Meet the Willis Johnson
& Associates Team
Willis Johnson, CFP®
Willis Johnson serves as the president and CEO of Willis Johnson & Associates. As a Certified Financial Planner®, Mr. Johnson provides a full complement of financial services to individuals as they go through the transitions in their corporate life. Most corporate professionals will retire once in their life, but Mr. Johnson has assisted hundreds of clients to navigate through the retirement process over the course of his career.
In the span of over 35 years, Mr. Johnson has honed decades of experience assisting clients as they struggle with almost every important financial decision you can imagine. He has helped these corporate professionals to overcome their emotions and objectively assess their available options.
Mr. Johnson’s ability to listen to his clients’ motivations, paired with his acquired wisdom enable him to guide clients down a retirement path that maximizes their benefits while taking advantage of their unique opportunities along the way. Mr. Johnson considers himself both a financial advisor and a life counselor as he assists his clients in prioritizing their personal needs, offers realistic advice, and accompanies them on their path to financial success.
During his 35 years as an advisor, 13 years with a national financial advisory firm and 22 years as a principal at his own firm, Mr. Johnson implemented exclusive estate and financial planning techniques. His structured methodology-- customized for each client-- is still the basis of his approach today.
Building grounded, long-term relationships while understanding client objectives and goals is the foundation of Willis’ success as a Certified Financial Planner® professional. Mr. Johnson received a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting from the University of Houston. He also practiced with a national CPA firm before obtaining his CFP® designation.
Nick Johnson, CFA®, CFP®
Nick Johnson CFA®, CFP® believes that financial planning is more than numbers on a balance sheet and a standardized process. People are unique and should be treated as such. As vice president and wealth manager at Willis Johnson & Associates, Nick’s goal is to develop a solid understanding of his clients while providing a proactive approach to comprehensive wealth management.
Nick is responsible for monitoring the financial health of his clients and providing timely updates regarding changes to their financial plans. To effectively monitor a client’s financial well-being, an advisor must have a firm grasp of the life passions and/or goals specific to that individual. It is Nick’s job to initiate productive conversations where he can combine his own financial planning wisdom with the unique emotional elements of a corporate professional’s life.
Overall, Nick measures financial planning success by his ability to help corporate professionals maximize their hard-earned money. However, Nick considers himself successful as an advisor when clients naturally turn to him for financial advice as they would like a trusted family member or close friend. In addition to serving as an advisor, Nick serves an integral role as a member of Willis Johnson & Associates Investment Committee.
The Investment Committee makes all of the decisions in regards to asset allocation, style/theme distribution, and security selection for their client portfolios. Nick’s strong analytical skills, dedication to the fundamentals of investing, and Chartered Financial Analyst designation bring unique insight to their investment decisions.
In school, Nick always had a passion for analytic research and analysis but found within himself the need to balance that with personal connections. These desires led him to pursue a dual major in finance and drama, along with a minor in economics from Trinity University. He thrived in the finance and economics classes, often finding himself leading study groups and teaching concepts that came easily to him.
While concurrently studying finance, Nick spent most of his free time in the theater department working on over 40 stage productions both in the department and the community at large. This in-depth study of the humanities let him deepen his understanding of the motivations and inter-workings of people, a skill he uses very much to this day.
After graduating from Trinity University, Nick began working as an investment analyst at Willis Johnson & Associates He started his studies for the CFA® exam during this time as well. After gaining experience on the investments side, researching funds, tracking investments, and trading large blocks of client accounts, he moved over to the financial planning arm of the company and later transitioned into a financial advisory role.
In addition to being a CFA®, Nick earned his designation as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ after completing the board’s preliminary financial planning experience requirements and certification exam in April 2018.
Nick is a Houston native and uses his passion for learning to inspire the personal and professional development of the city’s working professionals and executives. He believes in the power of education to impact both the individual and their community by enabling more informed decision making in terms of their careers, their money, and most importantly, their life goals.
Nick is a strong proponent of continued education, which is reflected via his heavy investment in his personal career, the careers of the WJA team, and the lifetime careers of the clients he serves.
