Advisory Panel

The ConsumerAffairs advisory panel includes authors, thought leaders, educators and professionals that have in-depth knowledge and experience with the industries covered on our website.

Our advisory panel is curated by the ConsumerAffairs editorial team and helps ensure our website is accurate and helpful to readers. Our experts are not affiliated with the companies we recommend to our readers and must adhere to our publishing principles when contributing to our content.

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Bill Kaltenekker Solar Energy Advisor

Bill Kaltenekker is an engineering consultant with 45 years of experience. He holds a master’s degree in physics from the University of California and previously worked as a senior staff engineer in the semiconductor industry and a research engineer working on government defense projects. Bill’s specialty is electrical energy generation ...

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JJ Virgin Weight Loss Programs Advisor

Celebrity Nutrition & Fitness Expert JJ Virgin is author of New York Times bestseller “The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 Days.” JJ specializes in weight loss resistance related to food allergies and food sensitivities and has helped thousands create fast fat loss. She is also ...

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Shelley Webb Senior Products Advisor

Shelley Webb is a registered nurse, geriatric care manager and freelance writer who concentrates on the subjects of eldercare, health and social media. She cared for her father in her home for more than four years.

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Benji Waters E-cigarettes Advisor

Benji Waters has been working in the electronic cigarette industry for over 3 years. He is a well known blogger on What E Cigarette? and Electronic Cigarette UK and regularly consults with suppliers and manufacturers on current products and future technology. He has a unique insight into the world of ...

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Shelley Elmblad Financial Software Advisor

Shelley Elmblad is a freelance writer with years of experience covering small business, personal finance and tax software and mobile apps for About.com, Examiner.com and other websites. Shelley’s goal is to help others choose the best software to run a small business, track personal finances and save money.

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Erin Huffstetler Deal Websites Advisor

Erin Huffstetler is the Frugal Living Guide at About.com, and the founder of MyFrugalHome.com. If there’s a way to get something for less, Erin will find it, and tell you about it.

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Neal Frankle Life Insurance Advisor

Neal Frankle is a Certified Financial Planner in Los Angeles. He is the publisher of WealthPilgrim.com, an information resource for consumers. Before Neal finished high school, his parents passed away. His father had a small life insurance policy that made all the difference to Neal and his three siblings. His ...

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Melissa Hincha-Ownby Tax Software Advisor

Melissa Hincha-Ownby is a freelance writer who finds joy in doing her taxes, testing new tax software programs and sharing her experiences with others. When she's not busy researching tax and other personal finance topics, Melissa writes about autism issues for her blog, The Autism Education Site. Melissa, her husband ...

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Michele Lerner Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor

Michele Lerner, author of “HOMEBUYING: Tough Times, First Time, Any Time”, has been writing about personal finance and real estate for more than two decades. Michele writes for regional, national and international publications in print and online for a variety of audiences including consumers, real estate investors, business owners and ...

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Zachary Shahan Solar Energy Advisor

Zachary Shahan is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech website on the planet. He is also the director of leading green news site Planetsave and is the founder/director of SolarLove.org, EVObsession.com, and Bikocity.com. Zach’s key areas of focus since 2009 have been solar energy and electric vehicles. He ...

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Dr. Ken Tudor Pet Food Advisor

A recognized expert and leader in pet nutrition, Dr. Ken Tudor has written over 200 articles on the subject. He also has a featured weekly blog on petMD, is published in major veterinary journals and is a frequent internet media guest expert. He is the founder of Hearthstone Homemade, a ...

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Mark Brooks Online Dating & Matchmaking Advisor

Mark Brooks has advised the CEOs of over 100 companies in the Internet dating industry. He's been focused on the dating industry since 1998 and is currently the CEO of Courtland Brooks, a consultancy-agency for the Internet dating industry, and is President of the Internet Dating Excellence Association (IDEA.gp) and ...

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Matthew Brodsky Insurance Advisor

Matthew Brodsky is an established expert on insurance, having written hundreds of articles and other pieces of content on the subject, interviewed countless practitioners, and attended dozens of conferences and events. He served as an editor at industry magazine Risk & Insurance for six years, during which time he covered ...

