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Noel C. Williams - He wants groups to make a difference

April 23, 2006|By DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ

FALLING WATERS, W.Va. - Falling Waters resident Noel C. Williams said he has learned to say no.

An operations manager at Fujicolor Processing Inc., the 49-year-old father of two said it took some time, and an arms-length of affiliations and memberships to local organizations, but through it all, he does not regret his previous inability to decline invitations.

"Some people say, 'Well, you don't know how to say no,'" he said, noting he attends about two meetings a week. "You find the time to do what you want to do."

Williams is president of the board of directors of the United Way of Washington County, and a member of the boards of Habitat for Humanity, San Mar Children's Home, Cedar Ridge Children's Home and the Washington County Economic Development Commission. He also serves on the advisory board for Hagerstown Business College, is a member of the Rotary Club of Williamsport and the Greater Hagerstown Committee, and recently stepped down from the board of the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce.

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Born in Dallas, he moved to the Hagerstown area from Tennessee about a dozen years ago. He said he took the advice of one of his former bosses and decided to become involved in the community, starting with a committee of the United Way and expanding from there.

Williams began his term as United Way board president last spring, and among the early tasks of his administration was to lead a search committee to replace former United Way Executive Director James Taylor. In January 2005, the committee selected Dale Bannon Jr. to replace Taylor, who stepped down in September 2004 to accept a position with the United Way in Indiana.

He said he judges his success not by what he has helped bring about, but by how far the organizations he works with are able to go in making a difference in their communities.

To that end, the Hagerstown area is blessed with not only a wide variety of service organizations, but a large base of people who want to help those organizations succeed, Williams said.

"It's not that important for me to think about what I did, it's to look at the organizations and see how well they're doing," he said. "One of the things you can see that's rewarding is seeing the people in the different organizations ... A lot of them have dedicated their lives to helping youth, to helping the elderly."

Williams said he doesn't think people have to get involved with as many organizations as he is to make a difference, although he believes people should try to pick at least one that they feel passionate about and volunteer their time.

"If people want to, this community is ... the right size as a community to get involved in," he said. "You don't have to be involved with multiple things, but get involved in one thing."

While his term as president ends this spring, Williams said he will remain on the board of directors for another year.

Q&A

Name - Noel C. Williams

Address - Falling Waters, W.Va.

Date of birth - June 14, 1956

Occupation - Operations manager, Fujicolor Processing Inc.

Most notable achievement - My tenure this past year as president of the United Way Board of Directors. That's been a real honor to me.

Proudest moment - I think the birth of my children, my two boys. That's one of my biggest personal moments.

Who is the person you admire most and why? - I don't know if I can pin down any one person that I admire most. I have a lot of people who have been role models for me. He said those people share common traits, including enthusiasm, integrity and are people who truly care about other people.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Who gave it to you? - When you go into a new area, you get involved, former boss Dave Rogers once told him.

What is the next goal you would like to achieve? - There is a single direction, and it is wanting to help make this a better community.

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