During his free time, Nick lectures as an adjunct professor at the University of Houston Bauer College of Business, is involved in the CFA® Professional Mentorship Program, and is an active participant in the University of Houston Bauer College of Business’s SURE Program, which fosters a partnership between students and Houston’s business thought leaders and aspiring entrepreneurs from under-resourced communities.
When he’s not teaching or being taught, Nick enjoys spending time outdoors and embarking on weekend rock climbing excursions across the states.
Bob Lowerre’s current position as a senior investment analyst with Willis Johnson & Associates allows him to assist in the implementation of model portfolios aligned to meet one’s risk tolerance. Bob is passionate about keeping up with current events and melding the current environment with suitable investment ideas.
Utilizing technical analysis on the front end helps drive portfolio themes that are verified on the back end with fundamental analysis. Being a steward to the livelihood of others drives him on a daily basis. In addition, Bob handles a majority of the firm’s compliance tasks to ensure the firm is compliant with SEC rules and regulations.
Previously, Bob worked at a one-man broker-dealer. As a college student, he worked part-time helping create client review books and helping to open new accounts, all the while absorbing as much as he could with respect to the current markets and market history.
His boss opened his broker-dealer in 1962, so he gained a lot of valuable insight into market cycles and corresponding investment ideas. Bob eventually became so passionate about investments that he left the firm as an advisor to take his current position assisting in the modeling of client portfolios.
Leah Cessna, CPA
Leah joined Willis Johnson & Associates in 2019 as a Tax Manager. Prior to joining the firm, Leah climbed up through the ranks of public accounting, beginning at Ernst & Young. She has extensive experience in individual and business taxation, as well as the foreign filing requirements for U.S. citizens and residents. For Willis Johnson & Associates, she will be leading the development of the tax division which will offer year-round tax planning and compliance for our clients, as well as education on tax topics. She is a gifted tax researcher and enjoys computing different scenarios for tax planning. She is eager to help clients easily maneuver through the ever-stressful tasks of tax planning and tax filing.
Leah completed her Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Accounting through the prestigious integrated MPA (iMPA) program at the University of Texas at Austin. She is a Certified Public Accountant and is a member of the AICPA, and the AICPA’s Tax and Personal Financial Planning divisions.
Outside the office, she is actively involved in the Austin County Texas Exes, the alumni association of the University of Texas. She serves earnestly, alongside other alumni to provide scholarships for deserving students graduating from Austin County schools. She and her husband, David, have two sons. In her free time, she teaches the flute choir at Bellville High School and performs in the professional flute choir, Brazos Breeze, based out of Bryan-College Station.
As office administrator, Maritsa Parkman values the opportunity to wear many hats, as she is involved in the firm’s operations, human resources, and compliance departments. In addition to these responsibilities, Maritsa also serves as the firm’s first point of contact for handling incoming calls and scheduling client meetings.
Maritsa graduated from Texas A&M University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology. After a few years of working in an administrative role at a small physical therapy clinic, Maritsa realized her strengths were in office operations and administration. This realization prompted her search for opportunities where she could better utilize her skills and grow within a company.
Maritsa has been with Willis Johnson & Associates since 2016 and enjoys working alongside such a strong group of professionals with a great reputation in the industry.
Outside of the office, Maritsa enjoys health and fitness and can be found at the yoga studio taking classes daily. In her free time, she loves spending time with her husband, binge-watching TV shows, cooking, and trying new recipes.
Alexis Long, MBA, CFP®
Alexis Long is currently a wealth manager with Willis Johnson & Associates, which allows her to meet people from diverse backgrounds with different goals and to assist them in reaching those goals as efficiently as possible.
For Alexis, financial planning combines her interest in producing detail-oriented financial plans with a desire to help people reach their goals, whether it be retiring early, paying for their grandchildren’s educations, buying a second home, or leaving a legacy for their children. Understanding what is truly important to a client is key to good financial planning, along with providing solid technical advice.
Previously, Alexis worked at another wealth management firm which was her first job in the financial planning and advising industry. She was able to learn the basics of financial planning from the ground up and quickly expanded her knowledge as a paraplanner.
After graduating with a BBA from Texas Tech University, Alexis held positions ranging from real estate to bankruptcy law while searching for her true career passion. It was not until her attendance in the MBA program at the University of Saint Thomas that she started learning more about the financial planning and advising industry. Alexis recognized financial planning and advising was the career that best suited her.
