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Our Team

Michael (Mickey) Knaub

Founder and President


Michael J. Knaub (“Mickey”) began his career in the industry in 1985 with Penn Mutual Life Insurance as a life agent. He was also a residential services coordinator and oversaw the benefit plan for a facility with special needs children. Mickey works closely with estate attorneys offering financial planning that coincides with estate planning. He helps clients with their retirement planning, from the accumulation phase, the period of one’s life when they begin setting aside money for retirement, through the distribution phase, when you retire and start collecting money from your retirement income sources. These sources may include Social Security, pensions, and other savings. Clients receive a comprehensive evaluation of all their assets, and Mickey helps put together a retirement plan to help them leave a legacy for their loved ones after they are gone. Several times a year Mickey speaks at seminars addressing when to take Social Security benefits and the importance of naming beneficiaries. Earlier in his career, he was on the Word FM radio show “Exit Stage Right” with Linda Sekely, an estate and elder attorney, and discussed current issues of estate and asset protection law. He has a Master of Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University and a bachelor’s degree in education from Johns Hopkins University. Music has always been a part of Mickey’s life. He was once an opera singer, has been involved directing the choir at his church, and leading mission trips and performing at worship concerts. He has led concerts in Bali, the Philippines, and Jakarta, Indonesia. He also enjoys traveling and has been throughout Europe and Asia. He is happily married to his wife, Maribeth, who teaches in the music department at Duquesne University. Their daughter Marissa is a professional harpist and married to Bernard Avon. On April 30th, 2018, Mickey welcomed his first grandson Marcus Bernard Avon into the world. On December 9th, 2021, Mickey welcomed his 2nd grandson Tristan Gordon Avon into the world.

Bernard M. Avon, Jr.

Financial Advisor


For more than 15 years, Bernard worked in the engineering industry. His focus included problem solving, reviewing systems requirements/logic, and creating instructions to test equipment and products. He planned project schedules and employed precise decision-making principles to manage these systems. Every step he took involved completing a wide variety of tasks that supported the process of project inception to completion. In 2017, Bernard decided to work with his father-in-law, Michael Knaub, to help clients with their retirement plans. This enrichment of his career uses the skills he implemented as an engineer and gives him more opportunities to serve the people of Pittsburgh and beyond. Bernard focuses on working with clients from retirement inception to completion. His goals are to assist clients in pursuing the best strategies for their financial situation.

Bernard graduated from Geneva College in Beaver Falls, PA, with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering with a concentration in Electrical Engineering. For two years, he spent time as a mentor for the Learning and Mentoring Program (LAMP) in Pittsburgh, which serves youths in area schools who are at risk of becoming involved in gang-related activities. Bernard has numerous hobbies including scuba diving, hiking, motorcycling, skiing, fishing, and camping. He also enjoys writing, journaling, American football and golf. Some of his favorite travel places are the Caribbean, Israel, and Europe. He is happily married to his wife, Marissa, who is a professional harpist, and he is a proud father of his sons, Marcus Bernard Avon and Tristan Gordon Avon.

Bridget Johnston

Director of Client Services

Bridget Johnston joined Penn Financial Services LLC. in July of 2023 to act as Director of Client Services. Ms. Johnston is quickly establishing a dual career in both administrative work and the performing arts. She is a recent graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, holding a master's degree in Vocal Performance from CMU's distinguished School of Music. In addition to her position with Penn Financial, she also currently serves as the Director of Education for Pittsburgh Festival Opera. She is passionate about the power of communication, especially through music. During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Bridget acted as Director of Music for her hometown church in Waukee, Iowa, and by 2022, had established a children's choir, a teen worship band, and an over 70% increase in participation within the adult music ministry. Additionally, she has done community engagement work for the Savannah VOICE Festival. 

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