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Our History & Community Involvement

History by Robert Williams

History by Robert Williams

The business started in 1971 as Williams Tax Service. I needed a challenge and my wife, Sharon, wanted to have a business where we could work together. Sharon was the Office Manager for many years. She established the tone of the office that emphasized cooperation and teamwork. Our employees are the source of our strength. Most stay with us in excess of 10, 20, and a few in excess of 30 years.

In June 1972 this region experienced the flood caused by Hurricane Agnes. Few tax preparers had experience with or knew how to handle disaster area casualty losses. I wrote a guide for disaster casualty losses that was adopted by a national tax firm, Tax Corporation of America.

The 1972 tax preparation year would have begun in 1973 normally, but it began in September 1972 (carrying losses to earlier years) and lasted throughout 1973 and beyond in some cases. As a result, Williams Tax Service was firmly established. We did not advertise in 1972 and have not advertised since. The message to the employees has been: do the best job you are capable of doing and you will be rewarded. This has worked for 45 years.

Employee participation has always been a feature of the firm. Throughout our history, the employees have been a major component deciding the services we provide and the direction of the firm. The first new direction after tax preparation was accounting and business management services. These services were provided by some of the original preparer staff and by 1976 we had a full time accountant and bookkeeper in addition to the tax preparers.

In 1978, I left my teaching career at Elmira Correctional Facility (I did my time) to concentrate on building Williams Tax Service. The second new direction of the firm was to become an investment company, quickly building a life and disability insurance capability. These activities started in 1980. At this time the name of the firm changed to Williams Tax & Financial Planning. The 1980’s saw the firm move into retirement/pension planning as well as estate planning.

In 1988, Williams Capital Corporation was formed. We continued to use the DBA Williams Tax & Financial Planning for several years, dropping it in the early 1990’s. In the 1990’s the firm added Charitable Giving Planning. In some cases, we had to drop activities for clients because we felt it took us too far afield from the things we do best. We once opened an office in Mansfield, Pennsylvania. This office was closed in 8 short months because we felt we were unable to operate the business to our high standards with an additional location.

We usually do not quickly hire new staff. New hires typically spend one to two years before they are ready to provide the range of services we offer. One newly minted graduate in finance said, “He thought he had a college education, but coming to work for us was like attending college for 2 more years.”

This company has had many of its current and former employees make us proud. Several have gone on to hold important positions, become very successful financially; making important contributions to society. One became a PHD and founded a new branch of business management. A goal of the firm has been, from inception, to create a milieu where any employee could become all they are capable of being. The wealth this firm creates is not only financial, it includes human potential and growth.

The only regret I have retiring, is I wish I could start all over again. When you are creating anything; this is when you are truly alive.

Robert C. Williams, Retired

Founder and Owner, 1971-2016 

Community Involvement

Community Involvement

In addition to helping clients build their dreams and their futures, Williams Capital Corporation (WCC) has always had a focus on a broader concern: Building Communities! Community can be a smaller activity such as a viable Scouting or 4-H program, or something that impacts the larger community.

This activity started before WCC was fully established. When our founder, Robert Williams (retired), was an educator, he was a co-founder of the Southern Tioga Schools Pennsylvania State Educators Association Chapter. When he was an educator at the Elmira Correctional Facility, he was a co-founder of the Institutional Educators Association of New York where he wrote the Charter and Bylaws of the Association (IEA no longer exists. NY Corrections Educators are now represented by a broader based employee's union).

A very important part of the community is the Fire and Emergency Services. Mr. Williams served as a member of the Blossburg Fire Department, the Himrod Fire Department and was an EMT for the Penn Yan Ambulance Corps.

Mr. Williams also served with many professional organizations. He was a member and officer for the NYS Independent Accountants Association. He was on the Board of Assessment review for the City of Elmira, the Board of Woodlawn Cemetery (which is city owned) and was on the first Board of Elmira Downtown Development.

Mr. Williams has been the President, Treasurer and currently serves on the board of Chemung County Family Services (over 20 years of service). The delivery of mental health services in Chemung and surrounding counties has always been a high personal priority. Additionally, he is currently on the board of Chemung County Veterans Monument, Inc., the Wings of Eagles Discovery Center and is a life member of the Susquehanna River Archaeology Center

Our current owner and staff have and continue to participate and volunteer for many community events & organizations:

Lynn Williams (Owner, CFP, Tax Practioner) was a Girl Scout Troop co-leader and currently operates Giggly Girls Facepainting where she donates her time and talents to many community fundraisers.

Barb Squires (Tax Practitioner) has been very active in our community. She served as the co-chair for the United Way campaign at Corning Community College (CCC), was a board member and treasurer at AIM (Access to Independence & Mobility) and a small group leader with Griefshare. She has volunteered for the Alzheimer's Association, Spencer Crest Nature Center and the United Way of the Southern Tier. She has also been a volunteer small group leader for youth conferences at Montreat and Presbyterian Youth Triennium. Currently, Barb is the President of CCC's Campus Ministries Advisory Board and she is involved in the Finance Committee, Clerk of Session, Hands-On Mission Team and Youth Christian Education at First Presbyterian Church of Elmira .

Earl Wright (Accountant, Consultant) has volunteered on several occasions at the St Mary's Our Mother Parish Festival fundraiser. He is an Elks and American Legion member and is currently Co-President and Treasurer for the Big Flats Historical Society.

Sharon Martin (Branch Office Manager) has served on the Elmira Heights Events committee, volunteered for the Susan G. Komen Foundation and volunteered for the Reading Is Fundamental project at Diven Elementary School.

Williams Capital Corporation has been a big supporter of Elmira Downtown Development, their executive director had this to say:

Williams Capital Corporation

More than just another business in downtown Elmira

The Williams Family chose to open their business downtown rather than take it elsewhere. Not only do they work in the downtown district, they get involved in the activities of downtown Elmira. Leading by example, they donate financially to special events and also donate their time to participate. Whether its Mr. Williams dancing in the streets during the Twin Tiers Jazz Festival, Lynn and her daughter Riley painting faces at the Elmira Street Painting Festival or the whole family and staff enjoying the company of community while listening to local bands at Alive After 5, they are dedicated to being a part of the blueprint of the downtown district. Bob and Lynn Williams are one of many of Downtown Elmira's business people whose volunteerism and contributions make our community such a special place to live and work.

Jennifer Herrick-McGonigal

Executive Director, Elmira Downtown Development

*Williams Capital Corporation will again be a sponsor of the Elmira Street Painting Festival and Alive After 5 events in 2017. WCC is also donating window space for the Leadership Chemung and Elmira Downtown Development initiative.