Meet one of the newest members of the Business Council of Alabama – Charles Williams II. He is the second generation in business with his father, Charles Williams, founder, owner, and CEO of Charles Williams & Associates Inc., a family owned architectural service firm in Birmingham that provides design, project management, and construction administration.
Both Williamses are members of the American Institute of Architects.
Charles Williams II said he learned about the BCA earlier this year and was recruited by BCA Second Vice Chairman Michael Kemp.
“I started thinking about organizations that might be geared toward business and expanding what we do in Alabama,” Williams said. “Mike Kemp invited me to the (Chairman’s) dinner. To see the general membership like that was interesting. The more I looked at it I realized membership has potential.”
Kemp is president and chief executive officer of Kemp Management Solutions LLC in Birmingham. “We actually know each other pretty well,” Williams said.
Charles Williams & Associates Inc. is in its second generation. “We have six employees right now and we’re a small business looking to grow,” Williams said.
“I grew up in the business and as I was growing up I said I can do that as well,” Williams said. “So, I went to Auburn and graduated in 2006.”
Although he’s an architect, Williams’ primary job is business development. In fact, he was interviewed by telephone while on a client recruiting trip to Huntsville.
“Our business challenges are not any different than anyone else,” Williams said. “We have to hire, we have to grow our staff, and we have to secure projects in order to have that staff.”
Charles Williams & Associates Inc. projects include a recreation center for the city of Bessemer, partnering on projects involving Selma High School and Huffman High School.
“There’s a lot of municipal work,” Williams said. “We’re doing work at UAB right now, and working on a project for the University of Alabama, some healthcare things, and a lot of municipal work in Birmingham, down in Mobile, the Mobile County school system, work up in Huntsville, and actually work in Georgia on a wastewater treatment plant for the city of Atlanta.”
The senior Williams was educated as an architect, worked for the phone company for 18 years, took a buyout, and started Charles Williams & Associates LLC.
“We have a strategic growth plan that includes partnering and consulting and lead architect,” Charles Williams II said. “There’s enough work out there for everybody.
“Where do we want to be in five years?” Williams said. “We talk about strategic growth and responsible growth but we’re not averse to having other businesses grow out of what we’re doing, to having a larger market share.
“We’re open to all opportunities because there’s a lot of development going on,” Williams said. “Alabama is an incredible hotbed right now. We want to be in a position to capitalize on opportunities available to us.”