For the last eight years of her 29-year career at the Procter & Gamble Co., Icy Williams worked with minority and women business owners as the corporation's supplier diversity leader.
Now she's one of P&G's suppliers as owner and president of PAK/TEEM, Inc., an engineering, design and manufacturing firm based in Woodlawn.
Williams and her husband, Clarence, a former NFL player turned entrepreneur, acquired the 25-year-old PAK/TEEM from its founders late last year. They wanted to put their retirement savings to work, she said, and purchase the company to build a legacy for their children and grandchildren.
"We as a nation of people of color, we do a lot of consuming," Williams said. "But how much do we own? And how much of a product do we make?"
As president of PAK/TEEM, Williams is working to grow the company's customer base and expand its sales to the point that it can hire more people.
The company specializes in designing and manufacturing dust containment and collection systems for such corporate customers as P&G, Kellogg Co., Post Foods, Monsanto Co. and Kroger Co.
The company currently employs 55 people at its headquarters in Woodlawn and its satellite locations in Appleton, Wisc., and Fort Mill, S.C. Annual revenue has ranged from $12 million to $15 million each of the past three years.
Insiders can read about Williams' goals for the company and why her banker and the lawyers involved in the acquisition believe she has what it takes to grow the company.