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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 3 people: a Lead Advisor, a Senior Financial Planner, and a Financial Planning Associate. Each person has a distinct function, but all 3 people 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; Financial 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 & FINANCIAL 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. 

 

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

Senior Financial Planner


Interesting Facts About Me:

  • My daughter no longer thinks my dad jokes are as funny as I do.
  • I have a 1979 Toyota pick-up truck that my son calls a jalopy.
  • I enjoy running and have completed a handful of marathons.

Austin L. Brown, CFP®      

SENIOR FINANCIAL PLANNER 


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 Senior Financial Planner, I work with the Lead Advisor to develop strategies that help clients achieve their planning goals. When not attending or leading part of client meetings, I’m collaborating with our team’s Financial Planning Associate 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.

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

Senior Financial Planner


 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®

SENIOR FINANCIAL PLANNER


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 Senior Financial Planner, 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. 


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

Senior Financial Planner


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®    

SENIOR FINANCIAL PLANNER


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 Senior Financial Planner, 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.”


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

Financial Planning Associate


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’m an Adoption Ambassador with the Petco Foundation
  • I hate cheese (unless it’s parmesan)
  • Climbing to the peaks of mountains is one of my favorite things

Veronica L. Pflueger, CFP®     

FINANCIAL PLANNING ASSOCIATE

 

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 Financial Planning Associate at Woodward, I assist our Lead Advisors and Senior Financial Planners with implementing our client’s financial planning goals, as well as answer client questions, and prepare for and participate 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.

 



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

Financial Planning Associate

 

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® 

FINANCIAL PLANNING ASSOCIATE


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 Financial Planning Associate at Woodward, I assist our Lead Advisors and Senior Financial Planners 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.


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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.

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