(March 31, 2016)
- Many of us are lucky to find one career field for which we feel a passion.
However, USACE Galveston District nominee for Project Manager of the Year Byron
Williams, PMP, has been fortunate enough to find two. The first, engineering,
was a love that began at his father’s knee.
was an old school draftsman, so I was used to being surrounded by engineers as
a kid when visiting his office. I even did an internship there my freshman year
before declaring a major,” says Williams.
decision to choose an engineering course of study proved to be difficult for
Williams, who also contemplated becoming a high school math teacher.
was a tough decision as I love working with kids,” said Williams.
passion for mentoring didn’t fall by the wayside. Shortly after finishing his
own studies, Williams worked to combine his love of engineering and mentoring
students at Ball High School and Reed Academy for Engineering.
explained that he experienced situations in his youth where positive guidance
would have gone a long way.
saw so many people with so few opportunities. When opportunities did occur, so
many incorrect choices were made. I believe the choices people made would have
been different if there would have been a voice of reason or an example to
follow, as I had with my parents. If by mentoring and tutoring I can influence
one kid to make better life choices, I get ecstatic."
brought his passion for mentoring into the workplace when he accepted an
additional position that includes supervisory responsibility – a role that
added to his responsibilities of managing high priority deep draft navigation
projects including the Houston Ship Channel, Sabine Neches Waterway and
Brownsville Island Harbor Channel, and a career move that caught the eye of
district senior leadership.
District Engineer for Programs and Project Management Dr. Edmond Russo, USACE
Galveston District, nominated Williams for the Program Manager of the Year
award in part for his willingness to accept this role.
is now the front line supervisor for seven project managers directly leading
over half of the district’s Civil Works Program,” said Russo. “Mr. Williams
accepted this position, without additional compensation, so that he could
devote more time to mentoring and developing senior project managers alike.”
to Russo, the USACE Galveston District remains focused on building strength in
its workforce through balancing technical expertise with management and
leadership skills to support the Corps’ current and future missions and
Williams’ selection is a testament to this practice.
am always looking for ways to advance my career within my comfort zone,” said
Williams. “We are going through changes in the way we do business. My ability
to structure how we respond and react to that change makes my job easier as
well as the other project managers. So it wasn’t about compensation, it was about
assisting the project management branch to be the best it could be. The
compensation will take care of itself.”
native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Williams earned a bachelor’s degree in Civil
Engineering from Southern University and A&M College, is an adjunct
instructor of project management at ITT Institute of Technology and serves as
the USACE Galveston District’s Crisis Action Team Leader, which was called to
action during hurricanes Ike and Rita. He lives in Houston with his wife and
Release no. 16-010