At Sentinel Trust, Ricky leads the delivery of investment, planning, fiduciary, administrative, and family office services for a select group of clients. As a Certified Public Accountant professional with eleven years of experience in tax preparation, his attention to detail and analytical skills elevate all work that passes through his hands.

Ricky is a creative problem-solver and team player with strong leadership, organization, communication and management skills to deliver quality challenging projects on time and on budget.

In his spare time, Ricky volunteers at Pour Into Houston, a non-profit startup that assists in providing mental health services for the homeless, and Pug Hearts of Houston, a pug rescue and foster organization.

Professional Background:

  • Managing Member, Chiara, LaFont & Peden, PLLC, Houston, TX (2014-2018) – Managed daily operations of tax accounting firm focused on high net worth clients and worked directly with their financial planners and legal counsel to plan and execute wealth preservation and transfer strategies. Developed clients’ multi-year retirement planning strategies to minimize income taxes.
  • Tax Manager, Matthew A. Chiara, CPA, Houston, TX, (2007-2013) – In addition to his responsibilities as Staff Accountant, Ricky implemented new strategic processes in workflow to enhance firm profitability. While becoming the lead contact for the firm’s new clients, he assisted with business development strategies for the firm.
  • Staff Accountant, Matthew A. Chiara, CPA, Houston, TX, (2007-2013) – Prepared estates, trusts, gift, individual and business tax returns in addition to tax and wealth transfer planning.

Professional Organizations:

  • Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants, Member
  • Houston Estate and Financial Forum, Member
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Former Member


University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, BBA in Accounting (2008)


Certified Public Accountant (2012)


Community Involvement:

  • Pug Hearts of Houston, Volunteer
  • Pour Into Houston, Volunteer

On Watch – September 2021

The latest edition of On Watch is now available for download. This issue features articles about creating a lasting family foundation, an overview of the advantages and challenges of Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), and using 529 Plans to get a jump-start on education savings. Contributors to this issue are David L. Zahn, CPA, CFP®;…

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On Watch – February 2021

The latest edition of On Watch is now available for download. This issue features articles about identifying and thwarting emerging cyber threats, rules of thumb for maintaining tax records, and current wealth transfer planning opportunities for the next generation. Contributors to this issue are Richard A. LaFont, CPA; Katherine M. Rose, MBA, CFA; and Ross…

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On Watch – April 2020

The latest edition of On Watch is now available for download. This issue features articles about creating and funding Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs), making Roth IRA conversions in the current market environment, and using intrafamily loans in the current low interest rate environment. Contributors to this issue are Leslie Kiefer Amann, JD; Richard A….

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Sentinel Trust Announces Officer Promotions and New Shareholders

HOUSTON, Dec. 19, 2019 – Sentinel Trust Company, LBA, one of the nation’s leading boutique wealth management firms and multi-family offices, is pleased to announce several officer promotions effective January 1, 2020: Julie A. McCaughey, JD, is promoted to Managing Director, General Counsel and Director of Human Resources, Shareholder. Anne-Lise A. Wiegand, CPA, is promoted…

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