

Stephanie Chen, BBA

Director of Marketing and Communications
Office 650-264-4900

Stephanie has been at Northwestern Mutual since 2015 where she first started in client servicing, insurance and investments operations. Now she is fully embracing her communications role where she can utilize her strong background in the fundamentals of the business to advocate for financial education to medical residents, womens' groups and other over-looked segments of the population. Stephanie also delivers on client success and relationship building programs.  

Originally from Toronto, Canada, Stephanie has lived in Hong Kong, Beijing and Los Angeles where she has worked in a variety of marketing and communications roles.  She loves living in the heart of Silicon Valley where she is only 30 minutes away from the beach. Stephanie is a graduate of the Ivey School of Business, Western University, London, Canada and holds a Series 7 & 63 as well as is a licensed Producer.  Stephanie is married to her husband Mark (from whom she has learned to enjoy the intricacies of American Football), and is a devoted mom to her daughter Tessa and son Liam who keep her very busy with their myriad activities.  Stephanie enjoys tennis, reading, and Pilates and can't wait to travel more!  


Brittany L Shultz

Brittany L Shultz

Office 661-912-0157

Brittany originally joined Northwestern Mutual in 2006 as a Financial Representative’s Assistant.  As the office grew, Brittany transitioned into the role of Office Manager and she worked closely with the Managing Director to continue to expand and develop the office. Brittany plays a large role in the development and implementation of office systems and processes, helping the team free up more time to focus on client needs. In her free time away from the office, Brittany enjoys spending time with her husband, Ryan, and her two children, Emery & Everett. 

Courtney Lee Riblett

Courtney Lee Riblett

Administrative Assistant
Office 661-912-0156

Courtney has worked in client servicing for over a decade, with the past seven years spent in the insurance industry. She joined our Northwestern Mutual team in 2018 and currently assists with investment planning and account maintenance. Courtney lives in Bakersfield with her husband, Jason, and two cats, Gizmo and Obi. In her free time, she enjoys reading, playing games, and spending time with her family and friends.

Please contact Courtney for any questions related to Investment Servicing.

Jessica J Putman

Jessica J Putman

Office 661-912-0159

Jessica was born in Fillmore, California and now resides in Bakersfield.  In her spare time, Jessica attends church, travels and spends time with her family. In addition to that, she loves to read and support the Children to Love foundation. Also, Jessica enjoys watching football and cheering for the Packers, but she cheers for other teams as well.  When asked why she likes working for Northwestern Mutual, she states “I enjoy working for Northwestern Mutual because I believe in their philosophy.  What’s best for the client is best for us.”

Please contact Jessica for any questions related to your insurance applications.

Mariela D Cecelski

Mariela D Cecelski

Office 661-321-9172

 Mariela Cecelski moved to Bakersfield, California in 2008 and got married to her boyfriend of 8 years in 2017. She joined the team in 2018 after getting her AS in Biology. She has had great opportunities before and while working for Northwestern Mutual that have assisted her in obtaining long lasting skills that she uses on a day to day basis. With her experience, she has built great communication and interpersonal skills, and is dedicated to helping others.

She has had the opportunity to be a part of a great organization called Smile You’re Alive that is dedicated to young adults that have become victims of bullying and are given support to move forward with positivity and strength. She has had the pleasure of working with a variety of people and has gained understanding of how important it is to get involved in her community and assist with great customer service so that we can all succeed together.

Mariela was eager to join the team after learning how Northwestern Mutual helps clients with achieving their financial goals. She expressed, “Northwestern Mutual is always coming up with ways to improve the client’s experience and I’m always excited for what is next in helping our clients make their goals into reality.”

Please contact Mariela for any questions related to your Insurance Applications.


Ryan Patrick Cecelski

Ryan Patrick Cecelski

Office 661-912-0175
Christopher Welton

Christopher Welton, MBA, CFA®, CFP®

Wealth Management Advisor


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