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Navigating you to financial Freedom

Our Team

Our team members share an unwavering commitment to service excellence. We work as a collaborative team, utilizing our diverse skills as attorneys, a CPA, Chartered Financial Analyst, and investment specialists.

David Vaught, CFA Photo

David Vaught, CFA

Financial Advisor and Co-Founder

David has enjoyed an extensive career in law, finance, and public service.  He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and served in the 82nd Airborne Division.  He received his J.D. degree cum laude from Southern Illinois University School of Law.  He has completed course work and a thesis on tax accounting for the DePaul University College of Law, Master of Law in Taxation Program.  David received his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1994, while working on the Illinois Treasurer’s $5 billion portfolio.  He has worked with investment clients for over 20 years, much of it with the investment advisory firm, Mitchell, Vaught & Taylor, Inc, which he founded in 1996, and now with Propel Financial Advisors that he co-founded in 2018.

From 2009-2012, he served as the Director of the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget through four Illinois budgets.  His responsibilities included balancing the Illinois budget in the state’s fiscal crisis while also issuing Illinois bonds.  He worked with major underwriters and in answering questions from rating agencies and other investors to successfully issue billions in bonds during the worst recession in decades.  He also served as the Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity in 2012.   He served for four years as Chairman of the Illinois Procurement Policy Board.  He has also served in fiduciary capacities as a trustee of the Great Lakes Protection Fund, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, and the Illinois Finance Authority.   He has been elected three times to two different public school boards, last serving at Naperville District 203.

He is a private pilot with instrument and multi-engine ratings.  He has flown safely as a pilot for over 50 years and is a member of the Naperville Businessmen’s Flying Club. He spends much of his time traveling the country with his four adult children and their growing families.

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Danielle Taylor Woods, Attorney Photo

Danielle Taylor Woods, Attorney

Financial Advisor and Co-Founder

Danielle has been working with advisory clients for more than 20 years.  She began work in investment management in 1998 with the investment firm, Mitchell Vaught & Taylor, Inc.  She also advised clients as an attorney in matters of estate and tax planning since graduating from Northern Illinois University College of Law, where she focused her coursework on estates, tax, and securities law.  

Danielle was instrumental in the growth of her previous firm where she wore many hats over the course of 20 years, including Director, Institutional Portfolio Manager, Senior Financial Advisor, and Chief Compliance Officer. Danielle co-founded Propel Financial Advisors in 2018.  To more effectively provide comprehensive financial planning, she co-founded the CPA firm DW Agosto Tax Planning, LLC, with Emily Agosto in 2016. Danielle believes that a multi-disciplinary approach is the best way to educate and to serve clients whose financial needs span many disciplines.

Danielle earned her Series 65 Investment Advisor Representative designation in 2001.  She has been a licensed attorney in Illinois since 2002 and in Tennessee since 2008. Danielle currently serves as the Chairperson for her local anti-substance abuse coalition Be Aware Blount, which focuses on preventing substance abuse by children.

Danielle is originally from Chicagoland, but she has called East Tennessee home since 2006.  She lives with her husband and two crazy boys about 20 minutes from the beautiful Smoky Mountain National Park.  She is an avid reader, gardener, and world traveler.

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Emily Agosto, CPA Photo

Emily Agosto, CPA

Financial Advisor and Co-Founder

Emily is a Chicago native.  She earned her bachelor's degree in Psychology and Marketing from Loyola University and her MBA with a concentration in Accounting at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  She is a Certified Public Accountant as well as a registered investment advisor representative.  

Previously she worked for more than 8 years with the investment firm, Mitchell Vaught & Taylor, Inc., rising in responsibility to act as the firm’s Chief Financial Officer.  She was in charge of handling the firm’s internal budget and books as well as institutional client financial reporting.  Emily's experience includes working with municipal finance directors, treasurers and auditors and assisting the firm’s portfolio managers with client transactional needs and reporting. She co-founded Propel Financial Advisors in 2018 where she works directly with clients on financial planning, research, and education.  

As a CPA, she works extensively on tax, accounting and financial reporting.  To more effectively provide comprehensive financial planning to clients, she co-founded DW Agosto Tax Planning, LLC with Danielle Woods in 2016.  

Emily lives in Chicago with her husband where they are both actively involved in music.  

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Amanda Vaught, MA, JD Photo

Amanda Vaught, MA, JD

Financial Advisor and Co-Founder

Amanda loves working with young families who want a trusted partner to outsource their “adulting” to. As a parent herself, she knows how easy it is to let those things that you-know-you’re-supposed-to-do slide. Allowing a trusted partner to take care of the financial side of your life allows you to focus more on your own priorities and reduce stress around money decisions.

Amanda brings an analytical lens to financial advising. She initially trained as a chemist, and her time spent in the Ph.D. program at Columbia University helped to refine her ability to strip away the outer layers of what’s going on and look at the fundamental reasons for the way things happen. She brings that same critical thinking to the financial world, another world full of jargon that outsiders can’t understand. Amanda loves to distill that complexity to make it understandable to her clients.

While Amanda found science incredibly thrilling, she also wished to spend her career helping people. After leaving graduate school, she thought law school would be her ticket and pursued a career as a patent attorney. Working with inventors and new technologies was intellectually exhilarating, but in 2009 the Great Recession brought down her law firm and forced Amanda to rethink her legal career. How could some mortgage-backed securities affect someone else’s life path in such a profound way? This was a question Amanda grappled with for a long time, and eventually led her to pivoting her legal career into working on securities litigation. After learning enough on the legal side, and getting too much experience with long hours at big New York City law firms, she decided enough was enough.  She noticed that the interests of regular people were largely absent in the machinations of big bank security litigation. She thought these regular people needed an advocate more than the big banks did and that her talents could be better put to use in a different field.

Since 2017, Amanda switched careers to work as a financial advisor and hasn’t looked back. She’s happy to have more math in her life, and embraces the privilege of being able to help ‘regular people’ navigate the complex world of investing.

After hours, you can find Amanda playing with her two young daughters, watching her husband cook dinner, or training in her Brooklyn neighborhood for her next race.

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