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WHO WE ARE

Meet the Team


Jim Burns, CFP®, CPA Photo

Jim Burns, CFP®, CPA

Partner


Perfect Match

I think financial planning chose me as much as I chose it. After graduating college, I spent nearly three years in management consulting where I leveraged my accounting and CPA background. Unfortunately, I found the work unrewarding. Fortunately, the firm I was working for suggested a personality assessment coupled with cognitive testing to help discover fulfillment at work. The results were crystal clear; my calling was financial planning. As a partner at OnTrack, I use the powerful combination of consulting, accounting and my CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional training to benefit clients. I drive client plans to achieve their financial goals and love the personal relationships we develop along the way.


My Path to OnTrack

Starting OnTrack is the culmination of a circuitous and highly educational journey. I spent 10 years at two very different firms. The first was a smaller, fee-only financial services firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The second was Merrill Lynch—one of the largest financial companies in the U.S. Exposure to dozens of advisors over the years along with their best practices, and practices not worth repeating, informs my mindset for building a fantastic client experience. My mission is to help clients succeed, and that always starts with a client-first approach.


Golf Fanatic and Proud Papa

My beautiful wife and I live almost equidistant from the homes we grew up in. We have two kids under two and that makes us appreciate living close to our parents more than we ever could have imagined! I am obsessed with golf and cannot wait to introduce my kids to the game! There are a lot of lessons learned in golf that apply to financial planning. I have been known to explain finances through a golf analogy or two.

I am a third-generation graduate of Detroit Catholic Central High School. I serve on the Alumni Board and volunteer time conducting financial know-how workshops for students. I look forward to seeing my son graduate as a fourth-generation legacy 99 years after his great-grandfather did in 1938. Reading is a hobby I take seriously and appreciate any good book recommendation.


Jeremy Whiddon Photo

Jeremy Whiddon

Partner



Why Did I Choose This Career?

I am here because of an unscrupulous stockbroker. My parents were small business owners, and extra savings wisely went into investments. My dad died of cancer at just 54 years old. Afterwards, our stockbroker began churning accounts—excessive buying and selling commodities for a commission. This went on for nearly a year. The damage was truly egregious financially, ethically and legally.


Today, I am a partner at OnTrack. As history informs the present, I have a commitment to protect our clients from bad investments and bad actors. I want to build client trust as our currency. My mission: help clients see the very best side of investing and achieve their goals.


My Background: A Road Less Traveled

I am an anthropologist by training. Confused? Most are at first. I earned a graduate degree in business anthropology from Oregon State University (the Beavers, not the Ducks!)—part MBA, part cultural anthropology. The result is a specialty skill set for research and strategic planning that I utilize nearly every day at work.


Prior to OnTrack, I was vice president at Atlas Oil Company, a $3 billion downstream fuel marketer. I operated the emergency fueling division. We customized plans to eliminate business downtime during disasters like hurricanes and blackouts. Risk management and calm under pressure were the business hallmarks. I learned poise and good decision making in my role. Currently, I am completing my Masters in Science in Personal Financial Planning from Kansas State University. K-State has arguably the best program in the U.S. for financial planning. Research and continuous learning are part of my DNA that I will always leverage for client success.


Family and Favorites

We live in Michigan, halfway between Detroit and Ann Arbor. My wife is chief academic officer at Schoolcraft College. My son is avidly outdoors building go-carts and riding bikes. I coach little league and love baseball! Snow skiing, traveling and enjoying an all-day IPA or an Oregon pinot noir are among my favorite things. Philanthropy is high on our priorities. We passionately support the American Cancer Society, the Melanoma Research Alliance, the SADS Foundation and Gleaners Community Food Bank.

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