Ms. Marie Williams
Director: Tennessee Quality Award; Tennessee Economic Development Center
Marie B. Williams is the President of the TENNESSEE QUALITY AWARD. She has been with TENNESSEE QUALITY AWARD since the program's inception in January 1993.
Prior to her appointment, Ms. Williams' career spanned 20 years in planning, creating, testing, implementing, and evaluating quality systems in both manufacturing and service environments. During this time she was responsible for a wide variety of assignments ranging from general management of a major women's apparel manufacturing firm to co-owning and managing a recruiting firm specializing in the placement of technical professionals.
Active in local, state and national organizations, Marie serves on the Board of the Mayberry Chair of Excellence at Tennessee Technological University. Curt Reimann, Ph.D., retired director of the Baldrige program, holds the Chair. Other interest and service include the Board of Directors of the National Center for Quality, the Board of Visitors, College of Applied Science and Technology, East Tennessee State University and the Editorial Advisory Board of The Quality Observer as well as United Way of Middle Tennessee. Marie is a member of a number of business and professional organizations. Selected representations include the American Society for Quality (ASQ); The Association for Quality and Participation (AQP); The World Quality Council; and the National Association of Female Executives.
Ms. Williams is recognized for her role in promoting and developing performance excellence worldwide. Her advice and council were instrumental in launching the Country of Mauritius National Quality Award having provided the framework and training for the inaugural awards in 1995. Her vision and leadership have made the Tennessee model the benchmark program. The model has served as the basis for programs worldwide as well have having been adopted by numerous states and local programs in the U.S.. From Australian and Mauritius to New Mexico, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky and beyond, the Tennessee model has been adapted and replicated. In 1995, Ms. Williams was designated a Kentucky Colonel by Gov. Paul Patton in recognition of her contribution to quality efforts in Kentucky.
Ms. Williams received her education in the North Carolina school system attending the University of North Carolina at Charlotte majoring in Business Management.