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Jessica Assaf & Alexis Krauss Organic Skincare Advisors

Jessica Assaf & Alexis Krauss are the co-founders of Beauty Lies Truth, a website dedicated to educating consumers about the ingredients in personal care products.

Jessica is an award-winning activist and entrepreneur on a mission to change the beauty industry. She has spent the past ten years spreading awareness about ...

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Joseph Burns Health Insurance Advisor

An independent journalist, Joseph Burns is the health insurance topic leader for the Association of Health Care Journalists and contributes to AHCJ’s Covering Health blog. He has also written about health policy and the business of health care for a wide variety of publications, including Healthcare Finance News, Hospitals & ...

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Andrew Poulos Tax Relief Advisor

Andrew G. Poulos, EA, ABA, ATP, is principal of Poulos Accounting & Consulting, Inc. in Atlanta, GA where he works with individual and business tax clients and represents clients before the IRS and state labor agencies. A self-made entrepreneur and real estate investor, Andrew is an author, national speaker and ...

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Michelle Baran River Cruises Advisor

Michelle Baran is a senior editor at Travel Weekly, where she has been reporting on the travel and river cruise industries since 2007. Baran has sailed the Danube, Rhone, Volga, Mekong, Yangtze, Nile, Amazon, and Irrawaddy rivers, among others. Her cover story about women traveling the globe solo, “Courage and ...

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Erika Armstrong Airlines Advisor

From the front desk of a busy FBO to the captain's seat of a commercial airliner, Erika Armstrong has experienced everything aviation has to offer. She is the author of A CHICK IN THE COCKPIT and her aviation articles can be found at Consumer Affairs, Plane & Pilot, Flying.com, Disciples ...

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Lisa Montgomery Home Automation Systems Advisor

Lisa Montgomery is a seasoned journalist who has covered and reported on a variety of topics in the home automation industry for more than 15 years. As one of the founding editors of Electronic House magazine and a contributing editor for CEPro magazine, she has followed the evolution of smart ...

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Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance Advisor

Barbara Friedberg, MBA, MS is a former investment portfolio manager with decades of financial experience. Friedberg taught Finance and Investments at several universities. Her published work includes Personal Finance; An Encyclopedia of Modern Money Management, Invest and Beat the Pros-Create and Manage a Successful Investment Portfolio and How to Get ...

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Beverly Harzog Credit Cards Advisor

Beverly Harzog is a nationally-recognized credit card expert, consumer advocate and author. Her latest book, The Debt Escape Plan: How to Free Yourself From Credit Card Balances, Boost Your Credit Score, and Live Debt-Free (Career Press, 2015), is an Amazon bestseller. She’s also the author of the award-winning and #1 ...

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Lauren Fix Auto & Finance Advisor

Lauren Fix is an automotive expert who earned the title of The Car Coach, and is recognized throughout all forms of media as a woman with in-depth knowledge on vehicles, technology, automotive finance, repair and trends. She has been the National Automotive Correspondent for NewsMaxTV and USA Radio-DayBreak and has ...

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Rob Douglas Identity Theft Protection Advisor

Rob Douglas is an information security consultant specializing in the investigation and prevention of identity theft and scams. Rob is one of the nation’s leading authorities on the use of social engineering, impersonation, fraud and pretext to steal personal information. For two decades, Rob has assisted the financial services sector, ...

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Sandra Gordon Parenting Products Advisor

Specializing in health and medicine, Sandra Gordon has written extensively about cord blood banking for national and regional parenting magazines. She also has written about baby products, including breast pumps, for national and regional parenting magazines, blogs and books. Her work has appeared in hundreds of publications, including Parents, Prevention, ...

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John Biehler 3D Printing Advisor

An avid photographer and generally curious geek, John Biehler discovered 3D printing in 2009 and built his first 3D printer shortly thereafter. Since then, he has been actively sharing his knowledge about the technology with thousands of people at various events, workshops and conferences, on television and radio, as well ...

