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  Name:   Mr. Bill Woodson
Month: December 2005
Schools: Brown, BA '79
Harvard, MCRP '81
Michigan, MBA '86
Organization: Forward Motion Management Consulting
Title: Executive Director

In February of 2005 Bill Woodson founded Forward Motion Management Consulting, a diversity and business strategy consulting practice. Woodson's client base reflects a mix of start-ups, mid-size local and regional companies, and Fortune 100 industrial giants, including his former employer, Johnson & Johnson. Before launching his entrepreneurial career, Woodson served in a variety of product-focused roles at Houston's Compaq Computer and Silicon Valley's Hewlett-Packard prior to joining Johnson and Johnson operating company Ethicon Endo-Surgery, the world leading minimally invasive medical device manufacturer, in 1997. In his last corporate assignment, Bill was New Product Launch Director for Ethicon Endo-Surgery's International business.

Woodson's new career direction as a consultant provides an opportunity to bridge and leverage his graduate degrees in Business, and City and Regional Planning. Woodson has made a career of identifying partnerships that bring value, serving both business and social needs. While at Ethicon Woodson led two initiatives; one targeting African American General Surgeons, GYNs, and ENTs; the other focused on bariatric surgeons from Mexico, Columbia, and Brazil. These initiatives were designed to identify and develop underrepresented surgeon educators as national and international thought leaders, bringing new techniques and procedures to their patients and their fellow surgeons. This initiative met social objectives consistent with Johnson and Johnson's famous Credo, bringing advanced surgical techniques to traditionally underserved populations in the U.S. and around the world. At the same time, these initiatives opened up new patient populations and regional markets to the company, resulting in expanding market opportunities and sales growth.

A current area of focus is secondary education. Woodson is working with several public and charter school organizations seeking to be more effective in serving students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Contributions in this area have included defining, designing, and delivering leadership, communication skills, and classroom diversity management training to educational administrators, teachers, and advocacy staff. Woodson is also working with a media start-up creating a new, leading edge, technology-based advertising vehicle targeting urban trendsetters. Also among his client base are local retailers focused on the high end of market, such as luxury automobile dealerships. Such businesses focus on winning in the marketplace by providing exceptional customer service. Because of their customer-centric focus, premium retailers recognize the value of training sales staff in communication and relationship-building skills that enable them to exceptional purchase experiences to all members of a client base that is increasingly female, foreign-born, and non-white.

Woodson has a long history of community service, dating from his role as a campus activist and student representative to the Divestiture Committee of Brown University's Board of Trustees, to his frequent involvement as a guest lecturer and panelist, including California's East Side Academies, Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, the Cincinnati Chapter of the National Black MBA Association, and the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management. While at Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Woodson founded and served as co-chair of the Cincinnati Chapter of Johnson & Johnson's African American Leadership Council; he also served as a Steering Committee member of The EES Women's Leadership Initiative. Woodson, a Consortium Alumni fellow, also served as Johnson & Johnson board representative on the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management Corporate Advisory Board.

Currently Bill serves as Vice Chair of the Black Alumni Association of the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. Bill and wife Frances are founding members of the Concerned Sycamore Parents of the Sycamore Ohio school district, a role that grew out of their commitment to supporting their 11th grade daughter's academic and personal development. An active alumni of his undergraduate institution as well, Woodson recently hosted a Brown Talent Quest College night program, facilitating the University's interest in accessing high schools with strong college preparatory curriculums and significant populations of lower income students. They also have a special needs adult son, who resides with them in a northeast suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Even in Bill's leisure time pursuits he demonstrates both his heart for service as well as his inclination towards maintaining a fast pace. An active member of the Midwestern Council of Sports Car Clubs, he was named 2004 Member of the Year for his volunteer service, and captured several 1st and 2nd place finishes in his class in 2005.



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