Meet our Industry Experts

Bill Addiss


As the principal of international training firm Amherst Financial Training, Mr. Addiss develops and facilitates educational programs for major financial institutions and governments.

Prior to establishing Amherst Financial Training in 1994, Mr. Addiss had a 23-year career on Wall Street.  Starting with E.F. Hutton, he worked as an analyst with the Interest Rate Futures Department, Retail Stockbroker and as National Sales Manager for Taxable Fixed Income.  When E.F. Hutton was acquired by Shearson Lehman Brothers, his responsibilities were expanded to National Sales Manager for Fixed Income for the newly combined firms. His final position at Lehman Bros. was as Managing Director, Executive Vice President in the Capital Markets Division.

After Lehman Brothers, Mr. Addiss served as President of Community Securities, a subsidiary of Rochester Community Savings Bank.  In this role, he developed and implemented a variety of initiatives to more fully integrate the full-service broker/dealer into the parent holding company bank.

Butch Zemar


Butch Zemar is a scuba diving extraordinaire, Healthcare Reform Specialist and a 2014 Benefits Selling's Broker of the Year Finalist.  Butch also has published an e-book on Healthcare Reform to help small to mid-size companies stay ahead of their industry trends amid the changes in healthcare law.  After serving as a 4-year Navy veteran achieving an E5 (AW) class, working in Naval Aviation Electronics, Zemar left the military and began a career in Scuba diving.  As a deep shipwreck explorer and instructor, he began training divers in the Virginia Beach, VA area in 2001.

After being involved in small business retail sales, Zemar was drawn to the insurance and financial arena.  In 2004, Zemar established an independent insurance agency near Chicago, offering a full spectrum of health insurance and asset protection products.  The agency now offers all lines of insurance to their business clients. He has established a reputation as a "health care reform specilaist" with a deep understanding of the industry and provides businesses with comprehensive benefit solutions throughout persistent healthcare reform.

Zemar is actively developing informative resources such as articles and videos, that deliver vital information on healthcare reform and employer options.

Cathie Morrison


Cathie Morrison’s classes will benefit from a lifetime of experience in teaching combined with the skills of a master trader. She has inspired at every level as a public school teacher, college instructor, technology trainer and owner of a test preparation company as well as Online Trading Academy.

Cathie has traded stocks, Forex and futures, and particularly likes options as a way toward income and wealth. She believes that every student has the ability to succeed, and her role is to help them discover what they want and need, then help them to find their way to that goal.

A lifelong learner herself, she has completed virtually every course in OTA curriculum. What she loves most is that “Online Trading Academy gives everyone the opportunity to achieve what they have always believed they could do."

David Warner


David Warner grew up a stone’s throw from New York’s financial district, and knew from an early age he wanted to become a trader. He started trading in 2004 and joined a stock trading club in college, leading to what he calls a “healthy obsession” with the financial markets.

David developed a focused and disciplined attitude in the Air Force, where he was not only the most awarded Airman on his base but also a trainer and educator. After leaving the service he became a broker at our partner FXCM, where he managed relationships with top-level clients and institutions. As an instructor at Online Trading Academy, he swiftly distinguished himself for his ability to match students’ needs with their learning opportunities.

He believes that wealth is a mindset that can be taught, along with the skills to think and trade like a bank and financial institution.

Diana Hill

Author, Presenter

Diana Hill has launched countless real estate investing careers over her eight years as an OTA Real Estate Instructor. Her philosophy is that real estate investing creates long term wealth and security, and that anyone can own real estate as an investment if they are willing to develop a plan and take the time and effort to see that plan through.

She has high expectations of her students and hopes they have high expectations of her. She brings extensive experience as an investor who made her first purchase in college and has controlled millions in properties over a 30-year career. She currently holds 7 properties, from single-family rentals to Multi-Family Properties, located near her southern California home as well as across the U.S.

