Bronx, NY – The South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (SoBRO) will honor Dr. Carolyn G. Williams, president of Bronx Community College of The City University of New York for her distinguished career in education and her efforts to building a Better Bronx at the 33rd annual SoBRO Gala, Wednesday, November 16, at The Copacabana. Also slated to be honored are Marc Jahr, Citibank N.A. and Barry Milea, president of Milea Truck Sales Corp for their contributions to the Bronx.
SoBRO was founded in 1972 by a consortium of banks, community representatives and businesses, convened by the late U.S. Senator Jacob Javits and former Bronx Borough President Robert Abrams to REVERSE the flight of businesses and jobs from the South Bronx. TODAY SOBRO IS one of the largest most successful economic development corporations in the country and has worked for more than three decades to enhance the quality of life in the South Bronx by strengthening businesses, creating and implementing innovative economic and housing initiatives and providing quality educational and career development for youth and adults. SoBRO can be partially credited with the current renaissance that the South Bronx is experiencing.
Dr. Carolyn Grubbs Williams is the first female to serve as the leader of the Bronx Community College of The City University of New York. She was named its sixth president in June 1996. Prior to assuming this presidency, Dr. Williams served as the President of Los Angeles Southwest College, 1991-96.
Her reputation as an expert in designing programs to help community college students continue their post-secondary education has been utilized by The Ford Foundation Urban Transfer Opportunity Program, the United Negro College Fund Transfer Opportunity Program and the National Center for Educational Alliances. Currently, under her leadership, the National Center for Educational Alliances has undertaken large scale capacity-building projects in higher education in South Africa.
Dr. Williams serves on a number of national boards including the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) where she served as Chair, 1999-00. She is currently a member of the Commission on Research. She was also on the Board of the American Council on Education and is currently serving on the Membership Committee. She is the Past Chair of Council for Adult & Experiential Learning (CAEL). She is a member of the following boards: Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U), Association Liaison Office (ALO), National Articulation & Transfer Network (NATN), the National Council on Black American Affairs (NCBAA) and she is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
She was also invited to participate in the national summit on “21st Century Skills for 21st Century Jobs” convened by Vice President Al Gore in 1999.
Her community service and business involvement includes serving on the Boards of Directors of the Boy Scouts of America and Bronx Council for Economic Development among others.
Dr. Williams is married to Dr. Houston Williams, a doctor of dental medicine. They have one daughter, Stacy, also a dentist.
The black-tie optional evening will feature cocktails and a silent auction of jewelry, arts, and celebrity sports packages followed by dinner, awards presentation and dancing to the sounds of The Bartlett Contemporaries. The proceeds will support and enhance SoBRO’S wide variety of economic development programs.