Jason Mishaw, MSF, CFA®
As a wealth manager at Willis Johnson & Associates, Jason Mishaw is actively involved in both the financial planning role and the investment management role. On the financial planning side, he helps to implement customized financial plans for WJA clients that maximize tax efficiencies through retirement and estate planning.
On the investment management side, under the supervision of a senior wealth manager, he assesses the financial goals of WJA clients by considering income generation and risk tolerance, and assists in creating a customized strategy to further those goals.
Jason first gained experience in the asset management world during his internship at Merrill Lynch, where he gained initial exposure to active portfolio management. He began to see the value that he could provide for clients in establishing proper allocations among asset classes based on their risk tolerance. He also began to see the value of model-based investing that removes the element of emotion from the investing process.
Jason received a Master of Science degree in finance from the University of Houston C.T. Bauer College of Business. He received a BA in economics and a BS in biochemistry and cell biology from Rice University.
John Siegel, CFP®
John Siegel is a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner with over a dozen years of experience in the financial services arena, as well as many years serving in capacities throughout the legal and non-profit sectors. It was John’s experience working in the legal field that inspired him to become a financial advisor.
He witnessed firsthand how the improper setup of trusts and probate wills burdened families with issues that could have been easily prevented with proper proactive planning. When working with the families he advises, John’s experience allows him to combine his rich industry knowledge with his passion for providing clarity and confidence to each client’s unique financial vision.
John joined Willis Johnson & Associates in 2018 as a wealth manager. Before joining the WJA team, John served as a wealth strategist for a leading private bank, as well as vice president of wealth planning for a comprehensive financial planning firm. While fulfilling these roles, John worked with business executives, business owners, and family guardians on a host of planning matters, helping them grow, preserve, and enjoy their wealth.
Preceding his career in financial services, John was an auditor for a probate court where he oversaw the administration of over 1500 estates and trusts. In addition, he worked as a paralegal for an estate planning law firm where he drafted planning documents and managed estate administrations. John also worked as a fundraising/development officer for education and health care institutions.
John earned his Bachelor of Arts at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and completed his Certified Financial Planner™ studies at Rice University. John is currently pursuing his Enrolled Agent (EA) designation with the Internal Revenue Service.
John is active in the professional community as a member of the Houston Estate and Financial Forum and of Houston Chapter of the Financial Planning Association, which has recognized John for distinguished service. John also has served as both president and treasurer of the Planned Giving Council of Houston, as well as treasurer for the St. Stephen’s Episcopal School of Houston.
Bobby Cope, MS, CFP®
Robert (Bobby) Cope joined Willis Johnson & Associates as a financial paraplanner in May of 2017 after recently graduating from the University of Alabama. For Bobby, entering the financial planning profession allows him to both assist the associate wealth managers of the firm in handling daily operations, and, more importantly, assist clients in various facets of their lives as they prepare for retirement.
During college, Bobby interned with Prospera Financial, a broker-dealer based in Dallas, which ultimately led to his decision to enter the wealth management profession in a financial planner position, specifically with a fee-based RIA as opposed to a traditional brokerage operation.
Bobby liked the idea of pursuing an opportunity where he could spend time working under experienced wealth management professionals and learn aspects of the industry that cannot be taught in a classroom.
Rather than focusing on gathering assets, he wanted to begin his career path with the opportunity to focus on the technical planning side, before moving more into addressing clients directly face-to-face as an advisor. After nearly two years of working on financial analysis and learning the ropes as a Paraplanner at WJA, Bobby was promoted to Associate Wealth Manager where his skills have been effectively utilized in a client-facing capacity.
Bobby graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Alabama Honors College in May of 2017. He completed a dual degree program that awarded him an M.S. in Human Environmental Sciences, with a concentration in Family Financial Planning and Counseling, as well as a B.S. in Human Environmental Sciences, with a concentration in Consumer Sciences. At Alabama, Bobby was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon social fraternity, as well as many other groups and honor societies on campus.
