Faculty & Staff Directory

Jim joined Wake Forest as a Professor of Practice in the School of Business in August of 2013 after spending over 30 years in the accounting profession. Prior to joining Wake Forest, Jim served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Gray Holdings, LLC a large multi-family real estate company. Prior to joining Gray Holdings, Jim spent 24 years in public accounting, most recently as the partner in charge of tax services for the Atlantic Region of BDO USA, LLP. He has also held positions in the tax departments of Ernst & Young and Coopers & Lybrand (now PWC). His teaching experience includes graduate tax courses in Taxation of Property Transactions and Partnership Taxation in the Master of Taxation program at Virginia Commonwealth University. Jim received his B.S. in Accounting and his Master of Taxation from Virginia Commonwealth University, where he later received the VCU Beta Alpha Psi Outstanding Alumnus Award.

Pass through entities Corporate taxation

  • Master of Taxation, Virginia Commonwealth University (Taxation) - 1988
  • BS, Virginia Commonwealth University (Accounting) - 1982

Teaching Interests

  • Taxation of corporations and pass through entities
  • Accounting for income taxes
  • Mergers and Acquisitions

  • Violette, G.,  Willis, J. (2015). Making the Transition from Practitioner to Professor: Opportunities Abound. Today's CPA (Sept/Oct 2015),  36-38.

  • 2020 - MSA Teaching Award, WFU School of Business
  • 2019 - Kienzle Alumni Teaching Award, Wake Forest School of Business
  • 2014 - MSA Teaching Award, WFU School of Business