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Conservancy of Southwest Florida welcomes Karl Williams as Chairman of volunteers

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida has appointed long-time volunteer and retired business executive Karl Williams to lead its volunteer services division, leading the more than 600 volunteers that support the mission and operations of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.

A retired General Electric executive, Williams relocated to Naples, Florida in 2008.  During his 35-year career at GE, he was involved in all aspects of product development in their aerospace, telecommunications and electrical distribution businesses. Before retiring, he was the Technology General Manager for Industrial Systems leading a global product development organization with design centers in the U.S., Europe, India and China. His education includes a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical engineering from Syracuse University. He is also a graduate of the Edison Engineering program and several management courses at GE.

Williams is currently a Managing Member for O3 Hygienics, a start-up company that develops and sells ozone generators used for water/ice purification, food processing and laundry cleaning applications.

“I tried retirement, but just playing golf just wasn’t fulfilling for me,” said Williams. “At the Conservancy, they’ve really allowed me to use my for-profit business experience and to work collaboratively with staff and management to provide operational review and recommendations.”

For example, Williams was integral in the creation of a business plan for facility rentals and brings organizational structure to the volunteer program.

“Most importantly, working at the Conservancy allows me to play an integral role in educating members and guests about Florida’s environment and encouraging others to get involved,” said Williams. “I worry about the next generation and want to see my children and grandchildren enjoy and appreciate the natural environment that we enjoy today in Southwest Florida.”

Since 2009, Williams has donated more than 1,300 hours as a volunteer for the Conservancy. In addition to serving as Chairman of volunteers, he is vice-chair of the Conservancy’s Marketing Committee and is an active volunteer for outreach presentations.

“With his vast experience in the business world, Karl brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership to the Conservancy,” said Rob Moher, president and CEO, Conservancy of Southwest Florida. “In addition to providing hands-on operational leadership and consultation, he is an exceptional volunteer that goes above and beyond for the organization. He is passionate about supporting the mission of the Conservancy and we are fortunate to have him on our leadership team.”

In addition to his role at the Conservancy, his volunteer activities included positions on the Institute of Electrical Engineers Syracuse Chapter Executive Committee, GE Elfun Society volunteer activities, Virginia Region 2000 Strategic Planning Committee, Junior Achievement, and the GE Women’s Network, where he served as a mentor. Since retiring, Williams has become a volunteer with SCORE Naples, mentoring entrepreneurs to help local small business grow and succeed. He led the local SCORE Chapter from 2013-2015. He is also the Board President for the Naples Players and on the Board of Directors for the International Men’s Club of America.

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida invites new volunteers to join the organization and help protect our region’s water, land, wildlife and future. Learn more about becoming a Conservancy Volunteer at www.conservancy.org/get-involved/volunteer.

About the Conservancy of Southwest Florida:

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida is a not-for-profit environmental protection organization with a 50 year history focused on the issues impacting the water, land wildlife and future of Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Conservancy accomplishes this mission through the combined efforts of its experts in the areas of environmental science, policy, education and wildlife rehabilitation. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida, world-class Nature Center and von Arx Wildlife Hospital are headquartered in Naples, Florida, 1495 Smith Preserve Way, south of the Naples Zoo off Goodlette-Frank Road. Learn more about the Conservancy’s work and how to support the quality of life in Southwest Florida www.conservancy.org.

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