James (JJ) Williams is chief executive officer and chief investment officer, as well as the founder of Williams Financial, LLC. He leads the firm’s team of financial planners, investment advisors, tax professionals and small business consultants. He has more than 15 years of experience in creating personalized financial plans for small business owners and entrepreneurs.
JJ earned his bachelor of business administration from Southern Vermont College and his MBA with a concentration in finance from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Through post graduate classes at Boston University, he earned his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional designation. He has earned multiple licenses in financial services including the Series 7, 63 and 66 FINRA licenses and is registered with the states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont.
JJ has been a financial services professional for more than 20 years. He started his career as a bank manager at a regional community bank with deposits of more than $100 million. He was promoted to marketing director with responsibilities such as overseeing the sales and marketing efforts for the deposits, lending and investment divisions. In 2003, he left banking to manage an independent broker/dealer, overseeing operations, finance and compliance as well as counseling his clients. In 2005 he opened Williams Financial, LLC – an independent, fee-only, registered investment advisory firm that provides comprehensive financial planning and investment management services to families, small business owners and entrepreneurs throughout the country.
Beyond the financial markets, JJ has taken his knowledge and experience into the classroom and previously held the position of Department Chairperson – Entrepreneurship at Hudson Valley Community College, a SUNY college. Further, he has taught several business courses at Castleton University, Community College of Vermont and Southern Vermont College.
JJ lives in Saratoga Springs, NY with his wife, Kathy. They have two adult sons, Noah and Luke. He is an avid traveler, loves history, and reads, hikes, and golfs with his free time.
JJ currently serves as a trustee at the Bennington Museum. Previously, he served on several other boards:
- North Bennington Graded School (NBGS) – Vice-Chair (publicly elected position)
- NBGS Governance and Sustainability Subcommittee – Chair
- Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union – Board Member
- Southern Vermont College – Trustee
- Southern Vermont College Presidential Search Committee – Member
- Bennington Area Dollars for Scholars – President
- Better Bennington Corporation – Secretary and Director