Chattanooga: Donna Williams to lead city's economic and community developments efforts

Chattanooga: Donna Williams to lead city's economic and community developments efforts

May 15th, 2013 by Staff Report in Local Regional News

Donna C. Williams

Photo by Tim Barber/Times Free Press.

Mayor Andy Berke named a member of his transition team and a former developer, realtor, volunteer and saleswoman to be director of the Department of Economic and Community Development.

Donna Williams, executive director of Habitat for Humanity, will lead the city's efforts to strengthen neighborhoods and boost economic opportunities across the city.

"As a city, we will connect community with economic development to provide new opportunities," said Mayor Berke in a news release. "Donna is the right person to lead this effort. She has extensive experience in our community, both in real estate and neighborhood revitalization.

"She has the passion and leadership to help implement my vision for economic and community development, one in which we strengthen our neighborhoods and make sure every part of Chattanooga has the opportunity to grow."

Williams joins other directors Berke recently appointed to his revamped City Hall organization: Lurone Jennings, who is Youth and Family Development administrator; Blythe Bailey, who is administrators of the Department of Transportation; and James McKissic, who is director the Office of Multicultural Affairs. In addition, Berke also has named Lee Norris as administrator of the Public Works Department and Ron Swafford as the City Court clerk.

A Chattanooga native, Williams attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and worked for a variety of computer and technology companies in Chattanooga and Atlanta before starting her own consulting and development firm in Chattanooga.

She worked on ML King Tomorrow Initiative before joining Habitat for Humanity as director in June 2012.

Williams has been involved in a number of civic and community organizations. She has served as vice-chairwoman of the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority and as board member of the Chattanooga Community Housing Development Organization, Chattanooga Historic Zoning Commission, Chattanooga Habitat for Humanity, Cornerstones Inc., Chattanooga Launch and the UTC Chancellor's Roundtable.