William G. Woodson Named MBA Director at St. Thomas Opus College of Business
Cate Dobyns, Kohnstamm Communications
Seasoned business leader and entrepreneur says creation of exceptional global leaders starts with strong connections to local community
New appointment brings experience from J&J, HP and Compaq
The University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business has appointed a new director for its growing MBA program: William G. (Bill) Woodson is a 25-year business veteran whose credentials include not only degrees from Brown, Harvard and the University of Michigan, but also entrepreneurial experience with two start-ups.
A new transplant to the Twin Cities who has spent the past ten years in Cincinnati and Chicago, Woodson, 50, plans to deepen the school’s connection and service to its surroundings in addition to furthering its established curriculum strengths in ethics, leadership and entrepreneurial thinking. The elevated level of engagement supports his belief that successful business leaders are necessarily good citizens of their communities.
“The Twin Cities has rightfully earned a reputation as a culturally sophisticated and highly professional community,” said Woodson. “We intend to leverage that reputation as well as the reputation of our distinguished faculty and world-class curriculum, to attract talented future business leaders from throughout the region, the country and around the world.”
Opus College of Business has a rich history as a vibrant contributor to the fabric of the Twin Cities, whose longstanding communication connections include a base of more than 14,000 MBA alumni. Woodson will be actively engaging alumni, many of whom serve in leadership roles throughout the metro region, to create public-private partnerships that will foster ethical judgment, diversity skillfulness and powerful business acumen.
“The bridges we build between an urban institution like the University of St. Thomas and the greater community can have far-reaching, mutually valuable benefits,” said Woodson, who is a lifetime member of the National Black MBA Association. “Service creates access that fuels the region’s economic engine, and develops long-lasting leadership capabilities within those individuals who choose to serve.”
Woodson’s own community engagements include serving on the board of urban television network PopNetworks and acting as a founding member of the Concerned Sycamore Parents of the Sycamore Ohio District, a role that grew out of his family’s commitment to supporting their daughter’s academic and personal development. Woodson is also an advocate for his alma maters, acting as vice president of the Black Alumni Association of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and a member of Brown University’s alumni schools committee.
Woodson’s resume spans managerial roles at Hewlett-Packard, Johnson & Johnson, Compaq Computer and operating company Ethicon Endo-Surgery. During the span of his J&J career, he held a leadership role in company’s general surgery franchise, managed their Latin American market strategy and led innovative educational partnerships between the health care giant and a variety of institutions, including the National Medical Association and the University of Michigan’s Domestic Corps program. Further, he played a key role in founding the African American Leadership Council of J&J’s Midwest Chapter.
Since starting his own consulting practice, Forward Motion Management Consulting, Woodson has worked with a variety of domestic and international companies to enhance organizational and individual performance through diversity effectiveness. It was through his consulting work at Forward Motion that Woodson first attended Opus College of Business’ co-sponsored Multicultural Forum on Workplace Diversity. The business school’s partnership with the National Black MBA to bring the Forum’s powerful diversity awareness and effectiveness messages to the Twin Cities was a major draw for Woodson. He sees untapped opportunities to leverage the Forum as a vehicle for building valuable diversity leadership and management skills within MBA students.
“I’m excited to engage the growing diverse representation within the Twin Cities, including our Hmong and Somali populations, as important resources for sourcing future business leaders and building bridges to global markets,” said Woodson.
Woodson and wife Frances have two children, the youngest of which is currently attending DePaul University. He is a certified high speed driving instructor for Porsche Clubs of America, and the Midwestern Council of Sports Car clubs, and in 2004 was named MC member of the year for his volunteer service.