Still full of the same energy and passion that has fueled decades of service, Maj. Gen. Leo V. Williams III is a strong model of success for young men and women across the board.
The Major General has over 33 years in the Marine Corps Reserve, several positions of national and local leadership, and his own business ventures on his long list of personal accomplishments.
And even though his solid reputation precedes him, only humility surrounds the man who says countless family members and friends have played a part in getting him where he is today.
“It begins with my parents, but it takes a village to raise a man or a woman,” Williams told the AFRO. “My village was very large and very helpful. It began with my family and then went very quickly to my church and all the teachers I’ve had the great fortune to learn from in class.”
Though Williams continues to hold many powerful positions, his title as member of Baltimore’s Bethel A.M.E. Church and ties to his home church, Bank Street Baptist, in Norfolk, Va., are at the top of the list.
Williams graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1970 and went on to earn a MBA in 1978 from Southern Illinois University. During his time in the Marine Corps, he served in numerous positions including principle representative to the Joint Requirements Board, Battery Commander and a leader in logistics.
Williams now has education in his own line of vision after eight years of retirement from the Marine Corps and two years of retirement from his position as executive vice president of Medifast, a company that aids in permanent weight loss.
He’s currently a trustee for the University of the District of Columbia, and has a consulting company in the works that will oversee leadership training for organizations looking to strengthen their top players.
And who better to get the ins and outs of running a business than the man who spent 25 years as marketing manager for the SUV and Pick Up Truck Division of Ford Motor Company.
Williams says that even after retirement he keeps a full plate simply by finding the bottom line of every organization he’s involved in and diligently working towards that goal at an equal pace.
“In the case of the University of the District of Columbia it’s education- blacks and minorities don’t have the same opportunities. In the case of Medifast it’s health- the disparity among minorities with diabetes,” said Williams, who, next month, will finish his term as chair of the board of the Baltimore Chapter of the American Diabetes Association.
“Seventy percent of all adults in the United States are overweight or obese,” said Williams, explaining why he continues to be passionate about teaching long-term healthy eating and living. “What that means is that everyone in that situation is more susceptible to disease, issues with cholesterol and diabetes.”
Williams currently works through the Take Shape for Life health coaching operation, to help others fight health disparities with the help of his wife.
He said that both his father and mother, 86 and 85, respectively, suffer from mild diabetes, which gives him greater urgency when tackling the issue and informing others how to prevent and treat the condition.