Paragon’s commitment to our relationship-centric model is displayed in many ways. One of which is our principals’ willingness to engage directly with those interested in discussing investments, philosophy or community. Email address for each partner can be found below and we invite you to contact our leaders and see for yourself how Paragon Capital focuses our expertise on you.
Craig Novorr was handpicked to join Paragon Capital after a highly successful 10-year period at UMB where he served as Vice President & Portfolio Manager. Mr. Novorr’s success co-managing the UMB Scout Technology Fund and Scout Growth Fund demonstrated his unique abilities in identifying investment opportunities and – more importantly – building strong relationships.
Joining the firm in 2006, Mr. Novorr immediately demonstrated the value his clients place in him, as several with whom he enjoyed longstanding relationships with followed him to Paragon. Since then,he has been named Kansas City Magazine’s Best Personal Wealth Manager for six consecutive years and a 2010 Kansas City Business Magazine Rising Star.
Craig Novorr is a 1996 graduate of the University of Kansas, from which he earned a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration. He is active in the business, religious and local community and is a member of the executive leadership team for the Walk for Wishes event, as well as a Cub Scout Den Leader and youth basketball coach. He currently sits on several boards or committees for the Overland Park Rotary Club, Kansas University Hillel House, Temple B’Nai Jehuda and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Howard Jacobson founded Paragon Capital Management in 1998 with the promise to instill a high level of personal service and dedication to the clients who put their trust in his vision. Mr. Jacobson has earned a well-deserved reputation for investment excellence over a 40-year career that began following his graduation from the University of Missouri with a Bachelors of Science in Banking & Finance.
Mr. Jacobson’s deep understanding of finance started at industry icon E.F. Hutton & Company where he spent almost 20 years immersed in investment analysis, mastering several key roles. He eventually joined UMB’s Trust Investment Division and led the growing practice in positions such as Executive Vice President & Portfolio Manager and Director of Equity Research & Trading. Mr. Jacobson has been named Kansas City Magazine’s Best Personal Wealth Manager five times.
A deep commitment to philanthropy has driven Mr. Jacobson to engage in several Kansas City business and Jewish ventures. He has served as President of the Jewish Federation of Kansas City, Past President of the Jewish Community Center as well as Kansas City’s Jewish Community Campus. His history of community involvement includes religious, cultural, healthcare and youth organizations such as the Jewish Community Foundation, the Jewish Heritage Foundation, Starlight Theater, the UMKC Conservatory of Music, Friends of the Kansas City Zoo, the Heart Association of Kansas City, the Cancer Society of Kansas City, the Boy Scout Council and several others.
Elizabeth McLeod’s tenure at Paragon Capital extends more than a decade, starting in the rapidly changing times of 2001. Ms. McLeod joined the firm after a career that began more than 25 years ago on the front lines of investments. Prior to Paragon, she served as an analyst and senior portfolio manager for Meritage (formerly EBK Capital Management). Her previous experience includes being one of the founding members and Chief Investment Officer at GK Baum after relocating to Kansas City. She had been recruited by Commerce Bank following her successful launch of a mutual fund for Fifth Third Bank in Ohio.
Ms. McLeod earned her Bachelors of Science in Business Management, followed with a Masters of Business Administration from Rochkhurst University – for which she received an honors designation. She has served on various committees on behalf of the Central Exchange and other business-oriented organizations such as Toastmasters Club where serves as Secretary. Her community involvement includes philanthropies such as Della Lamb.
Ward Williams joined the firm in 2000, having already amassed more than 20 years of investment experience. Mr. Williams acquired his expertise serving UMB as Vice President, Portfolio Manager and Investment Analyst after several years spent as Director of Institutional markets at Security Benefits Group. Perhaps the position that best prepared him for Paragon Capital was the experience gained running the day-to-day operations and managing investments for his own firm – Williams Capital Management.
Mr. Williams graduated from Trevecca Nazarene College in 1983 with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration. He currently spends his free time coaching in the Blue Valley Recreation leagues and volunteering at Shawnee Mission South High School, Indian Woods Middle School and Indian Valley Elementary School where he serves on the PTA. Mr. Ward has earned recognitions over the years which includes being named three times to Kansas City Magazine’s Best Personal Wealth Managers.
Brian is a Senior Portfolio Manager at Paragon Capital Management. He earned his B.A. from Yale University and a M.B.A. from Columbia Business School. Prior to joining Paragon, Brian gained experience at Palmer Square Capital Management, Scout Investment Advisors, Big Sky Capital, LLC and Jacobs Asset Management, LLC. Brian has significant experience with managing investments within hedge funds and mutual funds, as well as useful experience in the due diligence, operations and the infrastructure of investment companies.
Brian is deeply involved in the Kansas City Community. He has completed the Kansas City Tomorrow leadership development program of The Civic Council of Greater Kansas City. He is serving as chair of the Steering Committee for J-LEAD, and has recently been appointed as the Trustee of the Jewish Community Foundation. Brian is also the V.P. of Investments for the Menorah Legacy Foundation, and is a member of the Operations & Finance Committee of the Jewish Federation of Kansas City.
Rich Heidemann, CFA – Senior Analyst
Melissa Eagan – Plan Administrator
Will Zahner – Portfolio Administrator