Our Story

Our Story

In 2002, Financial advisors Jon Sweet and Mark Williams came together to form Oak Leaf Wealth Management. They are committed to offering comprehensive financial planning, superior investing strategies, and truly listening to their clients. 

Jon’s daughter, Marja joined the team as a Junior Advisor in 2015 and adds a fresh perspective to the team, especially in regards to client service and support.

In the summer of 2017, they welcomed fellow Commonwealth Financial Network® advisor, John Gunning to the group. His 20+ years of experience adds to the scope of Oak Leaf’s knowledge-base.

Oak Leaf serves greater New England with offices in: 

  • Newport, RI
  • North Smithfield, RI 
  • Rehoboth, MA and
  • South Easton, MA

We are very discerning about the people we employ. We work with people who emulate our values and who feel like family. Our office staff is made up of members who have that special spark. They go the extra mile for our clients. They stay until the job is done. And they smile. A lot. 

Meet Our Oak Leaf Family: 
(Click on the photo to read each bio.)

Jon Sweet, CFP®, AIF®

Financial Advisor

FUN FACT: Jon spent a year sailing on a tall ship as a teenager.

Professional Credentials

  • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (™) professional
  • Accredited Investment Fiduciary (™) designee
  • FINRA Uniform Securities State Law Examination (Series 63)
  • FINRA Uniform Investment Advisor Law Examination (Series 65)
  • FINRA General Securities Principal Examination (Series 24)
  • FINRA General Securities Representative (Series 7)
  • Life and Health Insurance License*
  • Investment Adviser Representative of Commonwealth Financial Network

A founding member of Oak Leaf Wealth Management, Jon is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary® designee who runs an independent practice, which allows him to makes financial recommendations that are based on the best interests of his clients.  His firm specializes in Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, and Asset Allocation.

In line with his love of research, he takes an educational role with clients, making complex theories easy to understand. He helps clients define their financial goals and guides them on the path towards achieving them.

Jon has been involved in financial planning for over 30 years He was hired as one of the youngest financial advisers at American Express in Boston in 1985. He was 25. A true academic, he served as a District manager for Amex in the Boston and metro market until he started his own practice in 1998.

In his free time, he can be found playing guitar, reading on his iPad, or boxing. Jon lives in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, with his wife Julia, son Noah, and their two mini Australian Shephards Lucy and Butchie. He is very proud to be working with his daughter, Marja.

Leaders_seal
 

Jon Sweet is proud to have been recognized as a Leaders Level advisor for 2016—a distinction based on annual production attained by just 10 percent of advisors affiliated with Commonwealth Financial Network.

Each year, Commonwealth, the broker/dealer–RIA that helps us process investment transactions on your behalf, recognizes Leaders Level advisors by inviting them to an exclusive gathering of their peers, leading industry experts, and Commonwealth home office staff. Leaders Level advisors benefit from an intensive learning and networking experience designed to help them hone their expertise, share best practices, and provide ever-higher levels of service, education, and leadership to their clients.

jon five star 2017 HORIZONTAL
 

* Fixed insurance products and services offered through Oak Leaf Wealth Management or CES Insurance Agency.

** FIVE STAR award is based on 10 objective eligibility and evaluation criteria, including a minimum of 5 years as an active credentialed financial professional, favorable regulatory and complaint history, accepts new clients, client retention rates, client assets administered, education, and professional designations.  476 Rhode Island wealth managers were considered for the award; 188 (40 percent of candidates) were named 2017 Five Star Wealth Managers. (The criteria provided reflects the most recent year for which advisor received the award. The criteria used, the number of wealth managers considered for the award, and the percentage of those who receive the award, may vary from year to year). These awards are not indicative of the wealth managers' future performance. Your experiences may vary. For more information, please visit www.fivestarprofessional.com.

Mark Williams, CFP®

Financial Advisor

FUN FACT: As a lifelong skier, Mark spent eight years in the ski industry before returning to college.

