Tiffany S. Williams
35, Director of Stewardship and Special Gifts at Virginia Wesleyan University, Virginia Beach
Contributions to the business community:
How do you define success?
Success is allowing yourself to take risks, to be open to challenges and to never settle. I believe to be successful you need to put in the work and be willing to be coached and mentored by others who want you to succeed.
What person or experience has made the biggest impact on your life?
My parents provided me with a foundation to know that I can achieve anything in life with hard work, self-motivation and drive. I’m grateful for the tools they gave me to support my goals and their instilling the importance of integrity.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment will always be my son and being his mother. My personal civic calling is providing service to children and women’s organizations. Being President of The Junior League of Norfolk-Virginia Beach is a tremendous honor, and I take great pride in representing this group of dynamic women who are committed to improving our community through effective action and leadership. Professionally, it is extremely fulfilling for me to be able to contribute to and witness the success of the next generation at Virginia Wesleyan University.
What’s the best compliment you’ve received from a colleague or manager?
When I am recognized or complimented for the work I’m doing in the community, it is a humbling moment for me. I get involved because I believe it is the right thing to do. To be acknowledged for that shows me that others find value in it as well and believe it to be the right thing. That is very encouraging to me.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
As a child, I wanted to be a doctor. During my teen years, I became interested in politics, and my career focus shifted to law. I even participated in a mock trial program during my high school years sponsored by a local law firm.
Name a book that has inspired you professionally.
Two years ago I received SPARK: How to Lead Yourself and Others to Greater Success by Angie Morgan, Courtney Lynch and Sean Lynch. I keep a copy in my office at work and refer to it often.
What is your best time management hack?
For one, it’s OK to pause. I’m known to make a list for everything, and the best feeling is to check off completed tasks. When I properly plan ahead by making a list, I am able to better manage my time and productivity.
What’s your favorite restaurant for a lunch meeting in Coastal Virginia, and what do you order when you go there?
For a lunch meeting I would choose Baker’s Crust—their menu offers a diverse (and delightful) selection to accommodate dietary restrictions, and I’m all for supporting local business. I would order the shrimp and grilled avocado salad.
Is there anything that you would change about your generation as a whole? If so, what?
The millennial generation reflects innovation and empowerment, but I do fear in this world of constant change and technological advancement, that my generation will not benefit from the value of “putting the phone down” and having a meaningful conversation.
What do you think is Coastal Virginia’s biggest challenge?
The need for expanded collaboration among our cities. More unified developments could help attract additional external entities that could benefit our regional economy.
How can Coastal Virginia better retain its younger population?
By offering a competitive employment environment that looks to promote and support the next generation. Also, through civic opportunities and entertainment options.
What’s something that gives you hope for the future?
Current efforts toward a more inclusive society gives me hope for the future. I know we will only continue to progress in this area—millennials are game changers.
From her nomination:
“Tiffany Williams has a huge heart, but her professionalism and motivated spirit set her apart from her peers. She is truly an asset to any organization or volunteer entity and is especially passionate about causes dedicated to education and empowerment.”
—Scott Miller, president of Virginia Wesleyan University