Sam did a TEDX talk about the transformative process involved in business and government leaders working together to address tipping-point issues in cities. After the talk, his Harvard Business School professor challenged him to find more cities where CEOs achieved great public good while still overseeing their companies.

 

The CEO as Urban Statesman is now a book written by Sam A. Williams and published by Mercer University, now available on Amazon.com. Click here to purchase

 

 

Sam found over a dozen cities where business leaders have stepped up to the challenge of leading complex solutions through a political mine field. Sam's book, The CEO As Urban Statesman tells their stories and identifies the lessons learned by studying their experiences. Here are a few:

 

Lee Fisher

 

CITY FUNDING, OKLAHOMA CITY, OK

CEO Ray Ackerman and part-time mayor Ron Norick convinced the public to approve funding for a major redevelopment of the city’s downtown. A drainage canal was turned into a rowing venue, spawning an entertainment district for young professionals and is now a major tourist attraction.

CRITICAL HEALTHCARE, ATLANTA GA

CEOs Pete Correll, Tom Bell, and Michael Russell led a successful effort to rescue Atlanta’s safety-net Grady Hospital from impending financial collapse. They restructured its governance, and with their incredible turnaround, Grady has raised $350 million to become a stellar success.

QUALITY OF LIFE, COLUMBUS, GA

John Turner, a Columbus, Georgia executive, worked for 14 years to create the longest urban whitewater course in the world on a stretch of the Chattahoochee River that runs through downtown Columbus. Columbus State University now has a downtown campus and the area is an Innovation District that draws highly educated young professionals.

CRISIS INTERVENTION, HOUSTON, TX

Following the devastation caused by Hurricane Ike in Houston, former astronaut and African-American entrepreneur Mae Jemison was asked by governor Perry to lead a multi-jurisdictional task force to examine better ways of responding to natural disasters. Many of these recommendations are now in practice to alleviate future crises.

TRANSPORTATION, SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Salt Lake City was much in need of an extensive transit and highway system. To meet this challenge, Zions Bank CEO Scott Anderson headed a coalition of business executives, including Chamber CEO Lane Beattie, to lead a successful sales tax referendum. This enabled the city to move the plan's implementation up by 15 years.

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