Jennifer Lynne Williams – Excellence Is Being an Independent Thinker (#20)

Guest Jennifer Lynne Williams has been breaking barriers and glass ceilings her whole life. Now, as the Chief Development Officer of the USA Basketball Foundation, she continues to make a difference. –By Brian Hurlburt, host.

I first met Williams as she was hosting “Women in the Game”, a conference inspiring a diverse group of young women looking to get into the sports industry.

“To be Excellent, you have to be able to stay focused,” Williams says during the episode. “For me, I think it goes back to when I was in high school and I was taught to be an independent thinker. When you  know who you are and what you stand for, it’s easy to be Excellent. And also to exude Excellence because you’re comfortable in your own skin. Also, knowing your core values is key.”

Williams is a former captain of the North Carolina basketball team and also a former athletic director at Alabama State University, and has been recognized with many accolades.

Overcoming fear and challenges has also been part of her story, especially when she possibly didn’t “look the part” when she was truly qualified.

“I think at the end of the day, you have to know what you’re doing it for and it’s bigger than you,” Williams says. “I was able to break a barrier in situations where you didn’t see African-American women fundraising at the division one level. And by showing up every day and being prepared, it has inspired another generation.”