Joseph A. WilliamsJoseph A. Williams has focused on opportunities to improve effective working relationships between M/WBEs and majority firms since the 1970s, when he co-founded the Council of Minority Entrepreneurs, which linked minority firms with major corporations. In 1983, he co-founded Target Group Inc., a management consulting firm that specializes in developing and implementing strategies to promote workforce diversity and create economic opportunities for M/WBEs.

Williams was the first minority business owner to be named an officer of the Chicago Regional Purchasing Council and headed the first Illinois Small Business Administration 503 Loan Program, which provided loans to fledgling businesses. On behalf of the Illinois Jobs Coordinating Council and Chicago’s Private Industry Council, he helped orchestrate an outreach program encouraging small firms to hire the underprivileged. Additionally, he has worked extensively in developing enterprise zone legislation in Illinois.

Williams also has served as president of Onterie Center Development Corp. and as vice president of O’Hare Tech Associates, developer of a 40-acre site adjacent to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

His affiliations include the American Institute of Architects’ Chicago chapter, the Community and Neighborhood Development Organization and the Chicago Business Council. Crain’s Small Business named Williams its Entrepreneur of the Year in 1996.