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Cyril Tuohy Insurance Advisor

Former newspaper reporter, Cyril Tuohy, has covered the insurance industry for more than 15 years. He is an expert at writing about personal and commercial property-casualty insurance and covers life, annuities and retirement as a staff writer for a top insurance trade magazine aimed at insurance agents and financial advisors. ...

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Mark Barroso Health and Fitness Advisor

Mark Barroso is an editor, writer and researcher who has been featured in various print and online publications including Fitness Magazine, Muscle & Fitness, Men’s Fitness, Muscle & Fitness Hers, FLEX, Spartan Race and Tough Mudder. A fitness enthusiast who practices what he preaches, Barroso enjoys researching and testing the ...

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Joseph Truini Home Improvement Advisor

Joseph Truini is a home improvement expert who writes extensively about do-it-yourself home remodeling and repair, woodworking projects and tools and techniques. 

He has authored seven books, the two latest being: Stanley Homeowner’s Guide to Tiling, and Building Sheds, both released in 2016. Joe’s work has appeared in several national ...

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Michael J. Breus, Ph.D. Mattress Advisor

Michael J. Breus, Ph.D., known as The Sleep Doctor, is a Clinical Psychologist and both a Diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine and a Fellow of The American Academy of Sleep Medicine. He is on the clinical advisory board of The Dr. Oz Show and is a regular ...

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Rose Spinelli Crowdfunding Advisor

Rose Spinelli, founder of The CrowdFundamentals, is an internationally recognized crowdfunding specialist, mentor, trainer and writer. A former journalist, she was an early adopter in the crowdfunding space, focusing on the importance of storytelling to attract backers.

In 2012 she launched The Crowdfundamentals. She quickly established herself as an authoritative ...

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Ellen Muraskin VoIP Advisor

Ellen Muraskin has been writing about telecom and IT since 1993 when she joined the marketing department of Dialogic. In 1996 she joined the editorial staff of CMP’s Computer Telephony Magazine, rising to Executive Editor before joining Ziff Davis Media to launch the VoIP topic center of their eweek.com site. ...

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Greg Chick Water Treatment Systems Advisor

Greg Chick has worked as an entrepreneur for over 40 years. He has an educational background in plumbing, irrigation, pools and water heating. He is a Certified Water Manager and also has LEED AP certification and advanced solar heating certification. Greg is licensed by Green Plumbers USA and is a ...

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Lisa Ann Schreier Timeshare Advisor

Lisa Ann Schreier has been involved in the timeshare community since 1998. She is the author of, ‘Surviving A Timeshare Presentation...Confessions From The Sales Table’ and ‘Timeshare Vacations For Dummies.’ She is a frequent contributor to major media outlets and a sought-after speaker at consumer advocacy groups. She is a ...

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Darryl Specter Debt Collection Advisor

Darryl Specter graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with an accounting degree and has over 25 years of experience in the debt recovery industry. He is the past president and founding member of the Recovery Management Network. He now serves as president of Debt Collection Consulting where he matches national ...

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Jim Blankenship Investments and Retirement Planning Advisor

Jim Blankenship is a Certified Financial Planner with an Enrolled Agent designation and over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry. He is the founder and principal of Blankenship Financial Planning, Ltd. where he works as a NAPFA-registered, fee-only financial advisor. Prior to establishing his independent firm, Jim ...

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Ben Mannes Home and Personal Security Advisor

Ben Mannes is a noted subject matter expert in public safety, exam integrity and investigations. He began his work in public safety in 1994 and has a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership and a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from California Coast University. He is both a Certified Exam Security ...

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Lisa Kaplan Gordon Home Remodeling and Renovation Advisor

Lisa Kaplan Gordon is a real estate developer of luxury housing in Fairfax County, VA. She is a prize-winning writer and editor with more than 20 years of experience crafting compelling stories for print and online media. Lisa has written real estate and home improvement stories for Zillow, Realtor, Popular ...

