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Pam joined Ashton Thomas as Director of Operations in 2020. Prior to that, she was CEO and owner of GAAM Wealth Advisors, a Registered Investment Advisor firm based in Kingsport, Tennessee.
Pam was born and grew up in Bluff City, Tennessee. She is a graduate of East Tennessee State University and holds a bachelor’s in business administration degree. She went into corporate accounting after graduating, and even earned her CPA (although she is no longer registered), but found the large corporate world unsatisfying. After taking a few aptitude tests which indicated she should consider financial planning, she decided to change careers and joined Prudential Financial. In 1993 Pam became part of a team of four advisors who left Prudential to start their own independent firm, GAAM Wealth Advisors, partnering with LPL. “People thought I was crazy to leave a large company to start my own business,” she says. “I did require other income sources for a time while we were getting started, but it was the right move.” As the team formed a better understanding of their individual strengths, she gravitated toward the operational functions of the practice as the right match for her core skill set and ran the firm’s back office functions for years.
After visiting Arizona and falling in love with the desert southwest, Pam decided to relocate to Scottsdale in 2003. She spent the next twelve years consistently improving and evolving GAAM’s operations. Pam’s desire to deliver service above and beyond client expectations was instrumental in the firm’s success. In 2015 after buying out the last remaining partner, Pam decided to move back to Tennessee knowing she would now need to focus more time and energy in the company being its sole owner. While considering her options for growth and succession, Pam decided to sell GAAM to Carson Group in 2017. With that transaction behind her, Pam and her husband, Keith, who had just been offered a position with a company based in Newark, Delaware, decided to try urban life for a bit and relocated to downtown Philadelphia in 2017. With the pandemic limiting their enjoyment of city life in Philly and due to Keith’s ability to work from anywhere, they decided to come back to Arizona in April 2020. When the opportunity to join Ashton Thomas arose, Pam jumped at it.
Today, Pam leads the Ashton Thomas Client Service Team which supports the firm’s Wealth Advisors in bringing attentive, consistent, white-glove service to their clients. “I love understanding processes, gathering information, and making things work and flow better,” she says. “I thrive in analytic roles and being the Director of Operations for a growing RIA is just what I was looking for.”
Pam and Keith reside in north Phoenix. After meeting on eHarmony some years earlier, they were married in 2011 “on their Harley Davidson at the Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas…but it was planned,” Pam recalls fondly. While they have two furry “children” together, Pam considers herself “very fortunate to have inherited four grown children and nine grandchildren” through Keith. They love to travel when they can and enjoy hiking “when it isn’t summer” in Phoenix. Pam also enjoys knitting and staying fit through dance exercise classes.