While many small businesses saw dramatically shrinking revenues and even closed their doors this past year, our team managed to persevere. Upon the initial shutdown, we pivoted and leaned into helping Houston's corporate professionals and their families get through a fearful and uncertain time with financial peace of mind. For the fourth year in a row, Willis Johnson and Associates was named to the University of Houston's Cougar 100. In the context of such a turbulent year where financial growth, company culture, and employee well-being were nothing short of challenging, receiving this recognition means that much more.
How We've Grown Our Business
The number of businesses owned and operated by U of H alumni has continually grown since the Cougar 100 award's establishment in 2014. Being repeatedly acknowledged upon this roster of diverse organizations signifies WJA's successful growth over the years. We believe ranking among the top 50 is an achievement that recognizes our client's appreciation of our firm's commitment to serving their best interests. More importantly, this growth indicates just how many more of Houston's families we've given peace of mind through this time with our services. By combining tax planning and investment management with our unmatched knowledge of employee benefits at companies like BP, Shell, and Chevron, we can offer comprehensive, tax-efficient financial guidance that helps our clients in their journey towards a successful retirement.
Maintaining Company Culture & Employee Well-Being in a Pandemic
Navigating COVID-19 as a small business presented numerous challenges, and we saw unemployment reach lows we hadn't seen since the Great Depression. Many employees came out of 2020 and into 2021 run-down, unmotivated, and reporting a negative work experience.
To keep employees productive and happy, companies like Willis Johnson & Associates realized they'd need to step outside the box to keep their company culture and employee well-being intact. While the employee experience at WJA looked different in 2020 (virtual events, mental health days, COVID Bingo, and socially distanced activities as a firm), we're also proud that our employees voted us as one of the 2020 InvestmentNews' Best Places to Work for Financial Advisors across the nation. Amidst the growth our firm saw in revenue and new clients, we're proud that our employees took it in stride and continued to serve our clients with the utmost levels of excellence and care.
Why We're Honored by this Recognition
Being named to the Cougar 100 in a year marked by the impacts of COVID-19 showcases our firm's ability to innovate and work together through unprecedented situations. It also acknowledges the resilience our team brings to the firm — without it, successfully overcoming such a difficult year would not have been possible.
Anyone who knows Willis Johnson, the firm's CEO, knows that he continuously pushes his staff and clients' services towards excellence. As a proud Cougar, Willis incorporates many of the University of Houston's core values of innovation, collaboration, and resilience into his firm. By combining efforts firm-wide, we can enhance the quality of service we provide to better meet our clients' needs.
"In the face of uncertainty, we hope that the guidance we offer has provided some stability to those we serve within the Houston community," Willis Johnson said. "The growth we've been able to achieve as a firm by helping these families, despite the inevitable setbacks we faced in the pandemic, validates that we're able to fulfill our promise of giving them peace of mind through the good and bad times."
How the Companies on the Cougar 100 are Ranked
This list recognizes the fastest-growing businesses that are owned or led by UH alumni to demonstrate Cougar excellence.
- Firms receive their ranking within the Cougar 100 based on their percentage of compound annual growth in sales or revenue across three consecutive years.
- To qualify, gross revenues must exceed $250,000, and the firm must have been in business for at least five years.
- The results are calculated and set out by PKF Texas in Houston, an individual accounting firm that provides similar services to other prestigious award organizations.
To learn more about the ranking, or review the complete list, visit the Cougar 100 Honorees Page.
Third-party rankings and recognition are no guarantee of future investment success and do not ensure existing or prospective clients will experience a higher level of performance or results. These ratings should not be constructed as an endorsement of the advisor by any client, nor are they representative of any one client's evaluation. Some awards require payment for consideration, while others don't; check the awarding party's website to see full terms and conditions for awards.