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2020 Men of the Year: Kenneth Williams

Stifel Financial Corp.

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Over the span of his 24 years as a financial adviser, Kenneth Williams has worked with countless clients to help them build firm financial foundations.

As the Springfield branch manager for Stifel Financial Corp., he’s now focused on hiring, coaching and mentoring advisers.

He cites recent examples of helping one financial adviser migrate from the field of banking into a career as a financial consultant and helping another adviser transition from working for a competitor.

Both moves helped these two advance their careers and proved successful, he says.

Williams began his career as a financial consultant in 1996 in Joplin and moved to Springfield to become branch manager of Stifel Financial’s Battlefield Road office in 2017.

Williams has given his support in both communities. One of his proudest accomplishments is helping to lead the Joplin Rotary Tornado Task Force in 2011.

He says the group fundraised, cleared debris, built the Will Norton Miracle Field and two Habitat for Humanity homes.

“The relief and rebuilding effort was monumental, and I’m proud to have led a piece of the effort,” Williams says.

Williams’ community involvement continues in Joplin and Springfield. He serves on the board of directors for the Children’s Center of Southwest Missouri, which provides assessment and treatment for children who are abused.

The multidisciplinary approach ensures all interviews and evaluations take place in one spot so the child isn’t asked to repeat the trauma many times to law enforcement, social workers or other interested parties.

“Through this involvement, I have helped lead the charge of helping abused children in southwest Missouri, as well as helping justice to be served,” he says.

Other volunteer efforts include serving on the board of the Victim Center and pitching in on food preparation and distribution through a Drew Lewis Foundation program at the Fairbanks Community Hub.

“Not only does he want to have a presence and respect in Springfield, he also knows that he, personally, must make himself an asset to our city and be a devoted resident of this community,” says Barbara Rae Hughes, who works with Williams at Stifel.

Williams says that as his career progresses, he hopes to continue to help advisers and employees grow in their careers.

He is particularly looking forward to coaching his son, Connor, who is embarking on a career in finance and recently graduated from the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas with a finance degree.

“For the community … I want to help lead it to a better place each day,” he says.

“As I build a house here, I look forward to being more involved and more engaged in the community, doing my part to make a better future for everyone.”

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