Meet Our Team

NANCY FOSTER THORNTON, CPA (inactive CPA license)
CALIFORNIA LICENSED PROFESSIONAL FIDUCIARY, LICENSE 135
ARIZONA LICENSED FIDUCIARY, LICENSE 21002

Founder

Based on her business expertise and personal experience as a private trustee, Nancy founded Foster Thornton LLC, now Foster Thornton Welling, to provide objective, personalized services during life’s unexpected transitions. Foster Thornton Welling’s core values are to protect the assets, interests, and dignity of its clients. This includes individuals, families, extended families, and small businesses.

In a long financial and legal career, Nancy has managed budgets in excess of $60 million and coordinated the financial and day-to-day operations of professional firms with hundreds of employees. She has served as COO for several large legal firms and as Chief Financial Officer for a $40 million venture capital fund. Early in her career, Nancy became a CPA while working in the Small Business Audit and Tax Department in the Los Angeles office of Arthur Andersen & Co. In addition to financial management, she has led organizations in the areas of human resource management, technology and operations.

Since founding Foster Thornton Welling, she has successfully managed the financial affairs of individuals, families and small businesses and currently serves as a fiduciary for trusts and estates ranging from $1 million – $80 million, in addition to serving as an agent under financial and medical powers of attorney, Nancy brings discretion, professionalism, and warmth to the highly sensitive matters handled by Foster Thornton Welling.

Ms. Thornton is currently a member of the Scripps Health Foundation Gift Planning Advisory Council. The Council supports and advocates for gifts that provide critical resources to allow the Scripps world-class medical leadership and staff to determine how best to serve their patients’ needs, to help save lives, sustain quality programs and services, and advance innovative technology and research.

Nancy’s credentials include:

  • Certified Public Accountant (inactive), License No. 39298
  • California Licensed Professional Fiduciary, License No. 135
  • Arizona Licensed Fiduciary, License No. 21002
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, California State University, Los Angeles
  • Professional Designation in Professional Fiduciary Management for Trustees, California State University, Fullerton
  • Professional Designation in Human Resource Management, UCLA
  • Receivership Law & Practice, California Receivers Forum/Loyola Law School

Kaitlyn (Katie) Welling
California Licensed Professional Fiduciary, License #894

Katie Welling launched her career in the fiduciary field in 2012, transitioning from the hospitality industry where she excelled in customer service, time management and teamwork.

She began her employment at Foster Thornton, LLC, now Foster Thornton Welling, as an Assistant to Nancy Thornton. In January 2016, Katie received her Fiduciary License. She is now managing more than $180 million of assets under administration. Katie works to uphold the integrity and objectives of Foster Thornton Welling in all her roles. These include serving as Personal CFO for high net-worth individuals as well as trustee, administrator, executor, conservator, medical power of attorney for healthcare, and agent under financial power of attorney.

Having worked for and alongside a private fiduciary for more than a decade, Katie is knowledgeable of the regulations surrounding trust administration. She has acquired a keen attention to detail and excels at multi-tasking and maintaining positive and responsive relationships with clients. Having worked with numerous types of trusts and estates, Katie is adept at organizing and prioritizing tasks,  overseeing bill pay, clerical duties, and maintaining accurate records and accountings. She is proficient in Quicken, Quickbooks and Gillette Estate Management Software (GEMS).

A native San Diegan, Katie received her Associates Degree in Business Administration from Grossmont College in 2011. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration from San Diego State University in 2014, graduating on the Dean’s Honor Roll. In 2015, she completed courses at California State University Fullerton, receiving certificates in both Professional Fiduciary Management for Trustees and Professional Fiduciary Management for Conservators.

Katie currently serves on the Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation’s Estates and Trusts Council. The council focuses on educating professionals on the importance of philanthropy in estate plans and strives to show the community how their investments impact the hospital’s vision to revolutionize pediatric health in San Diego.

Megan Kornacker
California Licensed Professional Fiduciary, License 1307

Megan was born in Canada and immigrated as a child to Tucson, Arizona, with her family. She was raised with an entrepreneurial spirit by energetic parents who taught her by example that giving to others was a life well-lived. Megan credits her parents for her dedication, passion, and integrity in all that she does.

Megan’s first experience with trust and estate administration was for her father in 2001. In 2016, she joined Foster Thornton Welling as a member of the administrative staff. While working at Foster Thornton Welling, she gained hands-on experience in managing trusts and estates. She became a California Licensed Professional Fiduciary, after completion of the CSUF certifications in Trustee Management and Conservatorships.

Megan has years of experience working in the land development, contracting, and real estate industries. Subsequently, Megan created her own small business assisting seniors with trusted financial matters, including those with declining health and memory loss. These experiences have guided Megan in her current work as a professional and caring fiduciary.

On a personal note, Megan has three grown sons and five grandchildren, and enjoys her senior Australian Cattle Dog, Callie. California and Solana Beach are called home now, but always in her heart are the roots of her family in both Canada and the US.

Ruben Gomez Ludlow, Client Care Coordinator

Ruben joined Foster Thornton Welling in January 2023 as Client Care Coordinator. Ruben supports our fiduciaries when serving in the role of healthcare agent for clients, which includes helping the fiduciaries manage their clients’ healthcare as well as personal and household needs. Ruben assists in assessing and creating personal care plans to ensure our clients’ needs are met. He also serves as an advocate for clients’ health and personal care and coordinates and communicates with all parties involved. This often involves family, friends, medical service providers, care communities, as well as caregivers.  As Client Care Coordinator, Ruben contributes significantly to the FTW team and our clients’ needs, while continuing to develop his skills as he pursues becoming a licensed fiduciary.