In his spare time, Bobby enjoys playing golf, despite his unfortunate chipping ability. He likes to clear his head while jogging, throwing a baseball, and spending time with friends. When he is back in Birmingham, he enjoys spending time with his family and attending the church where he grew up.
Ashley Richards joined Willis Johnson & Associates in December 2017 as a wealth management intern, before becoming one of the firm's client operations administrators. A year later, she was promoted to a Paraplanner position where she assists the lead advisors in analyzing client information and finding solutions to help people reach their goals. She also provides detailed research on relevant topics to ensure that we are constantly providing the most efficient recommendations.
Ashley graduated summa cum laude from the University of Houston, C.T. Bauer College of Business with a degree in finance and a certificate in personal financial planning. She is also a lifetime member of Beta Gamma Sigma, an international business honor society.
In her spare time, Ashley enjoys traveling with her husband and spending time with her family.
Brandon joined Willis Johnson & Associates in June of 2019 as a Paraplanner. While attending Texas A&M, he started his wealth management career earning college credit as an intern at UBS Financial Services. There, he could see the positive impact one could have as an advisor firsthand. He graduated from Texas A&M with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a minor in Business.
Upon graduation, Brandon accepted a job at an investment firm in client services. He focused on customer service with clients and assisted advisors in account management, executing trades, and addressing client inquiries. Brandon grew from his role in Client Services to an Internal Sales Consultant where he worked alongside financial advisors in selecting investments for their clientele. Brandon enjoyed helping advisors get, keep, and grow their business, and knowing the positive impact his work resulted in for his client’s retirement.
After 15 years with the organization, Brandon decided to move into an advisory role and joined the WJA team as a Paraplanner. In this role, Brandon provides detailed research and technical analysis to assist Wealth Managers in preparing relevant recommendations for our clients.
Outside the office, Brandon lives a busy and fulfilling life. He and his wife, Viki, have been married since 2006 and have two sons, Cannon and Cade. He coaches both boys in baseball, basketball, and flag football. When he’s not coaching, he can be found grilling or smoking meals in his backyard. Brandon and his wife are very involved with their church where he serves as a Confirmation teacher for 7th and 8th graders. Brandon loves rooting for Houston’s sports teams and supporting local breweries. Brandon and Viki own multiple gyms where they find satisfaction in helping people reach their health and fitness goals.
Carolina Tagtmeyer joined Willis Johnson & Associates in the spring of 2014 as an investment operations associate and has served in the financial services industry for eleven years. She has a degree in international business from UNISEB in Riberão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil and is currently pursuing an additional international relations degree at the Florida International University.
Carolina’s experience also includes working as an investment advisor assistant for a wealth management office in Miami assisting with client services.
Outside of the office, Carolina enjoys paddle boarding, boxing, spending time with her husband, son, and their dog, and volunteering at pet shelters.
Allison Aubel joined Willis Johnson & Associates in July 2018 as a client operations administrator.
Allison graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Arts in English in May 2013. Her previous experience includes working as an executive assistant at a management consulting and financial advisory firm, and most recently as an administrative coordinator at a consulting and investment banking firm.
Outside of the office, Allison enjoys traveling, attending sporting events and spending time with her husband and 3-year-old chocolate lab.
Elena joined Willis Johnson & Associates in 2018 as the director of marketing. She came on board with the goal to build a comprehensive marketing program designed to serve our firm’s clients by providing them with the resources necessary to ensure an optimal experience when partnering with our wealth managers.
Elena believes a seamless and informed client experience is essential to establishing strong relationships founded on trust and understanding. Her objective for the marketing team is to supply clients and prospects with financial planning knowledge provided by WJA advisors catered to their unique life goals and needs.
Prior to joining the WJA team, Elena was the director of marketing at a global technology company where she developed client-focused marketing strategies for numerous business units. She also led the marketing team at a global genetics laboratory, which functioned to provide worldwide genealogy testing. Her desire to return to a more personable business environment fueled her decision to join Willis Johnson & Associates.
Elena earned her Bachelor of Science degree at Florida International University and completed her Master of Business Administration at Keller Graduate School of Management in Houston, TX. Elena is active in the professional community as a Houston chapter member of InterNations, Dress for Success and the American Marketing Association.