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YOUR ADVISORY TEAM

Your team will work together to fulfill your dreams of financial security and peace of mind.

Your advisory team will consist of multiple Wealth Advisors. Each person has a distinct function, but all of the Wealth Advisors on your team are equally familiar with your unique set of circumstances. We believe this approach is the best way to serve you because you will have access to multiple team members with different areas of expertise and experience, as well as continuity if one member is out of the office.

Keep reading below to meet the individuals that make up the Woodward Financial Advisors team, or reach out to us to start the conversation!


James R. Miller, CFP® Photo James R. Miller, CFP® Hover Photo
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James R. Miller, CFP®

President; Wealth Advisor


Interesting Facts About Me

  • I was born and raised in the Garden State, but Chapel Hill has definitely become home.
  • My wife Melissa and I met in kindergarten.  We were in the same class every year from grades K-12, in a small school in rural New Jersey.
  • All 3 of my kids are active teenagers. On the weekends If I’m not driving up and down the east coast for their soccer games, I’m likely trying to sneak in 18 holes of golf with friends.
  • Best vacation I’ve taken – a week on a dude ranch in rural Colorado.
  • America’s pastime is one of my loves, specifically the Bronx Bombers.

James R. Miller, CFP®    

PRESIDENT & WEALTH ADVISOR


My Story 

 Looking back, I ultimately owe my passion for helping people manage money all to that 1980’s phenomenon called the “Baby Bells.” Growing up in the 80’s and with a budding interest in the stock market, my parents bought me some shares of the local telephone company, AT&T.  Much to my amazement those few shares of AT&T (aka Ma Bell) would split into shares of seven companies (after some government intervention), later to be known as the Baby Bells.  Thus, started my fascination with companies, and why one companies shares might fare better than another’s over time.

 While the seed had been planted by those family stock conversations, my path to this place in life as a financial advisor is certainly littered with immense amounts of good fortune.  Growing up in a household that valued saving and investing provided me with the advantage of knowing what good money habits looked like at a pretty young age.   Throughout school and early in my career, coaches and mentors took chances on me and provided opportunities to learn (and fail), which ultimately furnished me with a knowledge base that I can hopefully impart on our next generation of advisors.  The ability to be in a place of trust with our clients is the ultimate honor and what brings these pieces all together and makes my professional journey so rewarding.     

 My Role on the Woodward Team 

As the President of Woodward, one of my primary responsibilities is as the “cultural governor” of the firm.  Our people are what make Woodward so special, and I firmly believe having happy, successful teammates is the key to being able to deliver world class financial advice for our clients.  In addition to leading our firm, I also work with a number of client relationships in order to stay on top of the issues our clients are facing and the service offerings they are seeking. 

Education & Credentials

Bachelor of Science in Finance | University of Hartford 

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional

 

Schedule a time to talk




Victor Colella, CFP® Photo Victor Colella, CFP® Hover Photo
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Victor Colella, CFP®

Wealth Advisor


Interesting Facts About Me

  • My wife, Lizzy, and I moved in 2019 to Chapel Hill from Boston, MA.
  • We have two dogs (Huck and Juniper) and one cat (Raven).
  • I am an avid outdoorsman, and specifically love fly fishing, backpacking, archery, and climbing.
  • I consider myself a slightly above-average chef and home brewer
     (Lizzy agrees, just in case my word is not enough)
  • I’m active in a cold-water conservation organization called Trout Unlimited, formerly sitting on the board of the Greater Boston chapter before moving to Chapel Hill and getting involved with the local chapter.

Victor Colella, CFP®    

WEALTH ADVISOR


My Story

When I graduated from high school, I had things all planned out. I would learn the “language of business” by getting an accounting degree and a CPA certification, then go on to become the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. I believed being the CEO of a big company was the perfect job, and that all the other jobs I would have to do along the way to my goal were simply dues I had to pay. I guess in a way, I’ve been a planner from the very beginning.