Ruben was inspired to transition into the healthcare field after returning to San Diego to care for his terminally ill father and has been active in the care industry for the past six years. His first position was working as a medical assistant, and later, providing private caregiving services to the elderly population.

Ruben holds a Medical Assistant Certificate from the Center for Employment Training. He previously worked as a job coach for two social services organizations, Toward Maximum Independence and Employment & Community Options. In that capacity, Ruben supervised and supported employment of intellectually disabled adults, while they contributed as employees at retail stores and at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

Earlier in his life, Ruben enjoyed a long and successful career in the entertainment industry as a choreographer and dancer for platinum artist Diana Ross and others. He had the pleasure of supporting many major recording artists in concerts, tours, and music videos while also touring and traveling to over 10 countries around the world.

On a personal note, Ruben is a proud, third generation Coronadan and attended Coronado High School. Ruben’s grandfather is believed to have been one of the first African Americans to not only be a homeowner in the 1920’s in Coronado but also owned and operated a business in Coronado, a tailoring shop that also did cleaning and pressing.

Terri Foster, Executive Assistant

Terri joined the Foster Thornton Welling team in 2017 as an Administrative Assistant with a unique blend of talents. She has previous experience in human resource and retail management, customer service, owning and operating a day care center, and most importantly raising her two children. Terri took an active role in her children’s education by volunteering at school and extracurricular activities. She most recently served as an executive member for her daughter’s national champion ranked high school dance team being responsible for event planning, fundraising and administrative organization. She continues to serves her community through various volunteer work. Terri has a passion for working with others, and has become an integral part of serving the Foster Thornton Welling clients.

Brynne Petersen, Executive Assistant

Brynne began working as Katie Welling’s assistant in 2021 and was soon promoted to Executive Assistant in 2022. Brynne often serves as the first line of support to our clients and vendors. Drawing from her background in customer service, administration,  client relations, and management, Brynne is dedicated to providing a high level of service and a quality experience.

Prior to joining Foster Thornton Welling, Brynne served for three years as Office Manager for another local fiduciary. This experience gave her a comprehensive understanding of the profession. A quick learner and natural leader, Brynne’s ability to adapt to the ever-changing needs of our clients, together with an unmatched attention to detail, has made her an integral part of the Foster Thornton Welling team.

Born and raised in San Diego, Brynne grew up by the beaches of Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach. You can still find her there, spending time with her daughter, reading, walking along Sunset Cliffs, and cheering on the San Diego Padres.

Marissa Davis, Administrative Assistant

A native San Diegan, Marissa joined the team in 2022 as  Administrative Assistant. With her background in customer service, Marissa excels at multitasking and ensuring our clients’ needs are met.

Marissa graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 2017 with a BA in Sociology. A former collegiate club volleyball player and coach of the Girls Varsity Volleyball team at Olympian High School, Marissa is an excellent team player and leader.  When she’s not working, Marissa enjoys going to the beach, spending time with her family, and line dancing with friends.

Lindsay Foster, Administrative Assistant

Lindsay joined the team in October of 2022 as an intern, and soon became an Administrative Assistant to Katie Welling. She graduated from the University of California, San Diego in 2022 with a B.S. in Clinical Psychology. There she gained experience as a laboratory assistant for a Vision and Memory Lab while working as a dance teacher and even a barista. Through these experiences, Lindsay not only discovered her love for understanding human behavior, but her passion for serving others. At Foster Thornton Welling, she has been able to creatively integrate a range of learned and innate skills to uphold a quality client experience and strives every day to uniquely make a difference for the betterment of others.

On a personal note, Lindsay grew up dancing in her hometown of Carlsbad, and eventually led her team, the Lancer Dancers from Carlsbad High School, to achieving both national and world titles. Now you’ll find her at the beach, reading at a coffee shop, dancing with friends, or at the gym preparing for a bodybuilding show!

James Lira, Fiduciary Assistant

James joined Foster Thornton Welling in 2023 as a Fiduciary Assistant to Nancy Thornton after graduating from San Diego State University’s College of Arts and Letters with a bachelor’s degree in economics.

James is well-versed in financial management, accounting, and information systems.  In his last year at San Diego State, James tutored other undergraduate econometric students which included experience in complex concepts of complex variables, data and empirical research methods, software programming language and a software environment for statistical computing and graphics.

James was active in the Point Loma Little League by collaborating with their Executive Board to ensure the continued progress of the organization, delegated responsibilities for finance and scheduling, and served as a volunteer umpire.

James has also worked in the hospitality industry where he leveraged his excellent interpersonal skills while performing well in public relations and customer service.

In his free time, James enjoys sports and outdoor activities, prioritizing his time with family and friends, while maintaining a balanced approach to life.

Karalyn McPhie, Administrative Assistant

Karalyn joined the Foster Thornton Welling team in 2024 as Megan Kornacker’s assistant. Her varied background includes extensive experience in the hospitality industry organizing weddings and banquet events for over 20 years. She has also served as a nanny during covid, and most recently, was a dental assistant. Karalyn grew up in New York and graduated from Elon College in North Carolina (now Elon University) with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

Karalyn’s passion for helping others has been driving her since childhood. Her ability to anticipate needs and her attention to detail makes her a perfect fit for the fiduciary profession. Her personal integrity and compassion for others makes her a great asset to our team.

When not at work, you can find Karalyn at the dog park or dog beach with her two dogs, Jameson and Dublin. She is a dedicated pet owner who also loves live music and comedy shows in her free time.

We’re Here to Help

Are you, a loved one or a business associate experiencing a significant transition?