Our Team

Our Team

John J. Ernst, AIF®

Founder and President

John founded Ernst Financial Group in 1990 with the goal of providing sound retirement planning strategies to businesses and individuals throughout Western Massachusetts and Northern Connecticut.  John is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary®, and completed his undergraduate degree in English at Hamilton College.

John also actively gives back to his community. He was a founding member of the Longmeadow Educational Excellence Foundation (LEEF) to raise funds for school enrichment programs. He participates in the Read Aloud program at Bailliet Elementary School and is its Business Partner, funding enrichment programs for the students.  John has been a past volunteer with the Community United Way of the Pioneer Valley and has been associated with Human Resources Unlimited, a social services non-profit, as a board member. He has also served as a board member and president of the Community Music School of Springfield, and was recently presented with the "Fab 4" award for long-time service to the school.

In his spare time, John enjoys any sport that allows him to be outdoors—golf, skiing, tennis—as well as singing tenor in the Worcester Chorus.




John Ernst is proud to have been recognized as a President's Club advisor for 2019—a distinction based on annual production attained by 13 percent of advisors affiliated with Commonwealth Financial Network.

Amy E. Santarelli

Vice President – Wealth Advisor

Amy has been working with individuals and families to navigate their financial lives since 1992.  She helps clients gain a clear and cohesive understanding of their investments - and all aspects of their finances - through thorough analysis of their investment mix, risk level and overall goals and hopes for their lives. Amy's goal is to bring confidence and calm to her clients' financial futures.  

Throughout Amy's career she has held roles at John Hancock Mutual Funds (Boston, MA), St Germain Investments (Springfield, MA) and most recently at UBS Financial Services (Springfield, MA).

As a passionate member of the Glenmeadow Senior Living Executive Board, Amy also serves on their Investment Committee and is Chairperson of their Finance Committee.  She enjoys learning how the residents of Glenmeadow are living in their retirement, and what they want most from the community at Glenmeadow. Amy also serves on the Investment Committee for the Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts, as well as volunteering for numerous committees, sports teams and events at her children's schools.  

Amy holds the Series 6,7,and 66 licenses, and is a licensed Insurance professional.  She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Interpersonal Communication from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

With her husband Tom, Amy resides with their two teenage children in Longmeadow, MA where she loves to cook, play with their cocker-spaniel Libby, work in her garden and spend time with their kids.  And they also love Vermont!

Ashley J. Flouton

Client Service Representative

Ashley is a Client Service Representative at Ernst Financial Group. Her recent roles include project management and administrative and technical support at both an international manufacturing company and a regional printing firm. Prior to that, she was an EFL teacher in Panama City, Panama. Ashley loves to support her community, and started volunteering at a young age with her Parish and at the Soldier’s Home in Holyoke. Born and raised in West Springfield, she’s a true “Terrier” at heart. In her spare time, she enjoys bonfires and game nights with her family and friends, and of course, spending time with her pooch, Shadow. She is also a diehard home team sports fanatic, and loves going to hockey, football, and baseball games.

Jennifer A. Cooke, CRPS®, AIF®

Director of Retirement Plans

Jennifer joined Ernst Financial Group in 2020, bringing with her more than 20 years of experience in the retirement services industry. Jennifer works with our retirement plan clients in a co-fiduciary capacity to deliver benefit strategies that mitigate sponsor risk while promoting positive participant outcomes.

Throughout Jen’s career she has held positions with MassMutual Financial Group (Springfield MA), The Retirement Advantage (Holyoke MA), Pension & Benefits Associates (West Springfield MA), and most recently at CIG Retirement Plan Consulting (Glastonbury CT).

Jennifer currently holds FINRA Series 6, 63, and 65 securities registrations through Commonwealth Financial Network® and is a licensed insurance professional. Jennifer has also earned the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) and Chartered Retirement Plan Specialist® (CRPS®) designations. Jennifer demonstrates a thorough understanding of the design, implementation, and ongoing administration of qualified retirement plans, and employs those skillsets when assisting plan sponsors of all types and sizes.

Jennifer resides in Belchertown, Massachusetts, with her family. While she devotes the majority of her free time to her grandson, Max, she is also an avid outdoor enthusiast. Gardening, boating, hiking, and riding ATVs are just a few of the activities that she enjoys with her family and friends.