Reply All: A conversation with John T. Williams

REPLY ALL | John T. Williams
President & CEO, Jamison Door
Maryland Chamber of Commerce board member

Could you tell us a little bit about your background and what has lead you to where you are today?

I am a Texas native. I spent most of my life in Texas, moved to southwest Georgia for a period then retired in Panama City, Florida. We moved to Maryland in 2004.

What makes the manufacturing industry successful in Maryland?

In recent years, I’ve really watched the tone of Maryland’s business climate shift to being much more business friendly. The atmosphere is changing in Maryland. I see a government that wants to serve rather than be served and that is an important change in attitude.

What are some of the challenges?

I think a lot of it relates to the general assembly’s attitude. They are all very well-intentioned, well-meaning people, but tend to want to tinker in the way a business needs to run. Not enough of them really have experience in what it’s like to run a business whether it’s a barbershop with 10 people or a manufacturing company with 150 or 2,000 people. The free market can function effectively but sometimes I think the legislative bodies don’t appreciate that in the way that they might.

What first got you involved with the Maryland Chamber?

All my business life I have felt like it was important to be involved in chambers of commerce at the local and the state level. I’ve been involved in Texas, Georgia and now, Maryland. When I first moved here, the need to get involved with and influence the affairs of government became pretty apparent and the Maryland Chamber was an excellent vehicle for the business community to have input into the affairs of the state.

What motivates you in your career?

What motivates me in my career is an attempt to be the best that I can be. I’m more convinced now than ever that a good part of life is just showing up, working hard, and having a belief in yourself. I was once given the advice that, if you believe in yourself and in your abilities, you should take the high-risk, high-reward opportunities—high-risk, you have the opportunity to do really well or fail and high-reward, if you take the risk and do well then you’re handsomely rewarded for it. I think from a career standpoint, that’s always been a guiding principle for me.

What motivates you personally?

What motivates me personally really stems from a Christian faith that says you have to really understand what’s important in life. Family is important. Serving others is important. Operating a business in the right way with good values and high ethical standards and then, making it profitable is important. Those things all combine to give one a purpose for life.

Manufacturing and Maryland go hand in hand. With 3,900 manufacturing companies in the state, everything from medical devices to electronics to speciality doors are made here. See what other manufacturing companies are in the state through the Maryland Manufacturing Directory.





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