Our Team

Joe Williams, CLU, ChFC, President

President and CEO

Joe Williams founded Financial Planners Northwest (FPNW) in 1996 to be able to offer the unique combination of comprehensive financial planning and employee benefits expertise to individuals and small businesses.
As a small business owner himself, Joe understands the importance and challenge of providing benefits packages that are both affordable and comprehensive. Today Joe is responsible for wealth management and employee benefits services for FPNW’s clients. 

Prior to establishing FPNW, Joe was the founder and chairman of EAI Information Systems, a database management company. After shepherding the company through its early years, including providing capital formation, Joe successfully sold the business.

Before EAI, Joe served as the CEO of Westmark, a financial services firm. During his tenure, he led a team of thirty employees that marketed and serviced financial products through major banks. Joe also held the CEO role for Westmark Securities, a stock brokerage firm.

Earlier in his career, Joe served as an Executive VP at Washington Federal Savings, in charge of subsidiary operations for the bank in the areas of alternative financial products and insurance.
Joe studied Civil Engineering at Olympic College in Bremerton, Washington. He also attended The American College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, where he earned the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designations, as well as completed coursework toward a Master of Science in Financial Services. 

Joe is a member of several local business groups and associations including Legatus, Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums, Knights of Columbus and the Portland Golf Club. His interests include economics, investing, golf, hunting and fishing. Joe is active in his church community and spends significant personal time on charitable work.

Steve Peterman, CFP®

Steve joined Financial Planners Northwest in 2010.  He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.  His rewarding experiences in helping friends, family, and co-workers with personal financial planning convinced him to switch careers after over 20 years in corporate finance and accounting.
Steve began his career with the Kimberly-Clark Corporation, working in accounting and internal audit at several of their units in locations across the United States.  Over the course of 15 years at Kraft Foods, Steve rose through the ranks to lead corporate financial planning for a $2 billion division and manage the integration of several Latin American businesses following the Kraft/Nabisco merger.
After moving to Portland in 2002, Steve assumed credit and treasury leadership positions with Freightliner LLC, the largest truck manufacturer in North America and a subsidiary of Daimler AG.  In these positions, he streamlined banking operations, managed relationships with domestic and international customers, and led the company’s risk management.
Steve earned an MBA in finance from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and holds a BS degree in accounting and finance from Lehigh University.  He earned his Executive Certificate in Financial Planning at the University of Portland in 2009.  He also successfully completed the Series 7, Series 66, and Oregon Life and Health Insurance exams.
Steve is a member of the Financial Planning Association and recently completed two terms as Treasurer of the Portland Chapter of Financial Executives International.  In his spare time, Steve enjoys skiing, hiking, and biking with his family in the Pacific Northwest.


Don Safstrom, CPA, CFP®

Don joined Financial Planners Northwest in 2013 after fourteen years as a Registered Representative with a subsidiary of Wells Fargo Investments. Don is a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner as well as a Certified Public Accountant with the Personal Financial Specialist designation.

Don began his career as a CPA working primarily with individuals and small businesses in the areas of tax compliance and tax and business planning. In an effort to better serve those clients he completed the training and requirements and received his CFP® certification in 1999 as well as his securities licensing.

With over thirty years of experience in accounting, tax and financial reporting, Don enjoys assisting his clients in their estate and personal financial planning as well as estate and trust taxation. He also has extensive experience in equity based compensation issues including stock options, profits interests and partnership compensation planning as well as deferred compensation.

While still an active member and principal in Safstrom & Company, P.S., the certified public accounting firm he incorporated in 1982, Don views his new affiliation with Financial Planners Northwest as an excellent opportunity to focus and enhance the services that he can offer to his financial and investment planning clients.

Don graduated from Seattle Pacific in 1975 with a double major in Business Administration (Accounting), and History, and began working as an accountant. He returned to Seattle Pacific in 1977 to pursue a teaching degree and taught high school until 1980 when he returned to accounting and finance full time.

Don is a member of the Financial Planning Association, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and both their Financial Planning and Tax Practice Sections. He also holds the NASD Series, 6, 7, 63 and 65 licenses. Don is married with three grown children, and enjoys boating, camping and other outdoor activities.

Barbara Williams

Office Manager

Candace Williams

Director of Client Services