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Whitney Roban is a Doctor of Philosophy with a degree in clinical and school psychology from Hofstra University. She is the author of the Devin & Evan Book Series where she uses common themes to teach children why sleep is so important. She is the founder of SLEEP-EEZ KIDZ, SLEEP ...

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Ryan Woodley Lawn Care Advisor

Ryan Woodley is a graduate of Southeast Tech with a degree in Sports Turf Management. He is a Field Operations Manager with over 15 years of experience working in the professional groundskeeping and green industry. Ryan has been a part of many international baseball events ranging from the World Baseball ...

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Erica Spiegelman Drug and Alcohol Treatment Advisor

Erica Spiegelman is an author, motivational speaker, and addiction and wellness specialist who works with individuals, couples and families on personal growth and overall wellness. Erica provides a holistic approach to helping people overcome their struggles with addictions and dependency by giving them the tools they need to create healthy ...

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Sharee Collier RV Manufacturers Advisor

Sharee Collier is a blogger and RV lifestyle expert. She has explored the country while living and working on the road full-time for five years and is the author of the “Live.Camp.Work.” blog, podcast and book. A mother of four, Sharee is no stranger to adventure, and she is passionate ...

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Loy Loveless Payroll Services Advisor

A Certified Payroll Professional since 1993, Loy Loveless has completed the Global Certificate Program with the American Payroll Association and is an active member of the Dallas Chapter APA. After receiving an associate degree in accounting from Brookhaven College and a bachelor's in business administration from Amber University, Loy acquired ...

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Clark Kendall Personal Finance Advisor

Clark Kendall has over 30 years of domestic and international investment and wealth management experience, focused on serving Middle-Class Millionaires. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in finance and economics from James Madison University and is a former equity seat holder on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). ...

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Jeffery Daigrepont EHR Software Advisor

Jeffery Daigrepont specializes in healthcare automation, system integration, operations and deployment of enterprise information systems for large integrated delivery networks. A popular national speaker, Daigrepont is frequently engaged by respected organizations, including many non-profit trade associations and state medical societies. He authored the top-selling book “Complete Guide and Toolkit to ...

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Shawn Bayless Heating and Cooling Systems Advisor

Shawn Bayless is an experienced HVAC mechanical design engineer and project manager with a unique perspective and knowledge of heating and cooling systems. He has worked for some of the top contractors in Oklahoma and is highly skilled in design layouts, project estimation and planning and construction. Bayless studied engineering, ...

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Joey Thurman Fitness and Nutrition Advisor

Joey Thurman is a nationally recognized health, fitness, nutrition expert, and television host. He is the author of "365 Health and Fitness Hacks That Could Save Your Life." He was named the best trainer in Chicago by the Chicago Sun-Times in 2015 and ‪NEWBEAUTY.com‬'s top 3 favorite celebrity trainers. He ...

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Howard Mills Insurance Advisor

Once receiving his master’s degree in government and public administration from Amerian University, Howard Mills decided to enter the political realm. He was first elected supervisor of Wallkill, New York and later a member of the New York State Assembly. Following his time in office, Mills served as Superintendent of ...

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Michael Nranian Invention and Patent Services Advisor

Michael Nranian has over 30 years of experience in product development, intellectual property, patent litigation, legal and technical compliance, and product liability litigation. He is a licensed attorney in Michigan, Texas and the United States Patent and Trademark Office. He conducts analyses of all intellectual property aspects, including patents and ...

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Michael Duplessie LASIK Surgery Advisor

Dr. Michael Duplessie is a cornea transplant and LASIK pioneer. Dr. Duplessie performed over 30,000 LASIK procedures, organized the first LASIK surgery course in the United States and published the first textbook chapters on the subject. He has received education and experience from establishments such as the University of Notre ...

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Maxine Sears Semi and Commercial Truck Financing Advisor

Dr. Maxine Sears has over 25 years of experience in the trucking industry. She spent 11 years as a driver herself before serving as the safety and training manager at ABCO Transportation, one of the largest trucking companies in North America. Then as Director of Training at Gypsum Express, Dr. ...

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