President and CEO
Roxbury Technology Corp., Jamaica Plain, Mass.
Never satisfied to see life in black or white, Elizabeth Williams, president and CEO of Roxbury Technology Corp., a Massachusetts remanufacturer and distributor of recycled toner and ink cartridges, is leaving a vibrant imprint on the small-business world.
RTC, which saw revenues in excess of $14 million in 2007, is Staples Inc.’s preferred diversity supplier of remanufactured imaging supplies in catalogs and online. It’s a partnership that has helped Williams grow her business by more than 800 percent in less than five years.
She has expanded the company’s product portfolio, opened its first manufacturing plant and more than tripled the work force to 45 employees. “None of this was ever my intention. But God specializes in Plan B,” concedes the Brown University liberal arts graduate.
After the sudden death of her father, Archie Williams, in 2002, Williams left her career with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts Inc. to take over the reins of his fledging enterprise. “Everything I had learned up to that point prepared me to continue his legacy of self-empowerment and community economic development,” says Williams.
In 2005, she suffered an aneurysm and temporarily lost her eyesight, but she refused to let the setback deter her. Inc. magazine named RTC one of the top 20 fastest-growing, inner-city businesses for the past four years.
She received Black Enterprise’s 2007 Emerging Small Business of the Year Award; was Boston Women’s Business Journal’s 2004 Hall of Fame winner; and has been named a “leading woman” by the Girl Scouts of America and “Business Woman of the Year” by the National Association of Black Professional and Business Women.
In spite of her professional success, being “Mom” to her 14-year-old son, Kameron Nobles, is the toughest but most reward job she has ever had, Williams says.