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.

Mayta Arguello

Portfolio Manager

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.