Doug Williams has been hired as executive director of Grow Hays, after serving as interim director since May.

Williams is a lifelong entrepreneur and has been involved in a wide variety of business interests during his 30-year career. He spent the first 14 years of his career in the real estate business as a broker/owner of a RE/MAX franchise. During that time, Williams was involved in numerous real estate investment projects. He was 1985 Realtor Associate of the Year for the Hays Board of Realtors and the president of the Hays Board of Realtors in 1986.

In 1991, Williams founded System Solutions Inc., a company involved in the sale of IBM information systems. The company began with two employees and grew to 75 employees at the time it was sold to Rural Telephone Service in 1997. Williams then started InfiniTec, Inc. and Medical Business Resources. Infinitec, Inc., a computer software company, was the primary software provider for more than 70 of the 105 county governments in Kansas. Infinitec, Inc. was sold to Wheatland Electric Cooperative in 1999. Medical Business Resources, a physicians billing service, was sold in 2003. In 2005, Williams re-entered the real estate business in Hays. He was the 2010 president of the Hays Board of Realtors and 2016 Hays Board of Realtors Realtor of the Year.

“Grow Hays is critically important to the long-term growth and prosperity of our community, and I know that the board of directors and I are committed to work toward making that happen any way we can,” Williams said.

Williams has attended advanced courses in the areas of entrepreneurship, business ownership, and salesmanship. These courses include The Wharton Business Schools Entrepreneurship Class, IBM Sales School, and the Owner-Presidents course at The Harvard Business School. In 1997, he was the first recipient of the Harley L. Rhoads Small Business Achievement Award presented by the Hays Chamber of Commerce.

“Since May, we have been grateful to Doug's efforts as our interim director, and we are increasingly excited about our future with someone of his stature at our helm,” said board chairman Ron Fields. “He brings a level of experience with every aspect of the regional business community that is unmatched.”

“Grow Hays has reached an important transition point, and it is well-positioned to advance the economic expansion of this region,” he added. “Doug Williams brings a wealth of experience and long-established relationships to the organization.

Grow Hays is a nonprofit organization aimed at advancing the economic health and vitality of Hays and the surrounding communities.