Well, I got my Accounting degree, and after a busy season internship at a major accounting firm, decided that wasn’t very fun. I went on to work as a management consultant after college, working with the rising leaders at major corporations that I wanted to be. What I didn’t expect was that I would enjoy talking about personal finance and giving (sometimes unsolicited) financial advice to my colleagues more than my job as a consultant. I worked with brilliant individuals, many of which came from the most prestigious educational backgrounds in our country, and when I realized that many of them were still making damaging financial decisions, it clicked. There was tremendous value in personal finance knowledge, and many people don’t inherently have it (something my CFP® father made sure wasn’t the case for me).

From that point forward, I realized that I wanted to be the person with the knowledge and expertise to help deliver that very unique “peace of mind” that comes from confidence that your financial resources are working for you, not against you.  

My Role on the Woodward Team

As a Wealth Advisor, my primary role is collaborating with the other advisors at Woodward and working with clients to help them achieve their personal and financial goals. What I find most rewarding about my role is boiling down, for my clients, very complex and interdependent topics into the critically important ideas and actions, whose completion can ultimately provide “peace of mind.”

Education and Credentials

Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting | Ohio University

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional


Let's Talk




Veronica L. Pflueger, CFP® Photo Veronica L. Pflueger, CFP® Hover Photo
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Veronica L. Pflueger, CFP®

Wealth Advisor


Interesting Facts About Me

  • My best friend has 4 legs – his name is Riot
  • I’m on the board of, and foster pitbull-type dogs through, Hope Animal Rescue
  • I have a love for all things mid-century design and you can often find me antiquing and searching for mid-century "treasures" in my spare time
  • I hate cheese (unless it’s parmesan)
  • Climbing to the peaks of mountains is one of my favorite things

Veronica L. Pflueger, CFP®     

WEALTH ADVISOR

 

My Story 

My financial planning career started when I was 6 (impressive, right?). I vividly remember the day – I was sitting in my dad’s lap in his office and we were on the phone with a broker. I placed my first-ever trade and purchased 500 shares of MSFT (which I would later learn meant “Microsoft.”). I received my CFP® designation just a year later. Kidding about the CFP® at age seven – but that experience did spark a curiosity for financial planning and wealth management in me for years to come.

 Financial planning, budgeting, and money management were regular topics of conversation at the dinner table growing up. My dad received his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation the year I was born. He would often bring home articles from the Wall Street Journal to read and discuss with me. I put together my first Net Worth Statement when I was in elementary school. I started learning about saving and investing and the power of the compound rate of return on money around the same time. While I’d like to say all of these things weren’t intentional acts on my dad’s part, I know they were, and I know the day I told him I wanted to be a financial planner was a very good day for him.  

My Role on the Woodward Team 

As a Wealth Advisor, I spend much of my time collaborating with other advisors to develop and implement strategies that help our clients achieve their financial and life goals (since the two are often related!), as well as preparing for, and participating in, client meetings. I love getting to foster new relationships with clients, learn about what’s important to them, and help them put together the various puzzle pieces in their financial lives to achieve their unique goals.

Education and Credentials

Bachelor of Science in Finance | Pennsylvania State University

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional

 



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Austin L. Brown, CFP® Photo Austin L. Brown, CFP® Hover Photo
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Austin L. Brown, CFP®

Wealth Advisor


Interesting Facts About Me

  • My daughter no longer thinks my dad jokes are as funny as I do.
  • I enjoy helping coach my son’s baseball team.
  • I enjoy running and have completed a handful of marathons.

Austin L. Brown, CFP®      

WEALTH ADVISOR


My Story 

When I was growing up, my parents taught me the importance of saving a portion of the money I received, be it from birthday money or income from summer jobs. I carried that habit into adulthood and during my early working years (which was in a field unrelated to finance) the stock market taught me a valuable and costly lesson when the wheels fell off of the dot-com bandwagon I was riding. 

I panicked and sold my shares while they were way down. After cementing those losses and reflecting on what had occurred, I realized that I needed to better understand the basic do’s and don’ts of investing to be a better custodian of my money. That started my sincere interest in financial planning.

While my career path initially led me in other directions, my interest in financial planning didn’t fade. On the contrary, it grew to a point where I decided to take formal classes on the host of topics covered by comprehensive financial planning. That educational experience, coupled with talking to practicing planners and a part-time internship, led me to become a financial planner.

