OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, August 15, 2017 – The Research Institute for Economic Development (RIED) has named Mark Williams as president succeeding Susan Winchester who resigned recently to become chief-of-staff to Lt. Governor Todd Lamb. Williams joins RIED after a 36-year career with AT&T Oklahoma, serving since 2010 as Director-Legislative Affairs where he led the AT&T Oklahoma external affairs team on legislative matters at the state Capitol. Williams joined Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, now AT&T, in 1981.
“I am excited to join RIED and to work with our outstanding officers and directors as we continue to produce Oklahoma’s pre-eminent analysis of legislative voting patterns on business, job creation and economic development issues,” Williams said. “For the past 20 years, RIED has established a respected reputation at the state Capitol, with the annual ‘RIED Report’ commonly anticipated following the end of the legislative session. RIED’s positive impact since its inception is illustrated by the fact that legislative advocacy for business, job creation and economic growth has improved from 32% in 1998 to over 60% in 2017.”
Greg Love, RIED board chairman said, “I want to express how pleased we are to have another accomplished individual fill the position of RIED president. Mark has been involved with the state legislature for many years, and we are very confident he will do great work in his new position. Lastly, the RIED board thanks Susan Winchester, and wishes her success in her new position with Lt. Governor Lamb.”
Williams presently serves as Chairman of the Board of the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits and Chair-Elect of the Oklahoma City All Sports Association. He is the past board chairman of the American Red Cross of Central Oklahoma, the Northwest Chamber of Commerce and the Oklahoma Baptist University Alumni Association. He has, or is currently serving on the boards of the First Tee, Leadership Oklahoma, Youth Leadership Exchange, Sooner State Games and the Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City, where he is also a Life Member.
Williams is a native Oklahoman, receiving a B.A. in Economics from Oklahoma Baptist University and a J.D. from Oklahoma City University. He is married to Carol Cathey Williams and they have two daughters and five grandchildren.
Research Institute for Economic Development was founded in 1997 and is a non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting economic growth through the evaluation of business, job and economic growth issues considered annually by the Oklahoma Legislature. RIED does not lobby issues or endorse candidates.