Innovative. Steadfast. Professional. These are the words that best describe entrepreneur Craig Williams.
Equipped with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Syracuse University, and with over 30 years of personal experience in the industry, CEO, Craig Williams, established Pride Enterprises Inc, as a small construction company in 1996. Emerging from his family’s business of entrepreneurs where he began his journey working as a laborer in the family business. Craig got his start by working for his uncle during semester breaks at Syracuse and later moved on to help cultivate a new family business when his father made the acute decision to leave Corporate America and develop his own construction organization.
Broadly speaking, the contracting business is defined by immediacy. A project is scoped in terms of efficiency and affordability, which means teams are often assembled from an ever-shifting pool of workers. A legacy then, is indeed one of the rarest things a contractor can build, as it requires both the ingenuity to navigate short-term solutions and the dedication to invest in the types of principles that reap long-term rewards.
That makes Craig Williams’ accomplishments all the more remarkable. Taking on the family business his father started in 1987, Williams’ innate understanding of the business landscape, his unrelenting persistence in securing steady projects, and his dedication to his collaborators has allowed Pride Enterprises to pull off an uncommon feat. Business has flourished, and yet Williams has retained the trust and productivity of many of the same workers that worked with his father, evolving relationships that extend into their fourth decade.
“We are able to retain people because as a company, we function as a family,” explains Williams. “Our corporate culture is cumulative. I recognize the benefits of experience and consistency.”
Williams embodies both of those qualities, but he has also shown keen foresight, which has allowed him to enhance the family business, establishing an enduring legacy.
Williams pitched and won a handful of government contracts at a crucial moment, when his father had taken ill. At that point, the company he was helping shape became his professional purpose, and he fulfilled the leadership role with unmatched enthusiasm and effort.
In the ensuing years, Williams’ expansive vision scaled the company to new heights, as he established key relationships within the private sector that secured Pride Enterprises’ present and future as a fixture in building construction management, both in Pennsylvania and beyond.
Those community ties that Williams cultivated are integral to Pride’s success and serve as a map to his growing success. “As you mature, you gain appreciation for things,” recalls Williams, “in my twenties, it was figuring out the direction of the family business; in my thirties, it became about charting long term significant opportunities. Now, it’s understanding the significance of our role in our community and the world at large.”
As Pride’s reputation crescendos, Williams has made a series of wise investments in complementary pieces of businesses, conveying a unique knack for entrepreneurship. American Power, now in its second year of operation, is Williams’ electrical supply business, a logical extension of the construction industry that directly supports Pride’s ever-more-ambitious assignments. The company’s transformation of a warehouse purchased in the American Power acquisition has given the family business an epicenter of leading-edge technology, priming Pride Enterprises for continued success. His latest venture, The Williams Group, serves as the development division of Pride Enterprises.
“Our intention is to have an impact on the culture in our community and beyond,” Williams expresses, “and business is the medium through which we accomplish that.”
As such, Williams’ impact and influence continues to grow: from burnishing a multi-generational contracting business to which his collaborators remain loyal, to exchanging ideas with politicians and fellow entrepreneurs to enrich his community, even authoring a book (The Olympian: an American Triumph), his accomplishments are manifold. Put more succinctly: Williams has built a legacy, one to which he is still adding. Rare, indeed!