Our Team



David A. Hjorth, AEP®, CLU®, ChFC®, Partner
California Insurance License #0435847

Financial Adviser*

David is Founder and Executive Director of DH Financial & Insurance Services Since 1972,  He develops plans for clients that help crystallize their objectives and provide a long-term vision matching their life's passions, priorities, and purpose.

David is certified as a Chartered Life Underwriter® and Chartered Financial Consultant® from the American College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. He also holds the designation of AEP®, which reflects advanced estate planning training and experience, and belongs to several professional organizations. David is also a Life and Qualifying member of the Million Dollar Round Table**, and is a lifetime member of Top of the Table.

David has spoken to many public and professional groups:

  • In March 2014 and 2016, he was asked by his peers to speak at the CEO Summit at the University of La Verne on the subject of Business Exit Strategy Planning. 
  • He spoke at a Financial Planners "Summit" in August 2015 sharing his then 44-year financial planning career regarding his experiences - "Purpose & Passion" in Las Vegas, Nevada. 
  • David has spoken to many agent/adviser offices throughout the country on the subject of "Life Lessons" and has also facilitated mentoring groups.

He has written and published several different articles on various aspects of financial, business, charitable, and estate planning.  David co-wrote an article with his son and business Partner, Nicholas D. Hjorth, CPA, CLTC® and Attorney, Jon Gallo, which was published in California Estates & Trusts Quarterly Magazine in the Summer 2011 issue titled  “Pipe Dreams Can Come True: Gifting Opportunities….”  He also co-wrote another article with Attorney Jon Gallo which was published in Estate Planning Magazine titled "Why Part of Your Estate Plan Ought to be Crummey and Defective."

David has been a member of the San Antonio Community Hospital Foundation Board of Directors. He was previously the Chairman of the Planned Giving Committee and a member of the San Antonio Community Hospital Finance Committee. He and his family have established the David and Mary Hjorth Family Endowment Fund which supports a number of Upland charitable endeavors.

David is a graduate of California State Polytechnic University of Pomona, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Science. Cal Poly is where he met his wife Mary (also a Cal Poly graduate).  They have been married since 1970. Dave & Mary raised their children, Nick and Joanna, in the city of Upland and they feel fortunate that both of their children are growing the DH Financial family business into a second generation.

Nicholas D. Hjorth, CPA, CLTC®, Partner

Financial Adviser* 
Phone: (909) 981-4951 x121

Nicholas is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics/Accounting and additional studies in the Leadership Sequence. He develops plans for clients that help crystallize their objectives and provide a long-term vision matching their life's passions, priorities, and purpose. Prior to joining DH Financial, Nick worked as an Auditor and Senior Auditor for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in New York, New York. He primarily focused on auditing and financial statement analysis for Fortune 500 Companies, large nonprofits, and initial public stock offerings. He has since become a Certified Public Accountant in the State of California, is a Certified Long Term Care consultant, and also holds the FINRA Series 7 and 66 security licenses. He spends a great deal of time each year in continuing education endeavors to stay abreast of trends in the financial marketplace.

Since joining DH Financial & Insurance Services in 2002, Nick has specialized in working with successful individuals, along with families and business owners to make smart, strategic financial decisions in the areas of lifestyle and family protection, estate and legacy planning, continuity and business exit planning, as well as, charitable giving. He is very passionate about his career as a financial advisor. Nick has qualified for the Million Dollar Round Table since 2004**.  He was named to the "Top 40 Financial Advisors under 40" in REP. Magazine's January 2013 issue.

Nick has spoken at many professional events throughout his career.  In August 2015, he was a panelist at a Financial Advisor Summit Meeting in Las Vegas, NV discussing the subject of “Learning the Language of Sales”. In September 2016 Dave and Nick worked with The Nautilus Group creating an ICON series video, “Seamless Succession of Your Practice”.  Most recently he shared his knowledge at the Fall 2016 Coaching Series in Dallas, TX for various financial advisors that have the desire to strengthen their operations.

Nicholas, his wife, Anna, and children Noah, Mia, and Cecelia are active members of St. Philip’s The Apostle in Pasadena, California where they currently reside. He is an active traveler, avid bicyclist, and very involved with local charities.

Joanna L. Denny, CLTC®
California Insurance License #0E14779
CA Notary Public, Commission #2274076

Director of Operations
Phone: (909) 981-4951 x131

As a second-generation family member, Joanna joined DH Financial & Insurance Services in January 2006. As Director of Operations, she concentrates her expertise on assuring continuous efficiency in the firm. As a significant relationship manager in the operation, Joanna works closely with our DHF Team to assure that our commitment to continuous first-class service to our clients is consistently realized. She is a Licensed Service Assistant responsible for the development and management of the company's high-quality service operation and client experience, including accounting, compliance, and human resources; manages all aspects of a plan assuring every detail is completed in a satisfactory manner and in a time frame acceptable to the client.

Joanna graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of San Diego with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree and a minor in Leadership Studies. In 2007, Joanna obtained both her CA Notary License and her CLTC® Designation.

Joanna and her husband, Chris, enjoy spending time with their children, Abigail and Andrew, especially at the "Happiest Place on Earth"- Disneyland!

