October 14, 2005
Williams built a $500 million portfolio for PCIDs
Janet Jones Kendall
If Yvonne Williams’ dreams come true, the Perimeter will become a national model for superb quality in retail, office and residential development, transportation choice, recreational variety, good design and a unique urban center.
As president of the Perimeter Community Improvement Districts and a native of Atlanta, Williams envisioned a high-profile corporate or nonprofit external affairs position when she was working on her public relations degree at The University of Georgia. That drive for success and motivation to be a leader is one that has remained with Williams throughout her career.
“I have always been a high achiever and designated for leadership roles,” said Williams, who has been president and CEO of six organizations.
Prior to her work with the PCIDs, Williams represented chambers of commerce and economic development and community improvement districts for more than 25 years. As president of the PCIDs, she is working with local, state and federal agencies and organizations to address the overall issue of increasing the funds available for transportation alternatives and infrastructure improvements in the region.
In the past five years, the PCIDs have accomplished several precedent-setting tasks under Williams’ charge, including:
Building a portfolio of $500 million in improvement projects dedicated to the Perimeter area from grants, local government and state and federal resources.
Organizing the CID alliance of Fulton County and DeKalb County CIDs.
Organizing CIDs in Georgia to campaign for the legislative reform of congressional balance legislation.
Working with corporate leaders to develop and execute the strategy for inclusion of the Cumberland to Perimeter Interstate 285 Transit Project in the new federal Reauthorization Bill.
Williams said she became interested in livable city issues because of her interest in facilitating negotiations for quality development and policy initiatives that increase business efficiency.
“I love the dynamics of the Perimeter area. I’m proud of the Perimeter presence of corporate employers and their significant investments to the southeast United States,” Williams said.
And those employers — and key government officials — are proud of Williams.
“Yvonne as been the catalyst in moving the PCIDs into the influential role it plays,” said Fulton County Commission Chairperson Karen Handel.
PCID Chairman Bob Voyles agrees. President and CEO of Seven Oaks Co., an Atlanta-based real estate development firm, Voyles helped select Williams. “She has a strong business orientation and a very positive attitude and I felt that was important in this strategic role as president of the PCIDs, because you need to be an advocate for them.”
Recently, Gov. Sonny Perdue appointed Williams to two more high-profile positions: The Congestion Mitigation Task Force and the Sandy Springs Interim Government Commission. Both positions connect directly with her dream for the PCIDs.
“My wish is for not only expanded funds for transportation infrastructure but also a streamlined organization of transportation agencies in a public/private model with CIDs serving the private role,” Williams said.
Within the next 10 years, Williams predicts Atlantans will see more than $330 million in new retail, office and residential investment planned for the Perimeter market as a result of the PCIDs’ implementation of streetscape improvements. Within the next five years, she predicts improved access from Georgia 400 to I-285 and connectivity to MARTA with more than $500 million in transportation improvements.