The job of running an advisory practice takes different twists and turns over the years. For Daniel C. Jones, that task — along with many other daily routines — changed radically in May 1999, when he was involved in a horrific car accident.
Though doctors told Jones’ wife that he probably would not survive, Jones went back to work 10 months and several operations later in a wheelchair. At the time, he was working in the suburbs of Philadelphia for Janney, having spent the first seven years of his career with Paine Webber in the city.
“Tom Walrond, a branch manager for Raymond James, started calling me and telling me about the Raymond James story and culture. I liked what I heard, and with certain circumstances that had occurred, I decided to make a change to Raymond James in March of 2001,” Jones explained.
Fifteen years later, Raymond James & Associates — the firm’s employee channel — honored Jones with its Branch Manager of the Year Award. Under his leadership, the Jenkintown office boosted its revenue by more than 90% in 2016, while keeping all of its advisors and having “a spotless audit with zero compliance issues,” the firm says.
The branch manager also is “a consummate volunteer,” according to Tash Elwyn, head of RJA, “and has been recognized by numerous organizations, both local and national, for his philanthropy and good works, particularly in the area of spinal cord injury research.”
Jones says he’s been involved in public service for many years. “Giving back to the community is just as important to me as helping my clients achieve their financial goals. In both my charitable activities and my career, I’ve always been focused on helping improve the lives of others,” he explained
While he volunteered on different boards over the years, “After my accident, it was a natural for me to serve the disabled community,” Jones said. “I was asked and accepted the request to serve on Magee Rehabilitation Hospital’s Foundation Board, giving back to an organization that was integral in my rehabilitation.”
Jones also considered other areas of focus for his volunteer work. “While serving the disabled community, many folks asked about spinal cord research,” he explained.
His in-laws learned about the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and the Buoniconti Fund, created by NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti after his son Marc sustained a major injury during a college football game.
“My in-laws, Steve and Sally Woolf, and my wife Caren and I started the Philadelphia Chapter of the Buoniconti Fund for the Miami Project 14 years ago,” Jones said. “We have been the number one chapter eight years running, with our signature ‘Raise a Glass for a Cure’ gala event held every year in Philadelphia.”
This effort “is truly a family affair,” the branch manager and advisor explains. After his accident, daughters Lindsay and Rachael worked with son Brandon and their neighbors to stage a talent show in 2000 to raise funds for efforts that could help Jones and others walk again.
“The show was so popular and successful, it eventually grew out of our backyard and into the Bala Cynwyd Elementary School auditorium,” he explained. The program then evolved into the annual “Raise a Glass” gala, which has helped the Philadelphia Chapter of the Buoniconti Fund raise nearly $2 million dollars for spinal cord research and rehabilitation for the disabled.
“Already, we have achieved much with a cure for some accident/football spinal cord injuries where the person had total paralysis,” Jones explained. “With a procedure created at the Miami Project, the individuals were able to walk out of the hospital after a period of time.”
“What drives my wife and I, is the goal of striving to see one child get up out of their wheelchair for good,” he said. The advisor remains inspired by a line spoken by the main character in “Schindler’s List,” who says: “I could have done more!”
“I believe I can always do more, and so can each and every one of us,” he said. “I will continue to [do so] into retirement.”