Beth Williams had been married just a few years when her husband, astronaut C.C. Williams, was killed in a jet trainer crash. Widowed, with one toddler and another on the way, she was determined to create a secure future for her children.
After working as a real estate broker and later, as director of new initiatives at the Lunar Planetary Institute, Williams drew up plans with a friend to offer language services to the new U.S.-Russian program to build a space station together. NASA accepted the bid, and TechTrans International was born.
Williams, CEO of TechTrans, brought her entrepreneurial experience to the table, and her friend brought technical expertise as an aerospace interpreter. Then two months later, her friend was killed by a drunken driver.
The incident left Williams’ fledgling business in a precarious position. She needed to find the talent to supply the technical expertise, which she did, and in the process developed a leadership style and company culture that became TechTrans’ formula for success. She promoted a culture of agility, responsiveness and customer service. Employees are expected to accept all challenges and respond with solutions that are low cost and quick to implement.
Williams is broadening TechTrans’ customer base beyond its original client, NASA. In 2001, nearly 100 percent of revenue was from the agency. In 2010, only 56 percent of revenue came from NASA, and clients include those in aerospace and science, global security, international health, joint business ventures and other technical fields.
Williams’ involvement in community organizations and concerns is extensive. She is also a cancer survivor and helps raise awareness to fight the disease. Her company has endowed a scholarship at the University of Houston Bauer College of Business entrepreneurship program, and she also mentors students and participates in school seminars.
How to reach: TechTrans International, (281) 335-8000 or www.tti-corp.com