My Role on the Woodward Team 

As a Wealth Advisor, I work with other advisors to develop strategies that help clients achieve their planning goals. When not attending or leading part of client meetings, I’m collaborating with other advisors on my team to prepare for meetings, as well as responding to client and colleague requests. I also ensure our clients’ investment portfolios remain properly balanced. I enjoy the problem-solving aspects of my role, the opportunity to put planning knowledge into practice, and the feeling I get from interacting with and helping others.

Education and Credentials

Bachelor of Science in Public Health | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Master of Public Health | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Master of Regional Planning | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional

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Joseph M. Marques, CFP® Photo Joseph M. Marques, CFP® Hover Photo
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Joseph M. Marques, CFP®

Wealth Advisor


 Interesting Facts About Me

  • I thoroughly enjoy riding my bike all around Orange, Chatham, and Alamance counties.
  • Both of my kids are teenagers – wish me luck!
  • I’d love to learn to play the guitar.
  • I grew up in Virginia and still miss it.
  • Once an engineer, always an engineer.

Joseph M. Marques, CFP®

WEALTH ADVISOR


My Story

I’ve enjoyed working with numbers ever since I can remember. I enjoy their precision, their orderliness, their puzzly nature. So I took an engineering job right out of college, just outside Washington DC.  I had a chance to work on numerous projects and make use of my technical skills.   After spending 12 years as an engineer, I became interested in finance after participating in some of my firm’s stock and equity programs.  This financial world was also heavy on numbers with a more human connection – using numbers to help people manage their money, plan for retirement and live their best possible lives.  Wanting to learn more, I spent the next year and a half taking night classes in the core areas of financial planning.  In 2007 I changed careers and shortly thereafter received by CFP® designation, followed by moving to North Carolina and joining Woodward in 2014.


My Role on the Woodward Team

As a Wealth Advisor, I spend most of my time working on client portfolios and a variety of financial planning projects.  We strive to learn, understand and analyze our client’s goals and then help them make those goals a reality. 

Education and Credentials

Bachelor in Aerospace Engineering  | Virginia Tech

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional


Let's Talk



Alex Richani, CFP®     Photo Alex Richani, CFP®     Hover Photo
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Alex Richani, CFP®

Wealth Advisor

Interesting Facts About Me

  • I was born in Virginia but moved to Durham when I was four and consider it home. 
  • I am a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo. Though I no longer practice, I still think I can kick above my head (pants allowing).
  • Often, my Sundays (and occasionally Monday or Thursday nights) are spent watching the Carolina Panthers.
  • As the oldest of three siblings, helping others comes naturally to me.
  • I am half Lebanese and a citizen of the US and Lebanon.

Alex Richani, CFP®     

WEALTH ADVISOR

 

My Story

In my youth, my Taekwondo Master instilled many principles in me that have influenced how I choose to live my life (my parents echoed them, but he had them painted on the walls of the Dojo, so I’ll give him extra credit). Among these principles is the importance of being generous in the service of others.

I knew from an early age that it was important for me to find a career that would allow me to serve others with my time and expertise. In high school, I learned that neither chemistry nor biology were areas of expertise. I decided to pursue a business degree for the career flexibility and in my first finance course it clicked. On a personal level, I enjoy the complexity of how math interfaces with law and psychology. Importantly, the study of finance, and specifically personal financial planning, allows me to positively impact the lives of and serve others.

Since I began my career in 2013, I have had the opportunity to touch the lives of teachers, non-profit employees, business owners, “average Joes and Janes” and multi-millionaires. I have been blessed with the opportunity to learn from and teach those that I have met. This is why I became a Financial Planner and why I do what I do each day.

My Role on the Woodward Team

As a Wealth Advisor, I strive to help our clients achieve their unique goals and live a more empowered life. Much of my time is spent collaborating with my team to ensure we are incorporating the best of our collective knowledge and ideas into the advice we provide our clients. I get the opportunity to educate clients on a variety of financial concepts and strategies, which is a lot of fun. Ultimately, what I value the most is the feeling I get when my work helps others.

