Williams, as President and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania, leads the second-largest minority chamber in the country and is dedicated to upholding the organization’s mission to provide African-American business owners and professionals with access and business opportunities not only in the region, but beyond. This is a position she has fulfilled since 1999, when the office was established, after being named the director in 1998.
Under Williams’ leadership the chamber has led delegations abroad and has been recognized with the Best in Business Award in the class of commerce by the Small Business Commerce Association.
Prior to becoming President and CEO, Williams was the director of the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh’s Office of Business Entrepreneurship and served for more than 10 years as a panelist on the African American community discussion based program “Eddie’s Digest.” But it was in 2009 that she served as co-chair for the G-20 Summit, which was held in Pittsburgh by President Barack Obama.
Along with her work with the chamber, Williams also serves on various boards, such as Highmark Inc., the International Women’s Forum, Leadership Pittsburgh, the Women’s Executive Council and she is a life member of the Manchester Bidwell Corporation. She has also served on the Urban League of Pittsburgh Board of Directors and is an active member of the Bethel AME Church Steward Board.
Along with being named one of 2008’s New Pittsburgh Courier 50 Women of Excellence, she has also received the Susan B. Anthony Women of Vision Award, the YWCA’s Women in Business and Industry and the Community Leader of the Year award by the Junior Achievement.
Williams has earned a bachelor’s degree in Business from the University of Hartford and is a graduate of the Fairfield University’s Center for Financial Studies in Banking and Financial Management and the University of Pittsburgh’s Joseph M. Katz Graduate School’s Management Program for Executives.
When Williams is not busy conquering the world, she said she enjoys spending time with her family, which includes her husband, James, and son, James III. But along with her family, she also has a passion for needlepoint.
2012 MEN OF EXCELLENCE HONOREES
LOUIS T. ALEXANDER - Principal - Byars & Alexander Financial Group
LARRY D. ANDERSON, Sr. - Retired Basketball Coach & Volunteer at Soldiers & Sailors Hall & Museum
DAVID J. ATKINS - Director, Digital Marketing - Visit Pittsburgh
KEVIN BOLDING - Urban District Vice President, Membership - YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh
TYRONE BROOKS - Director, Baseball Operations - Pittsburgh Pirates
ARCHIE L. BROWN - Staff Accountant - Urban Lending Solutions
COACH WILLIAM BROWN - Head Men's Basketball Coach - California University of PA
TONY BYERS, PH.D. - Leader, Global Diversity & Inclusion - H.J. Heinz Company
WILLIAM M. CARTER, JR. - Dean, School of Law - University of Pittsburgh
JONAS CHANEY - Public Affairs Director - WPXI-TV and Owner - JjC Productions
CHARLES COOK - Personal Trainer
FREDERICK B. CRAWFORD - President - Highland Park Tennis Club
WAVERLY DUCK - Professor of Sociology - University of Pittsburgh
ERVIN DYER - Senior Editor, Pitt Magazine - University of Pittsburgh
ERIC EWELL - Parent Coordinator - Hill District Education Council
BISHOP JOSEPH L. GARLINGTON, SR., PH.D. - Senior Pastor - Covenant Church of Pittsburgh
JUAN GARRETT - Deputy Director - Riverside Center for Innovation
PASTOR GREGORY GREENE - Supervisor - Allegheny County Juvenile Courts; and Pastor -ZION C.O.G.I.C.
STEVEN GRIFFIN - Vice President – FedExGround
STANLEY HOLBROOK - President - Three Rivers Center for Independent Living
CDR. ERIC HOLMES - Head of the Hill District Station - Pittsburgh Police
RODNEY K. HOPSON, Ph.D. - Hillman Distinguished Professor - School of Education's Department of Foundations and Leadership - Duquesne University
ELLIOT HOWSIE, ESQ. - Chief Public Defender - Allegheny County Public Defenders
CALVIN L. JACKSON, JR. - Councilman, Borough of Coraopolis
BRANDON R. JENNINGS - Graphic Design Teacher - Pittsburgh Technical Institute
VINCENT O. JOHNSON - Contractor - Belcan Technical Services
CHIEF CHARLES R. JONES, JR. - Chief of Police - Beaver Falls
FREDRICK O. KENDRICK, PH.D. - International Director of Human Resources - K & L
JOHN R. LAYMON, JR. - President/Owner - JRL Enterprises, Inc.
REV. DR. LAMAR D. LEE, JR. - Pastor/Teacher/Principal - Saint Mark A.M.E. Zion Church
BRACE S. LOWE - Sr. Executive Vice President - A Second Chance, Inc.
FREDERICK A. MASSEY, JR. - Chief Executive Officer – Familylinks
DARREN MCCORMICK - Transition Manager - City Charter High School
JESSE JAMES MCLEAN, JR. - Executive Director - Every Child, Inc.
LINWOOD MITCHELL - Vice President & Market Manager - PNC Bank
LARRY C. PICKETT - Senior Project Manager, Emerging Alliances and Shared Business Services - Highmark, Inc.
CHARLES M. POWELL , SR. - Director of Diversity and Community Affairs - URA of Pittsburgh
JULIUS LEE REDD - Retired - Pittsburgh Elementary School Administrator
FREDERICK REDMOND - International VP of Human Affairs - USW
LARRY S. SMEDLEY - Technical Specialist - BayerMaterialScience LLC
HARVEY JAMES SMITH, JR. - Athletic Director & Head Football Coach - Imani Christian Academy
KERRY A. STITH - Sr. Vice President & Operations Director, Account Servicing - PNC's Consumer Loan Services Group
WILL THOMPKINS - Director of Community Outreach - The Pittsburgh Project
ROBERT L. THOMPSON, MD - Physician - University of Pittsburgh Physicians
MORRIS E. TURNER, MD - Physician - University of Pittsburgh Physicians
EUSTACE UKU - President and Chief Executive Officer – Exico
CHRISTOPHAS WALKER - Professor of Public Health & Social Work - University of Pittsburgh
AARON A. WALTON - LEGACY 2012
RICARDO J. WILLIAMS - Executive Director - Homewood-Brushton YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh
DAVID A. YOUNG- Associate Dean of Academic Affairs – CCAC