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Monday, Oct. 24, 2016



CELEBRATING THE CLASS OF 2014: YPI of the Year Dr. Melva Williams

Forty young professionals under the age of 40 were honored by the Young Professionals Initiative at the 40 Under 40 Gala on Dec. 5, 2014, at Horseshoe’s Riverdome.

The award, presented by The Forum, recognizes the personal and professional achievements of outstanding members of the Shreveport-Bossier City community.

More than 500 attended the gala, which was one of the largest attendances for 40 Under 40, Emerie Gentry, chairwoman of the YPI, said of the 2014 event.

She said this record attendance also gives credit to the sponsors and the YPI’s hard work.

Dr. Melva Williams was awarded the title of 2014 Young Professional of the Year by an executive committee.

For 15 years Dr. Melva Williams has worked in higher education. She’s held leadership roles such as executive associate to the chancellor at SUSLA and associate dean of the college at Centenary.

Williams was also chief of staff and assistant vice president for Academic and Student Affairs for the Southern University System. She is a graduate of Grambling State University and earned a Ph.D. from Jackson State University. Williams is very active in state and national service and has received numerous commendations commemorating her dedication. She is an alumna of Leadership Louisiana and in 2010 received the Difference Award for making a positive impact in the field of education. However, most notably, she was one of 61 people selected within the United States to participate in the Presidential Leadership Scholars program that provides leadership training in partnership with three former American presidents (President George H. W. Bush, President William J. Clinton and President George W. Bush).

She is a board member for the Robinson Film Center, Caddo Council on Aging, board president for Extensions of Excellence, founding board member for the Higher Education Leadership Foundation and vice president of the Shreveport Charter Foundation (SCF) that built the first new school, Magnolia School of Excellence, in Caddo Parish in over 30 years. This year, SCF completed construction on a new high school in Shreveport.

She is married to Steve Williams of Chicago, Ill.


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