Deborah A. Williams

Ph.D. President and CEO ? Her Game 2 Inc. ? Stamford, C.T.

With a bachelor?s degree in psychology from Tougaloo College and master?s and doctorate degrees in clinical psychology from the University of Georgia, Deborah A. Williams clearly prepared for a career in the medical field. Her career took a different route, however. Williams is the president and CEO of her own company, Her Game 2 Inc., a multifaceted entertainment and fashion conglomerate. Married to Herb Williams, assistant coach for the New York Knicks basketball team, she created Her Game 2 out of frustration with what was being sold as ?women?s performance gear,? she says. The company now includes Her Game 2 Productions and Her Game 2 Talent Management. ?My goal is to grow our company into an international power player,? she says.

Williams is no stranger to initiative. ?I feel that my greatest gift is my ability to motivate and mobilize others,? she says. She is the founder and a past president of Behind the Bench: The National Basketball Wives Association. She also founded the program ?Linkages ? to Excellence? within The Links Inc., a nonprofit organization of African-American women committed to enhancing the quality of life in Black communities. The program, earned her a Community Service Award. Other honors include Ms. Tougaloo College and Mrs. USA 1990, the Fred Hampton Image Award and Ebony Man magazine?s ?Woman of Distinction? award.

?There is no substitute for good old-fashioned hard work and doing your homework,? Williams likes to tell young people. But she learned much from her mother, ?a strong, task-oriented woman who got things done.? Her own outgoing personality also stood her in good stead, she says.

Williams is committed to empowering Black youth ?to dare to be great.? With good reason. ?I believe it is imperative that we do whatever we can to provide direction and inspiration. Most studies have indicated that the factor that differentiates at-risk teens who get in trouble from those who don?t is the presence of a warm body whom they feel cares about them and believes in them,? she says.