Lynne Williams was passionate about the career transition and career management business long before managing the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group (PAGCG), a nonprofit based in Chesterbrook. Her story and her life experiences from as far back as 1989 have shaped the business leader she is today. Williams brought her skills in finance, human resources administration, office management, writing, and classroom teaching. Her industry exposure is diverse, including family-owned and publicly traded companies, mental health, construction management, K-12 education, and real estate from California to Pennsylvania.
Williams has been running her side business to assist her clients with individual career support and writing services, operating as Around the Clock Executive Helper since 1994. Currently, she is working on her doctoral dissertation to become an Ed.D. She professes her passion for helping people, believes that knowledge is power, and is a self-proclaimed lifelong learner. Clients and colleagues recognize Williams as an expert problem solver, opportunity seeker, and avid networker.
By 2015, Williams was actively volunteering with a career support and networking Meetup group in the Greater Philadelphia area, along with SCORE Chester and Delaware Counties. On a hiatus from teaching, she was in between jobs for almost a year. The two career coaches who had started Meetup in 2010 approached Williams when they were ready to step aside. She recalls what they offered her with great pride, “You are the best person to take over this organization!”
The Path to Success
Right from the start, Williams was committed to organizing as a nonprofit. She was building a volunteer team and a vision that everyone should have the opportunity to get a job he or she loves and earn a good income. However, she had no prior experience with setting up nonprofits. Her exceptional networking skills connected her with SCORE in 2015 and a career counselor at Immaculata University in 2016. Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group was successfully established as a nonprofit in Chester County in April 2017. The first board meeting was held in June 2017.
This business model would enable a volunteer-based educational platform to provide support for career transition and career management in the tri-state area. Participants engage in Career Success Groups, purposefully structured networking, and in-person or virtual workshops to ready themselves to find a job, advance in or manage their career, or make the decision to pivot into entrepreneurship.
PAGCG currently supports almost 6,300 members and alumni and hosts nearly 1,000 educational events per year. Programs are available nationally with four locations in Chester County – Phoenixville, Malvern, Exton, and West Chester – as well as online.
How SCORE Helped
To learn more about setting up a nonprofit, Williams reached out to SCORE for mentoring. Randy Hove, a retired attorney and SCORE mentor, met her and two of her team members in 2015 to explain how to establish and operate a nonprofit. Hove introduced them to new resources that helped the group move forward.
By 2019 the business was looking for advice on growth and expansion. Williams began working with SCORE mentor Frank Millheim, who offered valuable insight and feedback that was objective and valid. With Millheim’s advice and counsel, Williams and her dedicated volunteer team implemented website upgrades, new marketing concepts, and a customer relationship management system. And additional monetized growth programs were initiated. Williams appreciated Millheim’s coaching, as she says, to “stay in my lane.” Her goal is to serve working adults, develop valuable educational programming, and stay hyper-focused on professional services for career transition and career management.
Today, PAGCG is supporting members and visitors online every single day, not only in Chester and Delaware Counties but across the U.S.
Williams will share her success story and be honored by SCORE Chester and Delaware Counties at its virtual awards celebration on Thursday, Sept. 24 at 12 PM. Click here to register.
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