YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A former leader of Youngstown was back in town Thursday giving some lessons on leadership.
An economic development organization called Valley Partners invited Jay Williams to speak at their Lunch and Learn event on Thursday afternoon. It took place in the DeBartolo Stadium Club at Youngstown State University.
Williams served as Youngstown’s mayor from 2005 through 2011. He went on to work for the U.S. Commerce Department under then-President Barack Obama.
Williams said he hopes his experiences will help other leaders.
“Hope to share some of the things I’ve learned over my 20-plus years of leadership — both things that went well, learned from my mistakes, also just the opportunity to hear some of the things that are happening in Youngstown and here in the Mahoning Valley, and it’s great to be up here on campus where I graduated some 30-plus years ago,” he said, laughing.
Williams currently works as the president and CEO of a group called the Hartford Foundation in Connecticut, which works to end structural racism in the Greater Hartford area.
“It is important that we have leaders in our cities, in our towns, in our state and in our country that have a vision, that have integrity, that understand being a leader isn’t about the individual, but it’s about empowering others, and there are so many people who have come from Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley who are doing wonderful things across this country, just to reinforce that and reaffirm that and have the opportunity to be back home,” Williams said.
Johnny Skoloda contributed to this report.