Education and Credentials

Bachelor of Science in Finance | East Carolina University

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional

 


Megan N. McManus, CFP® Photo Megan N. McManus, CFP® Hover Photo
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Megan N. McManus, CFP®

Wealth Advisor

 

Interesting Facts About Me

  • A lifelong equestrian, I used to compete in hunters and equitation. My teammate for the past 10+ years has been my ex-racehorse, Reo.
  • On the weekends you might find me exploring local trails with my dog, Murphey.
  • My favorite trip of all time has been alpaca trekking in Ireland.
  • I’m trying to develop a green thumb.
  • Pasta is my soul food.

Megan N. McManus, CFP® 

WEALTH ADVISOR 

My Story

During my senior year of high school, Personal Finance became a required course for graduation in my county. Realistically, it was too late to enforce this as a required course for graduating seniors and the requirement only applied to the lower grade levels. Whoever decided this did not obtain my mother’s approval, and I was (very unwillingly) enrolled in the course. I quickly realized how much there is to learn about managing ones’ finances, and how millions of others have been trying to navigate the waters on their own without even an introductory course such as the one that I experienced. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a career that allowed me to expand my knowledge of personal finance, and share the wealth (pun fully intended) with others?

It wasn’t until I got to college that I learned there was a profession that does exactly that! Not all schools offer a financial planning program, and it was by chance that I ended up at Virginia Tech, where they already had a well-established Financial Planning Option within their Finance major. I jumped on the opportunity, and my coursework was geared towards becoming a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM. Upon graduation I was prepared to sit for the CFP® exam, and the rest is history.

My Role on the Woodward Team 

As a Wealth Advisor at Woodward, I assist the other advisors on my team by preparing for and participating in client meetings, following up with action items, and answering client questions. I value the trust that clients place in us. I enjoy learning about each person’s unique situation and developing solutions to help them organize their finances, meet their goals, and achieve financial freedom.

Education and Credentials

Bachelor of Science in Business (with a concentration in Financial Planning) | Virginia Tech

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional


Let's Talk




Jessica Hobbs-Mullins, FPQP®  Photo Jessica Hobbs-Mullins, FPQP®  Hover Photo
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Jessica Hobbs-Mullins, FPQP®

Client Experience Specialist

Interesting Facts About Me

  • I’m a whiz with power tools and in my spare time you can find me restoring/re-purposing old furniture
  • My home is filled with a collection of antique tea pots and gingham aprons
  • I’m trying to visit all of the continents before I die (except Antarctica - there’s no need to be that cold)
  • Cheap, unhealthy milk chocolate is the quickest way to my heart
  • My secret skill is remembering faces (not names, unfortunately).  It makes arguing over actors in movies a frequent topic in my home

Jessica Hobbs-Mullins, FPQP®      

CLIENT EXPERIENCE SPECIALIST


My Story

I did not take the traditional path to working in finance.  When I arrived at college, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.   I just knew I wanted to help people.   I initially set my sights on becoming a Physician’s Assistant and got my pre-med degree.  After graduation, I began working at a local hospital, to get the “real world patient experience” that graduate school demanded.  It was an eye-opening ordeal.  Everything I had learned up until that point, had not prepared me for reality.  It was fast-paced, stressful, and the 12-hour shifts quickly wore down my feet.  Over time the emotions of dealing with life and death daily, had me searching for another route to help people.  By chance, an opportunity to work for a finance company, landed in my lap.  I jumped at the opportunity to try something new, and the rest is history.  

Since then, I have worked at several financial firms, with diverse business models.  Whether I was evolving my knowledge as an Annuity Case Manager or helping to protect families as an Insurance Coordinator, service was where my heart was.  Over time, I learned that not all advisors in this business operate with their clients as the top priority.  Fortunately for me, I now get the privilege of working with financial planners at WFA who always serve their clients with the upmost respect and integrity.

My Role on the Woodward Team

As a Client Experience Specialist at Woodward, I support the advisory teams by managing custodial paperwork and assisting clients with money movement requests.  The greatest part about my job is that I get to establish meaningful relationships with our clients, while they navigate their financial journey.  I’m rewarded by being a point of contact to our clients, to help them understand and facilitate all of their financial needs.

