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Legacy: Burnetta Burns Williams

Burnetta Burns Williams – the highest ranked African American employed by FedEx Corporation – passed away on Tuesday (Dec. 13.) She was 57.

 Burnetta Burns Williams
 Burnetta Burns Williams

In her position as Corporate Vice President and Treasurer of FedEx Corporation, Mrs. Williams was responsible for the establishment and execution of all financings for the corporation, the design and development of non-speculative risk programs, the investment of the $11 billion pension fund and global cash management and treasury operations.

“Burnetta was greatly respected and admired throughout the FedEx enterprise,” said Bill Margaritis, corporate vice president of Global Communications and Investor Relations at FedEx Corporation.

“She was very smart, thoughtful, and a high-performing leader in the finance area. Her passion for community service never wavered. Burnetta has left a special mark on FedEx and with the many individuals she mentored throughout her career. We will miss her.”

Mrs. Williams was a graduate of Hamilton High School and earned a B.A. degree from Yale University and a Masters degree from the Sloan School at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  She served on the boards of The Dixon Gallery and Girls Inc. of Memphis and recently served on the board of The LeBonheur Foundation. She was a past financial secretary of the Memphis Chapter of Jack & Jill of America, Inc. Mrs. Williams also was an active member of the Yale Alumni Schools Committee. She was one of the founders and a board member of Triumph Bank.

She was the recipient of the Dollars & Sense Magazine Outstanding Business and Professional Award.  In 1994 and in 2010 she received the prestigious Five Star Award from her company and has been featured in articles in The Banker, Grace, Ebony and Black Enterprise magazines.

A graduate of Leadership Memphis – Class of 1993, Mrs. Williams received the “She Knows Where She’s Going Award” from Girls, Inc. in Memphis. In June 2008, she was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Finance by Treasury & Risk magazine.

She was married for 29 years to James F. Williams Jr. and has one adult son, Christopher J. Williams. She is also survived by her mother, Georgia Burns; a sister, Joyce McGhee; and three brothers, Carey Burns Jr., Michael Burns and Larry G. Powell.

A tribute to Mrs. Williams will be held on Sunday, Dec. 18, at Dixon Gallery and Gardens located at 4339 Park Avenue.

Funeral services are scheduled for Monday, Dec. 19th. Viewing starts at 9 a.m., with funeral services at 11 a.m. at Mississippi Blvd. Christian Church, 70 North Bellevue. Interment service immediately following at Memorial Park Cemetery, 5668 Poplar Avenue.

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