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Minority Business Advocate Featured

8:10am EDT April 30, 2002
Doris Carson Williams serves the minority community and helps minority business owners by concentrating on building good business relationships. That work has earned her the 2002 SBA Regional Minority Business Advocate award.

As the first paid director of the African-American Chamber of Commerce, Williams says, "My greatest challenge was in starting the chamber as a professional organization."

She developed an implementation proposal based on the strategic plan she was presented and engaged as many of her business associates, partners and friends as possible.

"I created systems to monitor my performance and kept my focus on building the organization based upon its mission that I believe in," she says.

That mission is to promote access and opportunity for African-American business owners and professionals. Williams is proud that the organization has more than 325 members, 28 corporate sponsors and formal programs and benefits for members.

"My business philosophy is to stay focused on your goals and objectives. Think big and be creative in your approach, thanking those who help you along the way. Not everyone may agree with you, but hopefully they will respect what you do and appreciate the end results," Williams says.

As the recipient of the 2000 Susan B. Anthony Woman of Vision Award from the Executive Women's Council and the 2002 Greater Pittsburgh YWCA's Woman in Business and Industry Award, Williams remains true to her fundamental belief in people.

"I understand the value of building relationships first, then selling the product. People tend to do business with people they know," she says.

Amanda Lynch