This prestigious award, chosen by the FOCUS Board of Directors, is given annually to individuals who demonstrate committed leadership, generate a meaningful impact in the community, and encourage strong community engagement in others. The award will be presented at the 23rd Annual What’s Right with the Region celebration on Thursday, May 7, at Sheldon Concert Hall.
Williams joined the St. Louis Development Corporation in 1998 and has served as Executive Director since 2013. His leadership at the helm of the city’s economic development arm has played a key role in many multimillion-dollar development projects in the St. Louis City’s downtown and neighborhoods, including the new Busch Stadium and Ballpark Village, Cortex Innovation Community, the North Riverfront Industrial Corridor, and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s decision to remain in St. Louis.
Through fostering unprecedented partnerships among local, state, and federal leaders and organizations, he has focused his efforts on furthering economic development through development incentives, real estate development, neighborhood support and development, and minority access and inclusion.
Prior to joining SLDC, he served over 29 years in the U.S. Army and retired at the rank of Colonel. He also served as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“Otis Williams has spent his entire career devoted to public service – first in the military and now in supporting St. Louis’ economic development,” says Sharon Harvey Davis, board chair for FOCUS St. Louis. “He works tirelessly, and often behind the scenes, to bring businesses, investments and resources to our region to help make it a better place to live, work and play.”
Williams has also been recognized with the Diverse Business Leader Award by the St. Louis Business Journal, the Governor’s Career Service in Economic Development Award, the Pillar Award from the Small Business Development Center, the J.H Poelker Levee Stone Award from Downtown STL and the Missouri Growth Association Lifetime Achievement Award.
The St. Louis community is invited to join us to recognize Otis Williams for his leadership and public service in our region, as well as the 20 What’s Right with the Region award honorees.
23rd Annual FOCUS St. Louis What’s Right with the Region Awards Celebration
Thursday, May 7, 2020 · 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Sheldon Concert Hall
Tickets on sale now!
Past recipients of the FOCUS Leadership Award have included Bob Fox, Dennis Lower, Dr. Kelvin Adams, Dr. Jason Purnell, Frankie Muse Freeman, Anna Crosslin, and Chris Krehmeyer.