Profile in paradise – Sallie Williams
A champion of reading and volunteerism
Sallie Williams has been an avid, some might say voracious, reader since childhood, enjoying books of all genre her entire life. She shares her love of reading with her children and grandchildren as well as with Quest and Early Learning and Literacy Model children.
For the past nine years, she has served on the First Book-Collier County board of directors and now leads Books for Collier Kids (formerly First Book) as its chair.
BCK provides new books to children in need, addressi
ng one of the most important factors affecting literacy: access to books. Since 2005, BCK has given more than 700,000 new, age-appropriate books to Collier County children who need them most, to take home, share and cherish.
After a 30-year career with the NCH Healthcare System as chief information officer and then as vice president for its foundation, Sallie retired in 2006 to start The
Williams Consulting Group LLC. Working with nonprofits in Southwest Florida on strategic planning, fundraising and board development, she champions the importance of volunteerism — and she sets a fine example, tutoring Pre-K children at Parkside Elementary
, mentored high school students with Quest and serving on the board of the Marco Island Center for the Arts.
Ms. Williams embraces the philosophy of helping others, encouraging confidence and building competence for lifelong success. ¦
Talking points with Sallie Williams
Mentor: My grandmother, my namesake, emigrated from Ireland in the 1890s and became a very successful businesswoman in the 1940s and 1950s. She encouraged me to reach for the stars.
Something your mom was right about: “Any job worth doing is worth doing right.”
Where did you grow up? Outside Buffalo, N.Y., in a lovely suburban town with lots of children and families.
When and why did you first come to Naples/ Collier County, and what was your first impression? My parents first bought on Marco Island in 1967; I visited many times and fell in love with the sugar white sand and crescent beach. In 1977, my husband and I moved to Marco with our baby daughter — with no jobs, but plenty of confidence.
Next vacation destination: Maui with my daughter, Lindsay, to celebrate her 40th birthday.
One thing on your bucket list: Road trip to Alaska with my husband, Kevin.
Skill or talent you wish you had: Artistic creativity. I am so left-brained, I’m lopsided.
Advice for your grandkids: “Live life to the fullest, every day.”
What are you most proud of? Our happy, healthy, loving family that enjoys being together for food, fun and laughs. We are blessed to have been married for 43 years and to have two confident, successful children and four beautiful grandchildren.
Last book you read: I am an eclectic reader who enjoys a variety of genre. Most recently, I have read “America’s First Daughter” by Laura Kamoie and Stephanie Dray, about Patsy Jefferson; “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins; “Armageddon: How Trump Can Beat Hillary” by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann; and “Sycamore Row” by John Grisham.
All-time favorite book: “Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.” I’ve read it three times.
Something people might be surprised to find out about you: As a Gemini, I have always had two sides of my personality, such as professional/business leader and wife/mother. We have a beautiful place in the rolling hills of middle Tennessee where I love farming, weeding, canning, sewing and living in jeans and boots.
Favorite thing about the Paradise Coast: The relaxed living, the “chamber-of-commerce” weather and the friendly mid-western culture.
— Bob Harden is the producer and host of “The Bob Harden Show,” airing from 7- 8 a. m. weekdays at www.bobharden.com, where past show are archived for listeners’ convenience.