The McAlester Entrepreneurial Spirit
How One Entrepreneur Built a National Business from McAlester, Oklahoma (and why he loves it here)
Entrepreneurs are always looking for the right place to launch their business. According to Jimmy Williams, owner of Compass Capital Management, McAlester, Oklahoma is the right place. As an entrepreneur, he chose to build a national financial planning company in McAlester, rather than in a major metro. On a personal level, he wanted to raise his family in this vibrant community. But professionally, he knew McAlester had the right ingredients to help his company thrive. And so, after starting his career at one of the world’s largest CPA firms, Deloitte & Touche, he came back to McAlester.
“I am pretty entrepreneurial and decided to go to a smaller city where I can make a big difference in the future of families, rather than corporations. That’s how I ended up coming back home. Never discount the smaller communities – go digging for opportunities. If you put the effort in to uncover the opportunity, you’ll be surprised by how well you can do in towns like McAlester,” said Williams.
“There is a strong sense of opportunity and growth in McAlester. For entrepreneurs, it’s an incredible place to be because the community is so supportive. If you have a good idea, and the need is there, you can start a business easily and quickly in McAlester. That’s simply not the case in a major city,” he said.
Jimmy Williams would know. Compass Capital Management’s team has grown exponentially and manages assets for families from McAlester and throughout the country. “Even though we manage hundreds of millions of dollars, you’ll never get a call center here. You get a person who will explain things and provide a high level of service. Our customers appreciate that and 92% of our business comes from referrals,” he said.
That’s the McAlester way - high-quality people providing high-quality service. “You won’t believe the quality of our 45,000+ people. There are 6 million people within two hours of us, but McAlester’s talent is top-notch. Plus with Kiamichi Tech in McAlester, workforce training is all under one roof so it’s easy for people to get the skills they need to grow in their careers,” said Williams. “If you want to raise a family and have a challenging career with upside for income growth, this size of the community is perfect.”
He has seen a lot of young families coming back to McAlester for these very opportunities. “People are also moving here to have more control over their children’s education. With small classes and the opportunity to be involved in curriculum and policy decisions, parents can take more of an active role in their child’s growing up experience.” After raising his two daughters in McAlester, Jimmy values that opportunity.
“I appreciate McAlester and want to leave a legacy here. I want to make the world better for the 45,000 people in this community,” he said. That’s why Jimmy is actively involved in the community and volunteers with organizations like the Lions Club, while also serving on boards and with other service organizations. “I encourage everyone who has an idea that can be used to improve people’s lives or the environment around us to come to McAlester. This size of a city is where you can make a tremendous exponential impact.”