Dr. Jeff Barke


Dr. Barke is a family physician in private practice in Newport Beach, CA. He attended undergraduate college at U.S.C. and Medical School at U.C. Irvine completing his Family Medicine Residency at U.C. Irvine Medical Center. He is an elected School Board Member for the Los Alamitos Unified School District currently serving his third term. Dr. Barke also serves as a tactical physician for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department SWAT team as a reserve deputy. Dr. Barke worked for Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson as the volunteer coordinator for Orange County, CA and then as a healthcare surrogate for the Donald J. Trump campaign. Dr. Barke has published several articles in The Hill on ObamaCare and has appeared on Fox News Special Report with Brett Baier. He appears monthly on CCN (Crown City Network) discussing the intersection between medicine and politics. He is a native of southern California. Dr. Barke is married to his high school sweetheart and they have two children, one attending Hillsdale College in Michigan and the other a graduate of DePaul University and lives in Chicago.

Dr. M. Woodruff "Woody" Johnson

Author and Clinical Psychologist

His goal is to guide traders and investors to create consistency in preparing, processing, analyzing and executing appropriately, as they manage errant emotions in order to develop capacity for emotional strength and endurance in the trade. He is dedicated to showing the tools, techniques and concepts to take their investing to the next level; in other words, “Investors lose most of their money not because they don’t know what to do, but because negative emotions prevent them from keeping their commitments."

Gary Tole


Gary Tole has a successful career investing in and managing a wide variety of businesses and has been a real estate investor since 1996, with hundreds of deals under his belt. He has been a licensed Realtor since 2004 and leader of the “Tole Team” at Keller Williams in Dallas, TX since 2012 with the Certified Negotiation Expert designation.

John O'Donnell

OTA Research Director

John O’Donnell’s background in both education and financial services gives him a unique ability to teach complex financial theories and trading skills to beginner investors and seasoned traders alike. As Director of Research, John has been an instrumental player in making Online Trading Academy one of the premier trading educators in the world.

Mr. O’Donnell earned a BS in Science from Southwest Baptist University and has personally been involved in the stock market since 1968. In 1975, he founded the Economic Monetary Investment Research Society, Atlanta. He began his career as a public school teacher, which he later transitioned to public corporations, working as an investment banker.

Mr. O’Donnell has over 30 years of successful leadership experience. He was the Founder and CEO of Precious Metals Exchange. His next venture was as CEO with Penn Pacific Financial Corp, a public company with $50 million market cap and the 11th most actively traded stock on NASDAQ in 1979. He then founded and became the CEO of Republic Resources, Inc, which was the world’s largest publicly traded grower of jojoba oil with a $75 million market cap. Prior to joining Online Trading Academy Mr. O’Donnell was Co-founder and CEO of Double Win Capital, Inc, a boutique investment banker. Mr. O’Donnell’s leadership and vision has not gone unnoticed, as he was a Finalist in the “Entrepreneur of the Year” contest by Ernst & Young Inc magazine two consecutive years in Orange County, California.

Mr. O’Donnell came to Online Trading Academy in 1998. As one of the first employees and pioneers in the education division he helped transition the company from a floor based model to one of the largest DMA franchise trading schools that are currently operated today. Mr. O’Donnell is instrumental in Online Trading Academy’s business development initiatives with strategic partners and industry leaders. He has been a featured speaker at many major trader and investor expos in New York, London, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Toronto, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Miami, and Dallas. He has been interviewed on and featured in a variety of financial media such as CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox Business,, Equities Magazine and Traders Journal.

Justin Cook


After graduating from Cal State Fullerton in 2004, Justin Cook went to work for CBS Radio Los Angeles, writing promotional copy and producing station events including large-scale real estate investment workshops and financial planning seminars. This experience brought him to Veritone, a full-service advertising agency, where he drafted endorsement copy for the likes of Clark Howard and Dave Ramsey. As Senior Copywriter, he developed direct response creative for Wilshire Finance Partners, Rush Card, and Money Mutual, before ultimately rising to the rank of Creative Director and leading efforts for Credit Karma, Optima Tax Relief, and NerdWallet.

