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DeShay Williams


There are two cherished pictures that encapsulate a captivating story of transformations, and at the heart of it stands DeShay Williams, the Executive Director of Spark Thomasville.


With close to 30 years of entrepreneurial experience in Washington, DC, DeShay has been a guiding force for numerous business owners seeking growth. However, her passion for transformations extends beyond the business realm.

 

About 15 years ago, DeShay also organized a grassroots neighborhood group.  This venture focused on addressing environmental justice concerns through community-led conservation projects in minority communities. The birth of the Friends of High View Park Neighborhood Group marked the beginning of a remarkable journey.


In the first photograph, a stark contrast unfolds. The building, once under the harsh gaze of the sun in a barren landscape, paints a desolate picture. Nature seems distant, and the sun's dominance leaves an arid emptiness. The second picture, however, tells a different tale—a tale of transformation.

 

The transformative power of nature, spearheaded by DeShay and the neighborhood group, breathes life into the once-barren surroundings. The building is now embraced by a lush tapestry of vibrant life—trees and a flourishing garden, a haven of joy. The contrast is vivid, showcasing the transformative impact of dedicated community efforts.



To DeShay, these pictures symbolize more than just a visual narrative. They embody her love for transformations and the profound role she played in this community's journey. In High View Park, what once was a lack of trees, now stands as a testament to the positive change that can be initiated by a committed community. Since 2009, over 200 trees have been planted in the High View Park Community.  This led to the county-wide Tree Canopy Equity Program Initiative to plant trees in 10 underserved communities throughout Arlington, Virginia.

 

Reflecting on personal influences, DeShay credits her parents—her mom, a compassionate nurse, and her dad, a supportive entrepreneur and accountant, who also serviced primarily small businesses and churches. Their values of empathy, strength, and service laid the foundation for her commitment to community well-being. Their strength fueled her determination to educate herself and others, leading her to a B.A. in Education and a M.S. in Natural Resources with a focus on Business Sustainability.

 

Now, as the Executive Director of Spark Thomasville, DeShay continues her transformative journey. Embracing values of fairness, empathy, compassion, and service, she envisions a thriving Thomasville entrepreneurial community where the extraordinary is possible and supported by all, representing a vibrant symphony of positive change.

 

In essence, DeShay Williams loves transformations, not only for their visual appeal but for the profound impact they can have on individuals, communities, and the world at large.

 

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