Guiding Light Welcomes Eric Williams to Board of Directors
For Immediate Release
Contact: Starla McDermott
Guiding Light, 616.451.0236, ext. 20
Sabo PR, 616.401.5137
Grand Rapids, Michigan, July 6, 2020 – Eric Williams, chief executive officer of the United Methodist Community House, has joined Guiding Light’s board of directors.
Williams brings more than 40 years of experience in entrepreneurship, higher education, nonprofit work and community involvement to the 12-person board. His skills complement Guiding Light’s mission to partner with men to fulfill their God-given potential through its rescue, recovery and re-engagement programs.
“Eric’s background and deep understanding of working with nonprofits and diverse communities is an incredible asset for Guiding Light,” said Stuart P. Ray, Guiding Light executive director. “His passion for fulfilling God’s work makes him an invaluable part of our board. We are grateful Eric is lending his time and talents in support of Guiding Light and the men we serve.”
Complementary to the mission of Guiding Light, the United Methodist Community House works to increase the ability of children, youth, adults and families to succeed in a diverse community. Through its programming and five core values of faith, love, integrity, teamwork and excellence, the Heartside nonprofit has helped thousands of individuals and families in West Michigan over its 118 years of ministry.
During his career, Williams has owned two businesses, the first a management consulting firm where he worked with more than 100 companies and nonprofits, assisting with strategic planning, vision-setting, mission development, staff capacity building and other areas. He also owned a publishing company that reprinted classic writings by historic African Americans. His reprints have been collected by Colin Powell, Spike Lee, Vanessa Williams, Oprah Winfrey and many others.
In dedicating his life to bettering communities, Williams has served on senior leadership teams for major colleges and universities throughout his career, including the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Oakland University and Grand Rapids Community College. During his career, he has worked in student recruitment, executive leadership recruitment, human resources, training and development, program development, management and evaluation, diversity and inclusion, grant writing and organizational assessment.
Williams has served on many boards, commissions and task forces, including the Grand Rapids City Commission and Planning Commission. He has also served as an associate and interim pastor at Messiah Baptist Church.
“I am honored to become a part of such a great organization,” Williams said. “After spending the past year diving into Guiding Light’s work, mission, values and operations, my prayer is that I will bring relevance and meaning as I serve the individuals who use its critical services alongside my colleagues.”
Founded in 1929 as the West Fulton St. Mission, Guiding Light has grown into a robust recovery and re-engagement community designed to help those living at society’s margins fulfill their God-given potential. The nonprofit has been building on a near century of compassion and celebrated 90 years of serving Grand Rapids in 2019. Through its Back to Work, Recovery and Iron House programs, Guiding Light works with men struggling with addiction and homelessness to return to society. Since 2017, Guiding Light has earned a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, which underscores our commitment to accountability and transparency. For more information, visit guidinglightworks.org.
THIS MEANS THAT ANYONE WHO BELONGS TO CHRIST HAS BECOME A NEW PERSON. THE OLD LIFE IS GONE; A NEW LIFE HAS BEGUN!
2 CORINTHIANS 5:17