As Author and Content Editor at, Justin composes scripts and articles for the Content Development Department. He believes his radio experience, writing 30- and 60-second scripts, gives him the ability to quickly zero in on the key points of any topic. His background in long form communications helps him key in on a message and keep the reader or viewer’s attention until they have mastered the subject matter. Justin particularly enjoys the research aspect of his job, and has contributed background information and gathered statistics for other departments.

Justin met many LA Dodgers players in his radio job, where he was responsible for arranging player appearances, and remains a die-hard Dodgers fan. He resides in Irvine, CA with his wife, son and three cats.

Larry Jacobson

Author, Presenter

Larry Jacobson was first introduced to trading in 1995 through an article he read in Bottom Line Personal. In 1998, he became fascinated with Warren Buffett and was inspired to begin trading stocks. In 2010, he found his way to Online Trading Academy where he honed his skills as a stock, options, Forex, and futures trader, as well as becoming a long-term wealth creator and proactive investor, though his trading preference is options and equities.

Larry is passionate about imparting to his students the very knowledge and tools that he enjoyed learning throughout his own Online Trading Academy educational experiences. He lives by his philosophy: "Invest in yourself, not stuff - because throughout your life, education appreciates, possessions depreciate."

Larry's additional role as Director of Student Services and Instructor Development is a great fit for him, as Online Trading Academy's passion and dedication toward educating its students to think and trade like professional traders is what inspired Larry join the company as an Instructor. He says that he also appreciates the way they have created a like-minded community of students and instructors that get to interact with each other, both inside and outside of the classroom.

Marc Katz


Marc Katz is a former managing director of Lehman Brothers’ and Bank of America’s debt capital markets risk solutions groups. He has extensive daily experience in the management of complex financing arrangements as well as fixed income trading. Marc also has an inside knowledge of the debt transactions for some of America’s leading companies; including taxable and tax exempt investment, leasing, private placements and hybrid securities.

May Go-Tran


May has been a tax accountant for over 10 years. She is experienced in Individual, Business, and Estate & Trust returns. She has been an Enrolled Agent since 2008 and has been representing clients before the IRS and State tax agencies. She worked at H&R Block as a Master Tax Advisor. She has a degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting and has more than 20 years of experience in general accounting and financial management. She earned her certified public accountant credentials in the Philippines. She enjoys practicing Archery with her husband.

Merlin Rothfeld

Author, Presenter

Merlin Rothfeld has been actively involved in the financial markets since 1996. After receiving his degree in Business Finance, Merlin worked for a large financial planning firm in California where he applied traditional, long term investment strategies. In 1998 he began day trading his own money using a variety of DAT trading platforms.

Merlin's experiences with trading strategies, ranging from long term investing to short term, high volume trading, offer students a well-diversified perspective of the trading life. The fact that Merlin trades daily using his own unique trading strategy enhances his abilities as an Instructor. He is also the host of Power Trading Radio and is a key contributor to many financial topics from how to manage your credit to investing in Real Estate.

Michael Atias


Michael Atias joined the OTA Tax Pros executive team in 2011. Mr. Atias brings over 10 years of tax consultation, tax planning, tax preparation, audit representation and business consultation experience. Mr. Atias is an enrolled agent with the IRS with an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis, one of the top 15 business schools in the nation. Mr. Atias received his Bachelors Degree from Haifa University, Israel in Economics and Business.

Mike Mc Mahon

Author and Content Editor

Mike Mc Mahon was a co-founder of Online Trading Academy in 1997 and was Director of Education for 13 years, charged with recruiting top flight traders and training and guiding them in the methodology of OTA’s Core Strategy. He officially retired in 2009 but continued to teach online with the occasional in-person class. Meanwhile, OTA was growing into a worldwide presence in financial education with a significant repository of online subject matter which followed the precepts he had set in those early years.

Today, Mike is back in full force (though still officially retired) as Content Editor and contributor for all things digital with an emphasis on educational articles and videos at He focuses on accuracy and usability of content including buying a house, saving money, rebuilding credit, evaluating annuities—'anything with a dollar bill attached to it’. As an early proponent of expanding Online Trading Academy’s offerings beyond trading to the active investor, he is thrilled to be working with a new generation of students who see the markets as a way to work toward their personal goals.

