Business Innovation Group (BIG)
College of Business Administration

Jim Williams steps down as advisory chair

Jim Williams and Luke Pittaway

After three years, Jim Williams (pictured left with Dr. Luke Pittaway) is stepping down as the Chair of the Advisory Council for Georgia Southern University’s Center of Entrepreneurial Learning and Leadership (CELL).

“Three years as a volunteer is long enough and it is time for new ideas and new leadership to chair the CELL,” Williams said.

As advisory chair, Williams held several responsibilities. He was joined by Director of CELL Dr. Luke Pittaway in reviewing the annual report for the advisory council, was responsible for setting the agenda for annual meetings, as well as played a role in inaugurated semi-annual meetings in 2012. He presided over each advisory council meeting and established six, first- time active committees made up of the advisory council members.

“My experiences as chair were great and rewarding to see the development and growth of the CELL’s projects and activities, as well as assisting our director in his booming expansion of student, business and alums entrepreneurial activities,” Williams said.

Williams proudly joined in representing CELL at Georgia Southern events with other College of Business and Administration (COBA) academic leaders. He helped the council to increase the number of CELL Advisory Council members.

“We worked to create and activate six active committees with 23 of our 36 CELL Advisory Council members participating,” Williams explained. “We are now working with fledging and exciting entrepreneurs.”

In addition to his work with the advisory council, Williams was asked to be a part-time professor for two years in the COBA at Georgia Southern. During this time, Williams helped marry the council members with his students and their projects.

“I brought a number of entrepreneurs, who were my friends and/or clients of my firm, to speak to my students,” Williams said. “Many of them ended up joining the advisory council after visiting with the classes. Through teaching I was able to introduce the benefit of serving the CELL to them.” 

Williams even got the President of the university to agree to come and speak to his classes.

“Dr. Brooks Keel came and spoke to my classes about entrepreneurship, which was a little different from his usual visits,” Williams said. “I truly enjoyed his talks and so did my students as each time he encouraged the students to ask questions…and they did.”

In the future, Williams plans to continue to support the CELL and assist while remaining a major supporter.

“I’m planning to continue the operation of my 25-year-old investment banking and strategic advisory firm for prospective, start-up and existing entrepreneurs,” Williams explained.

As far as the next advisory chair, Williams explained there will be an interim chair for at least one year and then a new chair will be selected for a two year term.  Ray Wenig, President of the Ariel South East Angel Partners, will serve as the interim chair.

“My hopes for the future are that the CELL Advisory Council remains as an active proponent of entrepreneurship insuring the growth of entrepreneurship academic courses and degrees,” Williams said. “I also hope it stays as an advocate of keeping the CELL as a vital part of COBA and Georgia Southern for the future!”

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