Education and Credentials

Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science | Appalachian State University

Financial Paraplanner Qualified ProfessionalSM


Maggie S. Wilkins Photo Maggie S. Wilkins Hover Photo
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Maggie S. Wilkins

Client Service Associate


Interesting Facts About Me

  • The Blue Ridge Mountains will always be “home” to me.
  • My first job was watering plants by hand and on the drip line for my family’s second (now third) generation landscape business.  
  • I’ve known my husband, Chad, my best friend and favorite architect, for almost as long as I’ve been alive. It’s likely I will never live in a completely finished house, but it is organized, thanks to him!
  • For me, Indian food, fresh flowers, and dark chocolate make any day better.
  • I laugh more, learn to be more patient, and am late to most things, thanks to two amazing daughters, whom I consider to be two of the best gifts I’ve ever received.

Maggie S. Wilkins            

CLIENT SERVICE ASSOCIATE


My Story

I never imagined that I would work at a wealth management firm, but after unexpectedly finding myself as a transplant to NC from neighboring VA, I jumped at the opportunity to join the small, but growing Woodward Financial Advisors back in 2011. Before entering this “new world” of finance, I spent several years on staff at a church in a children’s ministry position and nannied for children named Max and Henry, who still come to visit me each Halloween. When I started at WFA, it was like learning a foreign language. Prior to joining the WFA team, I didn’t know that there were different legal standards for financial advisors and that they’re not all required to work in their clients’ best interest (yikes!). Truth be told, I’m pretty certain I still didn’t know this during my first days back in 2011. Since then, I’ve learned a lot from the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals at WFA and enjoy working alongside such a great team.

My Role on the Woodward Team 

People and organizing are why I enjoy being part of the team at Woodward. We’re all about relationships, and with each new client that joins the firm, I look forward to becoming a familiar voice on the other end of the line (or email) and playing a part in helping that client enjoy a great service experience. Much of what I do centers around being a “point person” for clients and providing my teammates with administrative support while keeping the office running smoothly. It’s my goal to help people feel welcome when they walk into or contact our office, and I try to approach all of my responsibilities with warmth and care.

Education and Credentials

Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies | James Madison University

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Wilson Li Photo Wilson Li Hover Photo
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Wilson Li

Client Service Associate

Interesting Facts About Me:

  • I am lucky to have lived in the US for many years while having grown up mostly in Taiwan – I got to experience all the differences of life in both countries and it’s given me a unique perspective. 
  • I love to eat just about everything – if I’m not allergic to it, I’ll try it!
  • I am fluent in two languages – Mandarin Chinese and English. I also understand a decent amount of Spanish, and am embarrassed that I’m not more fluent in Taiwanese Minnan.
  • I enjoy all sorts of fitness activities and exercise, especially running, biking, calisthenics, and basketball.
  • I’m not a materialistic person, but I would love to be able to travel to many more countries.
  • I’m actively working on being able to type without looking at my keyboard… I’m slowly getting better at it!

Wilson Li            

CLIENT SERVICE ASSOCIATE


My Story

Working in wealth management and finance seemed to be my destiny – although I did not realize it until relatively recently. Ever since I was young, my parents taught me general concepts of money, saving, and budgeting. As a child I would always pick the less expensive items on the menu if we went out to dinner, because I didn’t want to have my family spend too much money on food (strange kid, right?). Interestingly enough, I wound up spending the first eight years of my career as a chef working in various settings – including a fine dining restaurant preparing extremely expensive meals. I thought I had it all figured out, and was getting to live out my dream of making a living in the kitchen.

I’d always loved learning about personal finance on my own, and soon realized the realities of the career I had chosen. Looking for a healthier, more stable career (both financially and physically) long term, I decided to pursue the other passion of mine that was always simmering (see what I did there?!) below the surface— working in the world of finance assisting others with one of the most important aspects of their lives – managing money. This shift and decision to become a “career changer” led me to Woodward Financial Advisors and back to college to earn my business degree and work towards my goal of becoming a financial advisor.

My Role on the Woodward Team

As a Client Service Associate, I work on many administrative tasks for clients. I also assist the rest of the Woodward team with various processes and firm-wide projects behind the scenes. I enjoy and appreciate being a small but integral part of every client’s experience with their advisory team. 


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