Our Family

Our Family

The Advocates is the inspiration of the three partners. We and our entire team are on a mission to add a deeply personal dimension to this business. We want to truly champion your personal vision — and open up new possibilities for your life.


Paul Palmer, JR.

Paul grew up in Lake Charles, Louisiana. He earned his business degree from LSU in 1980 and moved to Dallas to work for Mobil. In the early 80s, he came to Houston, where he worked as a credit analyst for a small bank. In the mid 80s, he left banking to begin a career in financial planning. more >

Cole Campbell

Cole, the son of a minister, is a native Texan who’s lived all over the state, from Houston to Midland, Pampa to Waco. He went to college in Huntsville, and got his first taste of wealth management at Met Life. He defines his success by the number of families he helps, not the number of dollars he earns or manages. more >

Kurt Box

Kurt grew up in Bandera, Texas. He was brought up to respect all people, no matter their upbringing or their job. Kurt graduated cum laude from Texas A&M, then earned his masters in finance. He started on the path to being an investment banker. Then he met Paul Palmer at a professional function. more >


Team Members


Lead Advisor

Steven “Chuck” Bates was born in Virginia but raised overseas in true “military family” style. He attended an international school in Belgium before returning to the states to attend the University of Nebraska. After graduation in 1997, Chuck began his career at TD Ameritrade, where he quickly distinguished himself as a team leader in customer service and new accounts, playing a pivotal role in the establishment of TD Ameritrade’s Dallas Fort Worth facility, contributing to the hiring and training of nearly 700 employees.

In 2001, Chuck joined Direct Trading, where he further expanded his expertise in technical market functions which segued into a position at Bridgeway Capital Management in 2004. Over the course of 16 years, he assumed various integral roles in trading, investment operations, and sales. It was here he established his first connections with the team at The Advocates.

In May 2020, he shifted focus and joined Stegent Equity Advisors, Inc., with the goal of incorporating college planning into holistic financial plans for families. Motivated by his passion for leading families to financial success, Chuck brought his 25+ years of experience to The Advocates team in July 2023, believing strongly in our mission to help families live their values.

Chuck is a family man, devoted to his wife and two beautiful children with whom he loves watching and participating in sports, especially Nebraska Huskers football and the Houston Astros. He is a golfer, fisherman, beach bum, and mentor participating in various college readiness and entrepreneurial programs in schools in the Houston area.


Director of Operations & CCO

A Houston native, Anna graduated magna cum laude from Texas Tech University in 2005 with a B.A. in Arts. Anna currently serves the firm as overseer of all non-advisory operations functions and as the Chief Compliance Officer. Prior to joining the firm in 2011 she spent five years as service manager and assistant vice president for Wells Fargo.

Family is the center of Anna’s life. She met her husband Dana in high school (1999!), and they married in 2006. She and Dana live in Houston with their 4 children and rescue dogs. Anna is passionate about her faith. She teaches catechism and is a regular volunteer and parishioner at St. John Vianney Catholic Church.

Her “spare time” is spent in the kitchen cooking for groups of friends and family. She also loves reading, hiking, painting, drawing and spending evenings watching movies and snuggling with her husband and kiddos.


Client Service Representative

Ligia was born and raised in Los Angeles. Her career in finance and wealth management started in 2004 with Wells Fargo, while she was a student at Cal State Northridge. Starting as a part-time teller, she rose through the ranks post-graduation to become branch manager and assistant vice president.

Before joining The Advocates in 2014, she worked with a boutique financial advisory firm. Ligia’s contribution to The Advocates can be most felt through her impressive work ethic, ensuring all client plans are seen through to completion, down to the very last signature line.

In her personal time, Ligia enjoys traveling, riding bikes, camping, and going out to their ranch in Ledbetter with her husband Abner and their three children, Abner, Jr, Alexa, and Siena.


Client Service Representative

A U.S. Army veteran of nine years, Steve has served in Europe, within the continental U.S., and in Somalia. While he has been a civilian for quite some time, the military is still near and dear to his heart.
Before joining The Advocates as a client service associate, civilian life brought Steve to Wells Fargo where he would ultimately serve as a personal banker and a trainer for twelve years.
At the Advocates, Steve adds a top-notch level of client service to the firm. Those of you who have had the pleasure of speaking with Steve over the phone can attest to his infectious laugh and smile.
A proud homeowner, Steve lives in Copperfield with his wife Lacey, his sons John and Nicholas, Kira the dog, and Bo-Bo the cat. Steve is a member of the Knights of Columbus and is a member of St. John Vianney Catholic Church.