After graduating from Winchester High School in 1996, Tim Nolan has stayed connected to his Winchester roots and immersed himself in the community that he has since moved back to. Nolan is the middle child of seven siblings, some of whom also still call Winchester home. His parents have 11 grandchildren in Winchester, which include Nolan and his wife’s three children: Winnie (6), Dennis (5) and Marty (1.5). He owns his own wealth management and financial planning practice called the Nolan Group. When he is not helping clients and their families work on wealth preservation, he and his wife are active in the community.
What connection, if any, do you still have to WHS or the community?
In addition to participating in Winchester Youth Sports programs, I am involved (as a) Winchester Sports Foundation Hall of Fame Committee member, Winchester Scholarship Foundation assistant treasurer, (and) Winchester High School Alumni Association.
My wife, Carolyn, is also a business owner in the community with a financial planning and wealth management practice on Mount Vernon Street. She is very active with the Chamber of Commerce, WFEE, and is (the) Winchester Recreation Department’s Kid Connection School president.
Was there a favorite moment, person, or experience at WHS that you remember that has helped you find your passions or reach your goals?
To this day, my senior-year Humanities class was one of the best courses I ever took. The combination of four subjects of curriculum together was very powerful. We also had an amazing lineup of teachers. We had Ms. Mulkerin for (English), Mr. Ardito (Art), Ms. Raimeir (Music), and Mr. O’Connor (History). This class taught me to look at things through a wider lens and certainly prepared me for college-level courses.
However, my experience as a member of the Winchester High School basketball program with Coach Quinton Dale and Coach Ted Lyon taught me the most. It prepared me to reach for my passions and work together with teammates in life to succeed. I was fortunate to be a part of a great team that won the Eastern Massachusetts championship at the Boston Garden my senior year. However, each year at every level we had a great group, which reflected our coaches and how hard they worked for us. Both youth sports and high school sports in Winchester provided me with great life lessons. Lessons like you don’t always win, or you don’t always make the team that you try out for. Oftentimes there is a sense of entitlement with youth sports that everyone makes and plays on every team. This is a great disservice to student-athletes and does not prepare them adequately for real-life challenges. I am grateful for both the successes and failures that youth sports in Winchester and at Winchester High School provided me.
What was the path you took to get where you are today?
I think it is important to mention that once I was at an eligible age, I always had a part-time job in the Winchester community while also balancing school and sports. I worked part-time at the Milk & Bread Store and at Video Horizons video store (students can call me if they don’t know what a video store is, and I can explain). Earning my own money created a great sense of pride and gave me (an) appreciation for the lifestyle that was being provided for me.
I graduated from Boston College in 2000. Ironically, part of my decision to go there was the opportunity to be roommates with two of my best friends from WHS (Andy Sullivan and Jim Maher). Since graduation, I have spent the last 19 years in financial services. The first three years out of BC I worked as a consultant at Deloitte in Boston. For the 16 years since then, I have worked helping clients and their families with asset management, risk management, and financial and estate planning strategies.
Please share a success since leaving WHS?
My greatest success is the work that I have done with the St. Francis House Day Shelter for the homeless in Boston. As an undergraduate in 1998, I began volunteering at SFH, the largest day homeless shelter in New England. I have continued volunteering there for the past 20 years and now serve on their Board of Directors. The staff, programs, and services at SFH help to rebuild, rehabilitate, and restore dignity and confidence in all of the guests that they serve (nearly 1,000 per day). They offer basic food and clothing services to men and women experiencing homelessness, but more importantly, they provide assistance and a path for their guests to become independent and productive member of the community again. My continued association with St. Francis House gives me the most pride.
Is there insight or advice you can share with current students?
1) Build a financial foundation and competency. I work closely with the undergraduate students and career center at Boston College. Students come to me and say, “I want to work at a non-profit; or be a writer; or a scientist, etc. …”. My answer to all of them is to understand basic personal finance. Your growth as an entrepreneur or working in any industry is limited unless you understand your own personal cash flow (what you are spending, what you are saving, what you are borrowing, etc. …). Building financial competence will provide you with the freedom and confidence to take on any challenge that is sent your way.
2) Give back. Make volunteerism part of your journey. We are all very fortunate to live in a town and a community that has the resources and support like Winchester does. Surround yourself with people that support you and your passions and give time to organizations that align with your values.