DeDe Dowens

Project & Marketing Associate
Phone: (909) 981-4951 x101

DeDe began at DH Financial & Insurance Services in June 2010. In her role as Project & Marketing Associate,  She is responsible for assisting in the creation and management of long-term consulting and marketing plans. She also provides up-to-date information for our clients' consulting cases and excels in building business relationships.

DeDe was raised in the Inland Empire area of Rancho Cucamonga. She graduated from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona in 1986 with a B.S. in Business Administration.  She has one daughter and enjoys cooking, sewing, gardening, and doing volunteer projects with her church in the areas of Outreach and Education.

Julie Benjamin
California Insurance License number #0M74070

Insurance Service Associate
Phone: (909) 981-4951 x181

Julie joined DH Financial & Insurance Services in November 2018. As our firm's Client Service Associate, Julie provides expertise to support and manage a client's service experience assuring every detail is completed in a satisfactory manner and within a timeframe acceptable to the client.  

Born and raised in Montana, Julie graduated from Carroll College with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with specializations in Economics and Management and brings 20 years of business and client services experience.

Julie enjoys outdoor activities, volunteering at church, and spending time with family and friends, most important of which is her husband, Gabe. 


Jessica Melendez
CA Notary Public, Commission #2322154

Service Associate
Phone: (909) 981-4951  x201

Jessica joined DH Financial & Insurance Services in June 2021 after 15 successful years in Banking and Customer Service. As our firm’s Service Associate, Jessica provides expertise in supporting and managing a client’s financial service experience, including assisting with establishing, and maintaining, all financial accounts. 

Jessica is passionate about aiming to exceed clients’ expectations and building close relationships. Boasting a strong background of supporting staff & senior management, Jessica also possesses an excellent approach to problem-solving by excelling within highly competitive environments where leadership skills are key to success.

Jessica was born and raised in the Ontario/Chino area where she met and married her High School sweetheart. They have been together for 17 years and have 2 beautiful daughters. In her free time, Jessica likes to spend time entertaining guests in their home, baking, cooking, going camping, and vacationing with friends & family.


Deborah Sweetland, LUTCF®, CLTC®
California Insurance License #0F55932

Insurance Accounts Associate
Phone: (909) 981-4951 x111

Debbie joined DH Financial & Insurance Services in January 2018. Before joining our team, Debbie has had a long career in the financial services industry that started in the banking and real estate sector, then moved into being a financial advisor and registered representative.

As our firm’s Underwriting & Client Service Associate, Debbie provides expertise to support and manage a client’s underwriting and service experience assuring every detail is completed in a satisfactory manner and within a time frame acceptable to the client.

Debbie is married with five boys and has lived in Alta Loma since 1984. Her joys in life include family, being a soccer mom, camping, and volunteering at the Lewis Playhouse.


Jaimee D. Oliver

Service Associate
Phone: (909) 981-4951 x141

Jaimee joined DH Financial & Insurance Services in July 2019.  As our firm's Service Associate, Jaimee provides expertise by supporting and overseeing that our clients’ most pressing service needs are implemented.  She provides administrative support including meeting preparation, coordinates with our clients’ extended advisory teams including CPAs, attorneys, etc., and assists with all key projects.

Jaimee is a seasoned administrative professional, having spent over fifteen years working with, and for, C-level executives in the executive suite and manufacturing industries before honing her leadership and customer service skills in the luxury goods market.  She is passionate about delivering exceptional customer service and helping others. Jaimee has received numerous accolades for customer service and enjoys building lasting relationships with clients.

She grew up in La Verne and holds an Associate of Science degree from San Joaquin Valley College, where she graduated Lambda Beta.  Jaimee resides in Upland with her two daughters, Tyler and Reese.  Her passions have included serving as an active volunteer at Upland’s San Antonio Regional Hospital and Foothill Family Shelter, in addition to serving as the Store Chair for the OneSight Foundation, St. Jude’s Thanks & Giving Campaign, and JDRF.  In Jaimee’s free time, she enjoys cooking, traveling, and serving as a member of the Parent Support Troupe at the California School of the Arts in Duarte.


Maria Castillejos Palma

Executive Administrative Associate
Phone: (909) 981-4951 x171

Maria joined DH Financial & Insurance Services in November 2021.  As our firm’s Executive Administrative Associate, Maria provides expertise by supporting and managing all client communications.  She provides administrative support including hospitality, meeting coordination, workflow organization, and travel arrangements.

Maria grew up in the Inland Empire and graduated from Chaffey College with an Associates of Arts degree in English.  She then transferred to the University of California Santa Cruz where she continues to pursue her Bachelors in Literature.  Maria’s passion for the arts extends to writing and painting in her spare time. When she is not at her desk, or with a paintbrush in hand, Maria dons an apron, plans elaborate meals, and bakes for her loved ones.


*Financial Adviser with Eagle Strategies LLC, a registered investment adviser and a New York Life Company. DH FINANCIAL & INSURANCE SERVICES is not owned or operated by Eagle Strategies or its affiliates.
**MDRT, The Premier Association of Financial Professionals, is recognized globally as the standard of excellence for life insurance sales performance in the insurance and financial services industry.