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Blazing Trails Women of the Present Series: Blanche Williams, MS – Trailblazer/Leadership Coach/Ethics Facilitator/Speaker/Author

 Celebrating National Women’s History Month

By Rochelle Soetan

HeadshotMost people define the ideals of success by wealth, power, or fame. But Blanche A. Williams, President and CEO of Greatness By Design LLC, understands that the evolution of success emerges by way of divine design – our very own. She identified her precept, “Success is by choice, not by chance. Choose wisely” upon originating Greatness By Design LLC, a brand of excellence that distinctly speaks for itself.

For more than 20 years as a writer, national speaker, broadcast journalist, and women’s advocate, Blanche has been inspiring, guiding and coaching young girls and women how to be their best by reaching beyond perceived limitations and conventional values. By employing a series of calculated and exceptional practices throughout her own journey to achievement, she has been able to educate women (and men) all over the globe, on how to get from where they are – to where they want to be. Her unique strategies for success and expertise in business have afforded her significant opportunities from Washington, D.C. to Istanbul, Turkey. In addition, she has facilitated programming for students, elementary to collegiate, and prepared training workshops for Five Star Resorts throughout the Caribbean. Recognizably, her affirmative sense of well-being, wisdom, and wonder seem to follow her wherever she goes.

After the brink of the New Millennium, Blanche spent several years shaping her career as a OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANational XM Radio Talk Show Host in Washington, D.C. and while raising her son. During that time and with enthusiasm and purpose, she designed a platform to highlight the many endeavors and accomplishments of some of the world’s most extraordinary people. These conversations included luminaries such as Dr. Stephen Covey, Dr. Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, Denzel Washington, Faye Wattleton, Charles OsGood, Quincy Jones, Suze Orman, Myrlie Evers-Williams, Laila Ali, Kerry Washington, Nancy Wilson, Iyanla Vanzant, and Dr. Dorothy Height. Demonstrably, her exposure to greatness has helped her become an expert in designing techniques that deliver excellence.

A principle part of Blanche’s strategic solutions is to engage in environments where she can use her voice for creative exchange and conscious change. She covered the 2008 Democratic National Convention’s Presidential Nomination of Barack Obama in Denver, followed by front row coverage of the 2009 Presidential Inauguration in Washington, DC. As XM Radio Host, she also created roundtables of substance. In the aftermath of the deplorable comments made by Don Imus on April 7, 2007, regarding Rutgers University Women’s Basketball Team, Blanche conducted a special live two-hour discussion on Race & Gender in Our Nation on April 18, 2007, followed by a Part II discussion on April 25, 2007.

Dr. Dorothy Height and Blanche Williams, First Annual National Black Women's Town Hall, 2009
Dr. Dorothy Height and Blanche Williams, First Annual National Black Women’s Town Hall, 2009

On July 11, 2008, as a continuation of her broadcast outrage after Don Imus’ racist comments, Blanche Williams created and convened the First Annual National Black Women’s Town Hall Meeting (NBWTH) at the historical headquarters of the National Council of Negro Women. This effort was made part of a sisterly collaboration with Dr. Dorothy Height/NCNW Chair and Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever/ Director NCNW Research, Public Policy and Information Center. The event began with Williams sharing the cause and reading a special letter sent from Mrs. Michelle Obama, wife of then Presidential Candidate, Barack Obama.

Howard University AKA 2009 NBWTH
Howard University AKA 2009 NBWTH

The Inaugural panel featured many of the nation’s most distinguished women including Dr. Julianne Malveaux/Bennett College, Dr. Jane Smith/Spelman College, Eleanor Hinton-Hoyt/Black Women’s Health Imperative, Melanie Campbell/National Coalition of Black Civic Responsibility, Faye Wattleton/Center for the Advancement of Women, Daphne Valerius/The Souls of Black Girls, Sheryl Huggins-Salomon, Nia Enterprises, Dr. Tricia Bent-Goodley/Howard University, and Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever/NCNW. To date, the National Black Women’s Town Hall (NBWTH) is the first of its’ kind in the United States. http://blackwomenstownhall.com

Sisterhood of Greatness Manifesto As a result of the NBWTH, the New Millennium also presented Blanche with a renewed outlook on how to expand the communion, esteem, and support among African American women across the globe. In the spirit of sisterhood and service, she created the 21st Century Sisterhood of Greatness Pledge and Manifesto – a guide, pledge, and code of excellence in mind, body, and spirit. Like the purposeful trail she has blazed, Blanche passionately believes in leading by example.

PBC Sink or SailA born leader, change-agent, and success strategist, she has brought her distinctive brand of leadership to the classroom, serving as an Adjunct Professor at Palm Beach State College’s Center for Leadership and Professional Studies. She has currently created a Student Leadership Training Program for their Lake Worth Campus, in addition to being the Training Facilitator for the Center for Applied Ethics.

GBDcoverBlanche Williams is the acclaimed author of the 2-CD Audiobook How to Design Your Mind for Greatness. As well, she is a contributing author in the bestselling series Chicken Soup for the African-American Woman’s Soul, How To Be A Sister, and Tuesday Morning Love: 52 Commentaries and Weekly Affirmations to Honor the Soul within the Souldier. 

How To Be A Sister by Angela D. Coleman
How To Be A Sister by Angela D. Coleman

She has been featured in The Color Complex (Revised): The Politics of Skin Color in the New Millennium and national magazines including Black Enterprise, The Green Magazine, and Heart and Soul. Her article “Creating and Maintaining an Efficient “Built Ford Tough” Learning Organization: The Evolution of Organizational Success” has been published in international business management journals throughout the country. Other project highlights over the years have included working on the Western Hemispheric “Summit of the Americas” for the Clinton Administration with heads of states, celebrities, and dignitaries; the Award-winning Miami Expo 92: Quincentennial Project; and Super Bowl XXIX.

Sisterhood Empowerment Academy, St. John, Virgin Islands
Sisterhood Empowerment Academy, St. John, Virgin Islands

Her most recent effort embraces the utilization of the 21st Century Sisterhood of Greatness Pledge and Manifesto to be used in a girl’s curriculum at the Sisterhood Empowerment Academy (SEA) in the St. John, Virgin Islands. SEA is the headquarters for Sisterhood Agenda, Inc. and is facilitated by President, Angela D. Coleman. http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/the-sisterhood-empowerment-academy-sea/

Blanche earned her Master’s degree in Leadership in 2012, with honors and from Nova Southeastern University Wayne Huizenga School of Business. There she received Advanced Training Certification in Situational Leadership® Model from its renowned creator, Dr. Paul Hersey. Williams holds a Bachelor’s in Communication Studies from University of Maryland University College. She is a member of the International Association of Teamwork Facilitators and serves as an expert for the Women’s Media Center SHESOURCE.

Given all of the challenges and complexities that achieving greatness can bear, Blanche Williams has mastered the art of success. For her, striving for greatness is a fundamental human drive, and a necessary journey of trial, error, preparation, and tenacity. With each step, she is creating history and leaving her footprints above the moon. There’s no doubt that Blanche has achieved Greatness By Design!

Love and Light for your Tuesday!

Women’s History Month commentary references: March 12, 2013: Our Little Women March 19, 2013: Sotomayor’s Supreme Service/ March 26, 2013: Michelle Moves Mountains


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