Professional Credentials

  • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (™) professional
  • FINRA Uniform Securities State Law Examination (Series 63)
  • FINRA Uniform Investment Advisor Law Examination (Series 65)
  • FINRA General Securities Representative (Series 7)
  • Licensed in Life and Health Insurance*
  • Investment Adviser Representative of Commonwealth Financial Network ®

Mark began his financial services career in 1984, when he accepted a position with the mortgage-banking subsidiary of Citizens Bank, achieving the level of vice president and manager of the Farmington, Connecticut, office. His division coordinated with Private Banking Services to provide specialized lending products to high-net worth-individuals. In early 1988, he was recruited by Connecticut National Bank for a similar role.

In May 1989, Mark joined IDS/American Express Financial Advisors to pursue his broader interests in personal financial planning. In September 1998, Mark affiliated with the independent broker/dealer Commonwealth Financial Network, allowing him access to the entire spectrum of financial products and, more importantly, fee-based rather than commission-based asset management. Mark is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional with 30 years’ experience providing personalized financial services. Over the years he has held other designations, including AIF® (Accredited Investment Fiduciary), CRPC® (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor), and CMFC® (Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor).

A lifelong skier, sailor, and sports car enthusiast, Mark lives with his wife and son in Newport, Rhode Island. In the recent past, he has been a member of the Newport Hospital Board of Governors, Trustee/Treasurer for the Newport Public Library, and Trustee for the Newport Library Foundation.

As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and investment adviser representative of Commonwealth Financial Network, his activities as a fiduciary are monitored by the CFP® Board of Standards, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and by Commonwealth Financial Network, which is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as a registered investment advisor.

Mark holds FINRA Series 7, 63, and 65 securities registrations, which allow him to sell and service investment products for a client base spanning 13 states, including Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Florida.

Mark encourages all prospective clients to confirm his exemplary regulatory background via FINRA’s BrokerCheck at www.finra.org/Investors/ToolsCalculators/BrokerCheck. His CRD number is 1915541. Mark is a multiyear Five Star Wealth Management Award winner in Rhode Island.

Five Star Mark Williams 2017 Vertical

 

 

FIVE STAR award is based on 10 objective eligibility and evaluation criteria, including a minimum of 5 years as an active credentialed financial professional, favorable regulatory and complaint history, accepts new clients, client retention rates, client assets administered, education, and professional designations.  476 Rhode Island wealth managers were considered for the award; 188 (40 percent of candidates) were named 2017 Five Star Wealth Managers. (The criteria provided reflects the most recent year for which advisor received the award. The criteria used, the number of wealth managers considered for the award, and the percentage of those who receive the award, may vary from year to year). These awards are not indicative of the wealth managers' future performance. Your experiences may vary. For more information, please visit www.fivestarprofessional.com.

John Gunning, AIF®, CLTC

Financial Advisor

FUN FACT: You'll bump into the John Gunning and his family at ball fields, hockey rinks, beaches, or the slopes throughout New England!

Professional Credentials

  • Accredited Investment Fiduciary (™) designee
  • FINRA Uniform Securities State Law Examination (Series 63)
  • FINRA Uniform Investment Advisor Law Examination (Series 65)
  • FINRA General Securities Representative (Series 7)
  • Certified in Long Term Care (CLTC)
  • Life, Accident and Health Insurance License*
  • Investment Adviser Representative of Commonwealth Financial Network

Through open conversation, John helps clients formalize and prioritize their goals. He then walks his clients through a comprehensive financial planning process including cash flow & net worth tracking, education planning, insurance reviews, risk tolerance, retirement planning, long-term care concerns, and estate planning.

This process can identify shortfalls with their current strategies and provide clients with potential solutions to help them reach their goals. With ongoing service, John helps his clients navigate through the peaks and valleys of their financial situations.

