Our Team


John Payne, CFA

President & Chief Investment Officer

Mr. Payne founded Sterling Investment Management in 1995. He is the firm’s Chief Investment Officer and lead Equity Portfolio Manager. Before the firm’s founding, Mr. Payne was a Senior Portfolio Manager at Bank of America. In that role, he led the Investment Advisory Group which was responsible for managing the investments for foundations, non-profit organizations, and high-net-worth clients. He is a Board of Trustee of the University of Arizona Foundation and is Chair of the Foundation’s Investment Committee, is President of the Pima County Industrial Development Authority, serves on the board of the Community Investment Corporation, and the Advisory Boards for Steele Children’s Research Center and Angel Charity for Children. Mr. Payne received his B.A. degree from Indiana University and also holds a Master’s degree in Finance with an Investment Research concentration from the University of Wyoming. Mr. Payne is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charterholder.

James Good

Portfolio Manager

Mr. Good is a Portfolio Manager at Sterling Investment Management with a focus on Fixed Income Portfolios and the Global Asset Allocation Portfolios. Prior to joining Sterling Investment Management, Mr. Good was a Portfolio Manager at Cascade Investment, LLC—the private investment vehicle of the Bill Gates family. During his time at Cascade, he also served on the board of directors of the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Before joining Cascade Investment, Mr. Good was a Vice President and Investment Analyst at Wellington Management Company. Mr. Good graduated cum laude from Brigham Young University earning a B.S. degree in Business Management with an International Finance emphasis. He received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Alec Berens

Director of Research

Mr. Berens is the Director of Research at Sterling Investment Management. In that role, he leads the Research Team in analyzing Equity and Fixed Income securities. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Berens worked for the San Francisco based middle-market investment bank, JMP Securities, in Equity Research. Prior to joining JMP Securities, Mr. Berens was sponsored by Bridgestone as a professional golfer. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the El Rio Community Health Center. Mr. Berens earned an undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Economics from Emory University. He is a Level III Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Candidate.

David Kornberg, CPA

Director of Alternative Investments

Mr. Kornberg is the Director of Alternative Investments at Sterling Investment Management. Prior to joining Sterling Investment Management, Mr. Kornberg worked in New York City for PricewaterhouseCoopers in their Assurance and Consulting practices where he concentrated on Banks and Financial Services companies. He is a Certified Public Accountant and earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona. Mr. Kornberg graduated summa cum laude with a double major in Finance and Accounting.

Mayta Arguello

Research Analyst

Mrs. Arguello is a Research Analyst with the firm. Prior to joining Sterling Investment Management, she worked at BBVA Compass. Before pursuing a career in finance, she served in the United States Air Force. Mrs. Arguello graduated cum laude from the University of Central Florida receiving a B.S. in Business Administration and attained her master’s in Investment Management and Financial Analysis from Creighton University. She is a Level III Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Candidate.

Crystal Kelly

Director of Client Services

Mrs. Kelly joined Sterling Investment Management in 2009. Prior to joining Sterling, Mrs. Kelly worked at Wells Fargo Private Client Services. She began her career in finance in 1998. Mrs. Kelly holds a B.S. in accounting.

Michael Ford

Client Services Associate

Prior to joining Sterling Investment Management, Mr. Ford worked for Wells Fargo Wealth Management and Wells Fargo Advisors. He earned his undergraduate degree in Finance from Portland State University.