The New Orleans Regional Black Chamber of Commerce (NORBCC) announced that Patrice A. Williams-Smith will serve as the organizations new Chief Executive Officer effective immediately.
The announcement of Ms. Williams-Smith's hiring culminates a comprehensive search based on parameters established by NORBCC's Board of Directors.
"After a careful but detailed interview and evaluation process, Ms. Williams-Smith was selected as the best choice to lead our organization in its next stage of development and growth," said D'Juan Hernandez, chairman of the NORBCC board of directors.
Ms. Williams-Smith is a highly experienced manager with expertise in Small and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (SDBE) development with over 20 years of experience focused solely in the New Orleans area. Prior to joining NORBCC, Williams-Smith was the Program Business Services Manager at MWH Americas overseeing all transactional data for the City of New Orleans Recovery Infrastructure Program. She has previously served as Executive Director of the Urban League of Greater New Orleans Women's Business Resource Center and the Gulf South Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc.
"We embarked on the executive search with the goal of finding a leader who could assist in the development and cultivation of minority and small businesses," said Louis Livers, Jr. chairman of the nominating committee. "We are confident we have found the perfect person to move our organization forward."
"I am both excited and honored to once again assist minority businesses in the Metro area," said Williams-Smith. "African American businesses have faced many challenges Post Katrina, and with the support and dedication of the board of directors, I am committed to working to enhance their development and vitality."
As an active community leader, Ms. Williams-Smith has served on the Board of Trustees of Lakeland Medical Center, a position she held from 1994 to 2004, and has also served as the organization's Chairperson in 2001-02 & 1994-95. She previously served as a board member of the Retail Training Institute and the Columbia New Orleans Healthcare Network Charity Board. She is a member of the National Association for Female Executives and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Ms. Williams-Smith has also served on the boards of the Urban League of Greater New Orleans (1992-2000); Louisiana Association of Business Enterprise Specialists (1995-97); Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans Construction Review Board; City of New Orleans Department of Economic Development Open Access Appeal Board and St. Peter Claver Catholic Church Parish Council. In 1991, she was appointed by the Honorable Edwin Edwards, Governor of Louisiana, as a transition team member for the Department of Transportation and Development.
The New Orleans Regional Black Chamber of Commerce mission is to economically empower and sustain African American communities through entrepreneurship and capitalistic activity within the Greater New Orleans region.
Photo of Patrice A. Williams-Smith by J.R. Thomason. New Orleans Regional Black Chamber of Commerce banner from http://norbchamber.org.
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