Age: 33, Communications Manager
The Executive Leadership Council, Washington, D.C.
Damon D. Williams, communications manager for the Executive Leadership Council, whose membership comprises the most senior Black executives at Fortune 500 companies, has no time to idle. “Idleness is the devil’s workshop,” he likes to say. “I am about trying to make things happen.” That means developing business initiatives, media relationships and marketing campaigns and facilitating sponsorships for the council’s signature events. It means coordinating those events, such as the Annual Recognition Dinner, general membership meetings, the annual Business Case Competition for top M.B.A. business schools, and networking gatherings and professional forums.
To date, he has generated more than $1.3 million in advertising sales and sponsorships and was the force behind a burgeoning dialogue with the White House on issues of concern to African-American business leaders and the wider African-American community.
Williams has a bachelor’s degree in business administration in tourism and hospitality management from George Washington University and an M.B.A. in marketing from Southeastern University. A lover of poetry, he was a NAACP ACT-SO silver medalist in the humanities category and participated in a fellowship program sponsored by the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C.
Williams is just as busy as a volunteer for Operation Paperback, a nonprofit that provides books and magazines to U.S. military families overseas; a supporter of several nonprofits, including the Marshall Heights Community Development Organization in Washington, D.C., to which he has provided more than $5,000 in cash, clothing, books and accessories; as a patron of the arts; and as a member or various civic and alumni organizations.
“Receiving accolades is powerful for me. It is an acknowledgement of what I do here in trying to develop talent and leaders,” he says.
Favorite book: Is Bill Cosby Right? by Michael Eric Dyson
First job: Restaurant manager
Favorite sports team: Washington Redskins
Spectator or Athlete: Spectator
Favorite comedian: Chris Rock