CSU, Chico News

Ethics Speaker Series Presents President and CEO of the Make-A-Wish Foundation

Date: 09-17-2009

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Shirley Hopkins
College of Business

The Ethics Speaker Series, a program of the College of Business, California State University, Chico, is bringing David A. Williams, president and chief executive officer of the Make-A-Wish Foundation to Chico Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 4 pm in the Bell Memorial Union Auditorium.

Williams’ lecture, “Leading with Passion: Behind the Wishmakers,” is free and open to the public.

As president and chief executive officer, Williams leads the national staff and 65 chapters of the Make-A-Wish Foundation in its mission: granting the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. The purpose of the foundation is to “enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.” Since 1980, the world’s largest wish-granting organization has granted the wishes of more than 174,000 children in the United States, Guam and Puerto Rico.

Williams joined the foundation in January 2005. National office annual revenue has since more than doubled, from $25 million to $60 million, distributions to chapters have increased from $8.8 million to $31 million, and overall foundation revenue has increased from $144 million to $204 million.

Before joining the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of America, Williams spent 10 years at Habitat for Humanity International, rising to executive vice president and chief operating officer. Under his leadership, the organization expanded in a number of areas, including revenue, house building and the number of countries with operations. Williams began his work in nonprofit leadership by serving as executive director of The Houston Food Bank for 11 years.

Williams earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Bloomsburg University, Pennsylvania, and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Houston.

In July 2006, Williams was appointed to the Helping to Enhance the Livelihood of People (HELP) Around the Globe Commission by President Bush. The 21-member federal commission studied U.S. foreign assistance programs and recommended ways to make them more effective. He is currently a member of the board of directors of America’s Charities and is an elder at Northridge Community Church.

Funded by donations from alumni and corporate partners, the College of Business Ethics Initiative is dedicated to preparing business students to become effective and principled leaders. Through lectures, classroom assignments, film viewings and lunch-time discussions, students explore business ethics issues with journalists and accomplished business executives.

For more information, contact Shirley Hopkins, ethics coordinator, at 530-898-6215 or sahopkins@csuchico.edu.