John attended Babson College and graduated with a BS in finance, economics, and management information systems. He was an account manager for Bank of Boston prior to entering the financial planning industry in 1994. John then joined Commonwealth in 1999.

On a personal note, John grew up in Canton and married “the girl next door.” His wife Kristen and he continue to reside in Canton with the

Presidents Seal
 

 

John Gunning Jr. is proud to have been recognized as a President’s Club advisor for 2016—a distinction based on annual production attained by 16 percent of advisors affiliated with Commonwealth Financial Network.

President’s Club is a distinction attained by advisors affiliated with Commonwealth Financial Network. Those who qualified for this honor in 2016 were part of the top 16 percent of advisors at Commonwealth for the year. Each year, Commonwealth, the broker/dealer–RIA that helps us process investment transactions on your behalf, recognizes President’s Club advisors by inviting them to an exclusive gathering of their peers, leading industry experts, and Commonwealth home office staff. President’s Club advisors benefit from an intensive learning and networking experience designed to help them hone their expertise, share best practices, and provide ever-higher levels of service, education, and leadership to their clients.

Marja Sweet CFP®

Junior Partner

FUN FACT: Marja spent 3 years in Greece during high school.

Professional Credentials

  • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER
  • FINRA Uniform Combined State Law Examination (Series 66)
  • FINRA General Securities Representative (Series 7)
  • Licensed in Life and Health Insurance in Rhode Island

Marja (pronounced MAR-ee-Ya) Sweet is a junior partner where she works to educate and guide clients toward their financial goals and dreams. She began her career in the financial planning industry in 2014 working for Auclair & Auclair LLP until she and Jon took over the practice in 2015. She previously worked at State Street Corporation in Boston, as well as Advanced Resources Marketing as an associate case manager for Long Term Care.

With a degree in Entrepreneurship from Northeastern University, she drives the innovation at Oak Leaf by bringing a fresh perspective to the office and pushing for better technology to enhance and simplify client communication.

In her free time, Marja can be found trying out the newest local restaurants, playing with her two mini Australian Shepherds, and planning her 2018 wedding with her fiance, Erik, a law enforcement officer in Rhode Island.

Jacki Zahn

Operations Manager

FUN FACT: Jacki’s favorite trip was to Quebec.

Jacki is the go-to person for almost everything at the Oak Leaf offices, from phone calls to scheduling appointments, Jacki keeps us all organized. If we gave out gold stars for kindness and professionalism, Jacki would win them all!

With 15 years in the financial industry, Jacki has helped Oak Leaf expand their technology to meet client-needs and is always striving to improve the “client experience.”

Jacki is currently the treasurer of the Friends of the Jesse M. Smith Library and previously served 12 years on the Burrillville Town Council. Jacki graduated from Rhode Island College, where she majored in history. She is married to Conrad, a retired lieutenant from the North Providence Police Department. She and her husband have two grown children, Joshua and Rebecca, who both work in the healthcare field. She and Conrad are grandparents to grandsons Fisk, Tucker, and Aiden. They also have a Jack Russell terrier, Guinness. In her spare time, she can be found reading, working on genealogy, and gardening. 

Meredith McBride

Marketing Director & Client Care Specialist

FUN FACT: Meredith lived in Paris for 6 years. She did her undergraduate degree there.

Meredith holds a Master’s Degree in Internet Marketing from Full Sail University. She has been working in Marketing for most of her professional career and exclusively in the financial industry for 4 years. Meredith handles the branding, website, email newsletters, social media, and public relations for the firm.

She won the Course Director’s Award for Web Design for Search Engine Optimization and Advanced Strategies in Internet Marketing. Her previous experience is with Alice Marshall Public Relations in New York City and as vice president of Internet marketing at Astonish Results, LLC, in Warwick, Rhode Island.

Meredith lives in Portsmouth, RI. with her two boys, Wyatt and Graham and her adopted long-haired chihuahua, Charlie (a girl). She enjoys traveling, healthy living, and more recently -- strength training.