As an owner at Central Park for the last two years, Jill Williams has been flying under the radar as most residents have not had the opportunity to meet or get to know her. That’s because Jill and her partner, John Kane, actually make their home in a 100-unit luxury condo tower in Montclair, NJ where John is active on the owner’s association Board of Directors.
Jill graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in vocal performance and, while working on a master’s degree at Oklahoma City University, competed for and won the Miss Grand Lake pageant and was later crowned Miss Oklahoma in 1979.
She went on to win the Outstanding Talent Award and a sizable scholarship in the 1980 Miss America Pageant. It was during her reign as Miss Oklahoma, traveling extensively, that she discovered a love for the east coast and, more specifically, New York City.
She subsequently moved there and enjoyed a successful 15-year first career, performing primarily in Broadway musicals. Living in NYC as a single mom of a 4-year-old, she made the decision to move to the suburbs to pursue a career that might provide a longer, more stable path to financial security for her son, Champ (now 30 and living in Colorado).
While working as an actress, Jill developed a sideline interest investing in the stock market. That experience, combined with her hard work, patience and discipline led to her 2nd and current career as a Financial Advisor for the past 20 years.
Jill is a Certified Financial Planner and Divorce Financial Analyst, and leads a very successful practice in Montclair, NJ called Mindful Wealth Management, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise.
And now, as the fabled Paul Harvey used to say, “For the Rest of the Story.” Jill (Elmore) Williams grew up in Tulsa, the youngest of 5, and attended Central High School, then located downtown. Elmore you say? Yes, the sister of Central Park’s much beloved, Jim Elmore, now deceased.
Many longer-residing Central Park residents have fond memories of Jim Elmore, a former member of the CPOA board and the first chairman of the BAC (Branding, Activities & Communications) Committee.”
Jim lived in 450 Building in one of the most charming and enchanting studio apartments you have ever seen, making 500 square feet live and feel like a much larger space. It was truly unique and special, the result of Jim’s amazing imagination and creativity that made him a highly sought-after working-from-home graphic artist and designer, serving clients all over the country.
When Jim first advised me that he had purchased and was renovating a one-bedroom unit in the 410 Building I knew it was going to be spectacular based on what he had created in his studio. Working part time at his leisure with his brother, Steve who was collaborating with him, Jim stripped the unit to the studs and began a state-of-the-art renovation where every detail was meticulously planned and executed.
Like a few others around Central Park I used to drop by the unit every week or so to see Jim and observe the progress. It was painstakingly slow, but it didn’t seem to matter much to Jim and his brother, Steve, as the goal was obviously perfection, not a speedy completion date.
It was after they had gutted the space and done most of the sheetrock work that Jim developed complications from back surgery and died in his sleep.
As Jill had been designated Executor of his estate, she was tasked with handling his affairs and she listed the unfinished unit with me to market it in its unfinished state. But as they were navigating the estate settlement process, she and John decided to buy it from the estate and they asked Steve, to complete the renovations in a manner consistent with Jim’s original vision. I was honored to handle the details of the sale for them.
It took a year and was a true labor of love! Jill has been intentional not just with the renovations but also in furnishing and decorating it with her use of art from Tulsa galleries and local artists, which is an ongoing process that she very much enjoys. The finished product is absolutely stunning.
Jill and John also have a vacation home in Jackson, WY where they ski in the winter and hike in the summer. John is a competitive runner, and with Tulsa as another ‘home away from home’ now, they are enjoying all that it has to offer with the Gathering Place, Philbrook Art Museum, and the Chili Bowl Nationals which John loves.
Jill Williams has wealth-management clients in Tulsa, so having a home here provides a great opportunity to see them face to face, as much of the work that she does is done virtually. The ability to maintain the level of service required for wealth management from Montclair, Jackson Hole or Tulsa makes for a wonderful way to see Oklahoma family on a more regular basis as well!
Inspired by Jim’s legacy at Central Park, Jill and John appreciate the challenges and opportunities of community living and look forward to the continued development the community’s quality of life. Jill confided to me, “As much as I miss my brother, I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to complete the vision he had for this space, and to have a place in Tulsa that I can also call home.”
In closing, I saved this for last as I wanted the focus to be Jill and John, but quite coincidentally I had a long-time professional relationship with Jill’s father, also known as Jim Elmore, an avid runner and highly respected career interior designer at Rich’s of Tulsa.
We met in 1976 after buying a new home near 21st and Lewis, and Jim helped us design and decorate its interior with furniture from Rich’s. We continued to work with him and seek his wise counsel every time we bought furniture or updated the décor in our home until his passing over 35-years later in 2012.
It is hard to put into words just how much Bonnie and I adored Jim. He was a true gentleman, gracious, kind, humble and he had a great sense of humor. We miss him a lot and will never forget his gentle and soft-spoken manner, which was also a trait of his son, Jim. Obviously, Jill Williams has earned many acclimations in her life, and it is not surprising considering she is the daughter of one of the nicest and most professional people I have ever known and a member of a family so rich in talent and accomplishments. Please join me in welcoming Jill and John to Central Park.