Philip Gallant, CLTC

Managing Partner

The Optimus Group was founded in 2006 by Philip C. Gallant, CLTC. Philip has been in the financial services industry since February of 1980.

After having served as an agent and sales manager for two major life insurance companies, Mr. Gallant became the National Sales and Marketing Director for Long- Term Care Insurance at John Hancock Life Insurance Company, located in Boston, Massachusetts. During his tenure at John Hancock, Mr. Gallant worked extensively to train thousands of John Hancock representatives about the growing problem of long- term care financing in the United States. His expertise and success lead to rapid advancement at John Hancock where he eventually was appointed Brand Manager for Long-Term Care Insurance, responsible for oversight and coordination of product development, marketing, branding and sales.

[read more=”Click here to Read More” less=”Read Less”]Mr. Gallant was also responsible for developing supplemental distribution strategies and initiatives at John Hancock, which resulted in the product being offered through investment brokerage firms, banks, and other financial distribution networks.

In 1992, Mr. Gallant became Group Vice President and National Marketing Director at New York Life Insurance Company in New York City, New York.  In this role, Mr. Gallant again was responsible for the sale of long-term care insurance throughout New York Life’s extensive network of General Agency distribution.

In 1997, Mr. Gallant joined New York Long-Term Care Brokers, Ltd., a nationally known and highly respected insurance brokerage firm located in upstateNew Yorkas Executive Vice President and eventually Chief Marketing Officer. During this time, Mr. Gallant also began to serve a growing clientele of his own, and has worked very closely with hundreds of people in the areas of financial, retirement, long-term care, college, business and estate planning. Having seen thousands of client situations where a different approach could be used to vastly improve their situation, Mr. Gallant decided to form The Optimus Group, LLC to assist both new clients and other financial associates in learning how to improve their financial planning situation.

As a noted author and respected authority in the long-term care planning field, Mr. Gallant was honored to be on the cover and was the subject of a feature story in Senior Market Advisor Magazine in November 2006. In addition he has written numerous articles for trade journals such as Broker World Magazine, Life Insurance Selling, Life & Health Advisor Magazine and more.

He has spoken before numerous consumer seminars and workshops in 46 states on the subjects of long-term care and retirement planning. He has been a main platform speaker at numerous industry symposiums and conferences such as The National Association of Health Underwriters, The New York State Bar Association, The Elder Law Forum, The Brookings Institute on Aging, The Society of Financial Services Professionals, The Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, The Association of Financial Planning Associates and many others.

Mr. Gallant is a member of The National Ethics Bureau, The Million Dollar Round Table – Court of The Table, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, The Capital District Association Of Insurance and Financial Advisors, The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance and holds his professional certification in Long-Term Care (CLTC) from the Corporation For Long- Term Care.

Phil lives in Clifton Park with his wife, Michelle.  They have five children and one granddaughter.



Erin Schmiedchen, MBA

Operations Manager

Erin Schmiedchen (Geistfeld) joined The Optimus Group in January 2007.  She brought with her a background of commissions processing, agent and client services, event coordinating and marketing from New York Long-Term Care Brokers, Ltd, where she first started working with Phil.  Prior to that, Erin worked as a sales agent for both New York Life and Combined Life Insurance.

At The Optimus Group, Erin conducts some personal production in New York and Massachusetts while overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Clifton Park office and offering support to both our clients and agents.

Erin holds her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Binghamton University.  She obtained her Master of Business Administration degree with a focus in Finance from the University of Albany in May of 2013 and is a member of the international honor society, Beta Gamma Sigma.

Erin lives in Ballston Lake with her husband, daughter and cat.


Carla Metz

Account Manager

The Optimus Group happily welcomed Carla to the mix in June of 2015. She supports our team with the organizational skills she developed from spending 20 years on the road. Her background as an Associate Sales Representative in the textile industry shifted when she became a Territory Manager for the New England area. Her next endeavor brought her to Saratoga County, the place she now calls home, working for a young CRM company where she continued working on the road and developed new business throughout New York and New England.

Working within the financial and retirement planning industry is a growth opportunity for Carla and the underlying goal of relationship building remains her passion. Carla is a licensed insurance professional in New York and Massachusetts, is certified in Social Security education by the National Social Security Advisors and a proud member of The Society for Financial Awareness. She is focused on safety in retirement, as well as tax planning with The Optimus Group.

Family brought Carla in from the road and now this former gypsy happily resides in Wilton with her husband and son, and their dog, Paco.


Daniel Ward

Account Executive

Dan joined The Optimus Group in December 2017. He brought with him a strong background in customer service and relationship management. Dan most recently worked for Enterprise Holdings as an influential part of their management team over the past seven years.
Working within the financial industry has helped Dan further his relationship building skills, while staying passionate about taking care of his clients. Dan is a licensed insurance agent in New York and Massachusetts.
Dan holds his Bachelor of Art degree in Communication from Keene State College and had a strong focus on business management while attending school.
Dan lives in Voorheesville, New York with his wife, Lauren. They have two children, Carter, age 6, and Logan, age 3.


Amy Taylor

Administrative Assistant

Amy Taylor (Sheridan) excitedly joined The Optimus Group in November 2018. She graduated from The College of Saint Rose in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies and concentrations in Mathematics and Education. After graduating, Amy worked in the Loan Department at a local bank before moving to Rhode Island for an Accounts Receivable position at a large office supply company.  Most recently, Amy worked in the Treasury Department at FM Global is Johnston, Rhode Island. Over the years, she has gained valuable knowledge in the field of Finance.

While in Rhode Island, Amy met her husband, David, and the two share a one year old son named Bennett. They recently moved back to the area to be closer to family and friends while raising their son.


Linda Singer

Medicare Specialist

Linda began working with The Optimus Group in October 2017.  Born and raised in Albany, NY, Linda began her working career the day she turned 16 and has lived in the Capital District her entire life.  Upon graduation from The State University of New York at Cobleskill, Linda’s career took her to various State Agencies as a secretary before taking a few years off devoted to raising her two children, who are now 38 and 35 years old.  Linda developed her strong work ethic while working in the local family jewelry store for 25 years.

Her love of people and excellent customer service background has served her well in her current position as a Medicare Insurance Specialist.  For the last 5 years, Linda has been an Independent Insurance Agent specializing in the Medicare needs of the senior population in the Capital Region.  Linda prides herself on educating seniors and personally walking them through the, sometimes very confusing, Medicare arena and helping them decide on a Plan to best fit their individual healthcare needs.  Linda has an extended portfolio which includes Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement Plans.  The individual carriers Linda is contracted with include: United Healthcare, Aetna, Humana, Today’s Options, Silver Scripts, as well as dental and vision plans.

Going the “extra mile” with continued follow-up and individualized attention is what makes Linda’s clients feel special and important.  Making sure every person she works with knows about all the benefits they are entitled to is only part of what she does…showing them how they can take advantage of these benefits and keeps them is the rest.

In addition to her daughter, Amanda, and son, Daniel, Linda is the proud “Namma” of Carter 6, and Logan 3 yrs old.  These two little men are her world!  In addition to spending as much time with her grandsons as possible, Linda loves golf, gardening and spending time organizing and decorating.  She is blessed with a loving family and wonderful friends!