Tampa Bay Business Women Awards 2023: Dr. Tonjua Williams

Dr. Tonjua Williams is St. Petersburg College’s seventh president. SPC employs 3,000 staff, who serve 40,000 students, across eleven learning sites throughout Pinellas County.

Under Williams’ leadership, SPC has streamlined college operations, consolidated resources, improved organizational fiscal health, expanded short-term/rapid credentials and strengthened partnerships with Tampa Bay’s workforce leaders.

The Chronicle of Higher Education named SPC a top producer in the Fulbright Scholarship Program. U.S. News and World Report ranked St. Petersburg College among the top in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs and Veterans Services. The College received Best of the Best awards from the Tampa Bay Times for Best Local College and Best Nursing College.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PROUDEST PROFESSIONAL MOMENT?

I have had several proud moments, professionally, as I moved through various ranks at St. Petersburg College. To highlight only one is the most difficult. Being selected as the president of St. Petersburg College was an extremely proud moment and to be the first woman, and first minority president, was icing on the cake. As I look over my 35 years of employment at SPC, I must say the proudest moment was my very first position at St. Petersburg College as an accounting clerk, back in 1986-87. This is where the dream began.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE GREATEST LESSON IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL JOURNEY?

My greatest lesson, along my professional journey, can be summed up in one word – GRIT. We, as women, must be strong enough to follow our gut, speak our mind and handle the downward wind. Practice courage over comfort and don’t just stay in the game…win. You can only do that with strength and resolve – the ability to handle things when they are not so good. With grit, I also learned to stay true to myself. After all, it’s being “me” that got me here. I just need to keep bringing the “best” of me to the table.

 

You May Also Like
Scenes from TBBW’s Women Who Win panel presented by ISPS (PHOTOS)

Tampa Bay Business and Wealth, in partnership with the Institute of Strategic Policy Solutions, in St. Petersburg, presented a panel discussion with three winners of TBBW‘s 2024 Women Who Win

Read More
Recap: CEO Connect with Fred Lay

Fred Lay is incredibly open and honest about his early experiences. He admits to his mischievous nature. He’s actually just a pretty transparent guy, in general.  He runs his business,

Read More
On the Scene: Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties’ Glow Gala (PHOTOS)

More than 500 attendees gathered to support the Habitat mission at the sold-out Glow Gala, presented by Crown Automotive Charities and the Hawkins Family Foundation.  The event, at the Vinoy

Read More
TBBW presents the finalists for Apogee Awards 2024 (VIDEO)

After a record-breaking 10 hours in the Tampa Bay Business and Wealth office, five external judges selected 45 finalists for the 2024 Apogee Awards, in addition to two exceptional honors

Read More
Other Posts
Scenes from TBBW’s CEO Connect with the McKibbons (PHOTOS & VIDEO)

Tampa Bay Business and Wealth held its June CEO Connect with John McKibbon III and J.B. McKibbon IV, of McKibbon Hospitality, at Hyatt House Tampa Airport/Westshore. Presenting sponsors for the

Read More
South Tampa Chamber recognizes TBBW’s Bridgette Bello as a Champion for Women (PHOTOS)

The South Tampa Chamber presented Bridgette Bello with the inaugural Bridgette Bello Champion for Women Award at an event held at the HCA South Tampa. The South Tampa Chamber’s Bridgette

Read More
Scenes from CEO Connect with Paula Woodring (PHOTOS) (VIDEO)

Tampa Bay Business and Wealth held its May CEO Connect, at J.C. Newman Cigar Company, in Tampa, featuring Paula Woodring, chief executive officer and founder of RELTCO. Presenting sponsors included

Read More
On the Scene: Halos and Handbags event gives back to PACE for Girls (PHOTOS)

Ryann Halo, of Salon Halo, and Gretchen Bauer, of BSWANKY, co-hosted an event at Salon Halo, in South Tampa, to benefit PACE for Girls. Food was provided by Chef Rosana

Read More
TBBW on the scene halos and handbags cropped