Broker Check

Our People

Michelle Bender

President and Senior Advisor, CFP®

(301) 948-3900

Michelle Bender has a gift for connecting with people, and it’s certainly one that sets her apart as a financial advisor. While she loves all the details of financial planning, her greatest joy is serving as a guide for some of the most important decisions in people’s lives.  For her, the thrill is in watching a couple realize their dreams in retirement.

Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Michelle had an “aha!” moment in college as an intern at an independent financial planning firm. She was hooked on helping people discover financial freedom from the get-go and has been working as a financial planner ever since. She graduated from Seton Hill College (now University) with dual majors in Accounting and Human Resource Management.

Michelle achieved the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER TM designation through the College of Financial Planning.  Michelle is a Registered Representative of Kestra Advisory Services. She is actively involved in the financial services industry as a Top of the Table member of the Million Dollar Round Table, as well as a member of the Financial Planning Association. She is currently a member of the Gaithersburg-Germantown and the Poolesville Chambers of Commerce.  Michelle is also a current member of the Board of Trustees and Investment Advisory Committee for the Greater Washington Community Foundation.

In Michelle’s spare time, she spends time with her husband and twin children shuffling them between sporting events, as well as enjoying time on her Peloton or running in road races.

Grace Aucoin

Executive Sales Assistant

(301) 948-3900

A passionate go-getter, Grace handles many of the minute details for all client accounts including transferring accounts, distributions, contributions, and assisting with any questions you might have. She has an eye for details, and does an excellent job serving the clients at Potomac Financial Consultants. Grace is an unregistered associated person of Kestra Investment Services, LLC.

Grace is originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (This is your opportunity to get a native’s take on the incredible food and culture of Baton Rouge!) She holds a BA in Marketing from Southeastern Louisiana University and has more than ten years of experience in the financial industry.

Exploring the world with her husband and little boy is what makes Grace smile. They are an adventurous family that enjoys hiking, biking, and spending time on the water.

Candace Davidson

Executive Sales Assistant

(301) 948-3900

Our very own “jill of all trades” is our Executive Sales Assistant, Candace. She is always willing to assist the other members of the team to better serve our clients. Candace schedules client meetings and is an expert researcher when it comes to life insurance or other policy information a client may need. Candace is an unregistered associated person of Kestra Investment Services, LLC.

A graduate of West Virginia University, Candace values the intimacy in client relationships that is a natural byproduct of a small office environment. She will remember your name, and makes every client feel like a VIP.

When not at her desk, you can likely find Candace on horseback. She rides and competes with her horses, spends time at home on the farm, and is an avid lover of all animals. 

Brendan O'Rourke

Financial Advisor, CFP®

(301) 948-3900

Brendan is a Financial Advisor and Certified Financial Planner ® professional with Potomac Financial Consultants. He joined the firm in 2022 after spending several years at Morgan Stanley and Charles Schwab.

Brendan is passionate about helping clients achieve their financial goals and prides himself on communicating effectively and working creatively to ensure that his clients have a path to success. He also enjoys working with clients as they move through life’s transitions, helping to ease concerns as they enter a new phase of life.

Brendan graduated from Towson University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science.

Brendan enjoys spending time with his wife, Cloey and their two children, Lucy and William. He is an avid Washington sports fan and enjoys playing golf with his friends when he can.


Pamela Blanchard

Office Administrator

(301) 948-3900

Pam is the first welcoming smile you see when visiting the Potomac Financial Consultants office and the friendly voice answering your calls. With over 20 years of experience in office administration, Pam ensures our office runs smoothly. She has a proven track record of success in executive coordination, office management, and customer service.

In February of 2022, Pam came out of retirement to accept a part-time position at Potomac Financial Consultants. She is passionate about her work and enjoys spending time with clients and colleagues.

Pam is a Maryland native and has been a resident of Damascus for the past 21 years. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren. She is also an avid outdoors enthusiast and enjoys walking, hiking, and antiquing.

Stefnie Durbin

Executive Sales Assistant

(301) 948-3900

With more than ten years of experience in the financial industry and a dedication to success, Stefnie assists with all aspects of maintaining client accounts. She has an eye for detail and is happy to help the clients at Potomac Financial Consultants. Stefnie is an unregistered associated person of Kestra Investment Services, LLC.

Stefnie was born in the Midwest, spent a decade in West Virginia, and now resides in Florida.  She holds a BA in Business Leadership and Administration from West Liberty University, West Virginia.

Outside of work, she enjoys embarking on family escapades, paddleboarding and is an avid Peloton Pedaler. Stefnie also has a passion for animals and considers many of them as part of her extended family.  

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