LIVING UP TO EXPECTATIONS—High ranking AT&T official, Xavier D. Williams believes in giving back to society.
At a time when his alma mater, Edinboro University and other member universities in the State System of Higher Education in Pennsylvania are calling for reductions in faculty and programming, Xavier D. Williams is suggesting that young people should be looking at higher education as a way to advance in today’s society.
While growing up in Washington, D.C., Williams says his parents stressed the significance of education and encouraged him to do well while in high school. As a result he received an athletic and academic scholarship to attend Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration in 1989. From there he attended the University of Pittsburgh where he earned his MBA from the Katz School of Business. In 1990 the senior vice president-service management at AT&T began his career with the company where he has held a variety of positions within a 23-year span of time.
A humble and low keyed gentleman, not one to boast on his longevity at AT&T, a company that is considered a premier communications holding company or the accomplishments he has made throughout his career, Williams says he just works hard and tries to do the right thing.
“I have had good people in my life that placed high expectations on me,” he explained.
He said his father was an entrepreneur and mother was an educator. He has been married for 21 years and has two children.
“The work that I do and any accomplishments that I have made only is a validation that I have to work harder to live up to those expectations,” he said.
Giving back is just one of the expectations people have placed on him and he has placed on his self that he feels he is living up to.
He recently established the Xavier D. Williams Business Speaker Series Endowment at Edinboro University. With the goal to bring experienced business leaders and entrepreneurs to share insights and wisdom with students, providing a rewarding educational experience, the speaker series provides Edinboro students with the opportunity to meet outstanding business leaders, while exploring issues affecting business today, according to Edinboro officials. Williams said creating the endowment is his way of continuing his involvement with Edinboro to help the students learn the best ways of approaching business opportunities, and how they can make a difference in the business world.
Williams is also an advocate for people development and diversity. He is on the advisory board of Asian Pacific Islanders for Professional and Community Advancement and sits on the advisory board for the National Sales Network and is a member of the Executive Leadership Council.
Proud of his ties to Pittsburgh, Williams said he helped organize the Urban League of Pittsburgh Young Professionals group and serves as a charter member.
Williams was listed as a 2013 Diversity MBA Top 100 Under 50 Diverse Executive Leaders by Diversity Magazine and has been listed as one of the most influential African Americans in Business by Profiles in Diversity Journal. He is the recipient of the Eagle Award from the National Eagle Leadership Institute for his outstanding leadership achievement, was recognized by USA Freedom Corps for his dedication to volunteerism in the community, while also being named the first recipient of the AT&T Corporation Chairman’s Diversity Award. He has also received the Distinguished Alumni honor from Edinboro University as a tribute to an extraordinary alumnus who has used his Edinboro University education to bring excellence to his professional achievements, vocational accomplishments, and his community service to others.
At AT&T, Williams has global responsibilities for the client interface on all customer service functions inclusive of service delivery, service assurance and billing for all retail customers. He has served as senior vice president—public sector and healthcare, senior vice president-business communications services for AT&T Southwest, federal sales vice president for AT&T government solutions, and HR training vice president. He also has held positions in finance, product management, business planning, human resources and sales.
A multinational telecommunications company AT&T is also a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. It is the third-largest company in Texas and twenty first largest mobile telecom operator in the world, with more than 107.9 million mobile customers.
While giving back to society, Williams says he strives to be an influence to young people and to help others. He often advises young people and those looking to go into the work force to have strong communication, verbal, written and social skills.
“You can’t limit yourself,” he stressed. “Whatever you want to do you can’t quit until you accomplish it. Don’t be scared to fail or to be great.”
Williams also suggested that it is important to be involved with and members of organizations that can help in furthering ones education or career. Though he was not able to attend the Pitt Black MBA Network Homecoming Events he said they are important.
PBAN convenes twice a year during Homecoming and Black History Month. This year’s event was kicked off by a welcome reception that was held Sept. 26 at the Wyndham Pittsburgh University Center.
According to Tricina Cash, vice president of administration and president and chief consultant for Osmosis Group LLC., the PBAN is an affinity group of the University of Pittsburgh Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business. The group consists of Black graduates of the MBA programs full-time, part-time, and executive spanning as far back as the class of 1971. She calculates that the University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Business has graduated more than 300 Black people.
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