Mike is a frequent guest on Power Trading Radio. He also works with the MasterMind Community to support advanced students as they plan and analyze their trades. He continues to trade himself on a regular basis, armed with six 21-inch monitors and a near server level computer so he can keep his eye on all aspects of the market.

Nick Mango


Nick Mango is a freelance writer and editor whose work in the investing, trading, and financial communities spans more than 12 years. He’s co-author of the book, Traders at Work (Apress, 2013), and has consistently published content across major media outlets and the Web’s most well-known and respected financial portals, including

A strong proponent of investor education and consumer empowerment, Nick has produced thousands of articles and resources, among them everything from growth, income, and alternative investing strategies, to technical analysis and trading principles, how consumers can harness the power of the Internet and technology, and the modern application of digital marketing techniques and best practices.

In an era when businesses and institutions have often failed to protect the best interests of investors and consumers, Nick believes that knowledge is the best protection, and he continues to focus his efforts on educating, empowering, and assisting self-directed individuals in their pursuit of financial, business, and personal success. 

Rich Magnone


Rich obtained his Law Degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1996 and a B.S. in Accounting, magna cum laude, from Marquette University in 1993.  A regular speaker and lecturer, Richard has presented on topics ranging from law office technology to estate planning and landlord tenant law.  He practices in the areas of landlord tenant law, probate, real estate, corporations, and estate planning.  Richard Magnone is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association and the Illinois Real Estate Lawyers Association. He is a continuing legal education speaker on technology issues for attorneys, estate planning and probate practice in the digital age, and probate aspects of personal injury law settlements. He also speaks regularly to attorneys, landlords, and real estate agents on issues related to landlord-tenant matters, including speaking engagements for IICLE, Chicago Title, @Properties, Dreamtown, Jameson Sothebys, and ReMax.

Sarah Spangler


Sarah graduated cum laude from Nova Southeastern University, School of Law in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She then attended the University of Miami focusing her studies on the specific areas of tax and estate planning. She obtained an LL.M. in Estate Planning from the University of Miami in 2009. She is licensed in both Texas and Florida, advising clients in a variety of areas including Business and Estate Planning, Real Estate, and Probate.

Suzy Patz


Suzy Patz is steeped in the culture of Online Trading Academy, having worked in a variety of roles starting in 2012. She started as Operations Coordinator, then rose to Corporate Travel Manager and then Education Resource Manager which involved coordinating the activities of OTA instructors to maximize their contribution. Through this experience she developed an appreciation for the real-world skills which these traders and investors bring to their roles as educators. Today, she performs the same role herself as a presenter of online content.

Suzy has traded Forex in her own accounts, and values the opportunity that a financial education can bring in giving people the skills to change their lives and achieve their goals. Her why is to create, on a global level, the ability for people to find self-confidence, peace and empowerment. Her belief in life, as well as trading, is to wake up with intentionality in each day, think about the long-term goal of what you want to accomplish and figure out what actions you will take in that day to get you there.

Tim Pesut


Tim Pesut started out as a client of a brokerage firm and began investing stocks and Options in 1990. About a year later he became a stock broker to see how the system really worked and moved his way up from there. In 2005, he started trading FOREX and in 2007, he added index futures to his portfolio.

Tim's experience as an investor, broker, branch manager, and trader allows him to bring an understanding of the unique challenges of trading to the classroom. As an Instructor, he strives to give each student individual attention because as an Online Trading Academy graduate, Tim says that is what benefited him most. His overall goal is to positively impact the student by giving them a proven approach that they can see working before their eyes, boosting their confidence and having fun enjoying the process. He tries to ensure the students learn and understand the material, but more importantly, are able to apply the various aspects of trading in a real world environment so the student is well on the path to becoming successful in their trading endeavors. He wants each student to feel that they are part of a family that is dedicated to their success.


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