Dr. Ed Williams Wins “Person of the Year” Award
Congratulations to Dr. Ed Williams honored as the most influential individual to make an economic impact on the chiropractic profession. Dr. Williams was selected by the readers of Chiropractic Economics for his many years of dedicated service and powerful leadership.
Dr. Ed Williams reflected from his heart, “This is not something I’ve earned by myself. I never would have done anything to receive this honor without my right hand lady of 25 years, Debbie Minor, who has been very closely in tune with building the association. Second, I credit the loyal staff of the Florida Chiropractic Association. I always consider my job to be like that of a quarterback, and I couldn’t have done it without everyone’s help, including our board of directors, voluntary leadership, all of our Orlando staff and our retainer staff in Tallahassee.”
Dr. Williams continued, “Debbie and I have been a team for 25 years: she was 18, attending community college and working part-time at the FCA. I was in private practice, and when I took over the Florida Chiropractic Association, she started working full-time. For a good number of years, it was just me, Debbie and Elaine; just the three of us.”
When asked how he catapulted the FCA into it’s present state, he said, “I began to run the association based on Dr. Jim Parker’s principles to build a chiropractic practice because I had been in private practice. I just applied the Parker principles to the association” He added, “Debbie and I put in a lot of blood, sweat and tears, and just kept going.”
For the future, Dr. Williams looks to, “try to do more and bigger things, such as the endowed research center at Florida State University.” FSU and LCERF are seeking funds to house the first endowed research chair within a major tax-supported state university to bridge biomechanics and chiropractic. So far, $250,000 in funding is being sought from the chiropractic community to reach the goal of $1,000,000. The State of Florida will then provide a $750,000 partially matching grant to establish a $1.75 million dollar permanent research center. Dr. Ed requests that everyone who has already made individual donations to the research center, to kindly donate the same amount as before, and the financial goal will be exceeded. He added, “The advantage to a repeat donation: the tax benefit for the current year!”
Dr. Ed is proud to report that $5,000 was raised for the FSU/LCERF research chair in lieu of sending flowers for injuries he sustained in a stabbing incident just before Christmas and remarked, “That’s a lot of flowers!”
Dr. Ed was severely stabbed in the parking lot of the FCA office building and was able to resist his attacker, who dropped the knife and fled when Dr. Ed fought back and screamed for Debbie to get help. Although he received fast response from the rescue squad, he sustained severe blood loss and emergency exploratory abdominal surgery revealed that although no internal organs were directly involved, the knife wound was six inches deep and three inches wide and there was a retro-peritoneal hematoma.
Since then, he has embarked on a slow, but steady recovery. Dr. Williams said he has taken some ribbing about “going to such great lengths” to get funding for the research chair, but he is serious in his request that contributions be made to the “LCERF/Research Center Escrow.” While he appreciates the thoughts behind flowers, he will appreciate it even more if chiropractic is benefitted in this way. He is very appreciative of the calls, cards, messages and prayers he has received during this frightening ordeal.
When asked about his personal qualities that keep him going, Dr. Ed replied, “Probably being born July 31 Debbie would say ‘being a Leo and stubborn as hell.'”
Debbie added, “It’s his leadership mentality Dr. Ed knows exactly what he wants.” She summed up his top qualities as being “A good leader, communicator, delegator, negotiator/dealmaker. He is very fair and he has a heart for the profession. Plus he has a natural understanding of politics and a lot of CEO’s don’t have that.”
Here are excerpts from Debbie Minor’s nomination of Dr. Ed Williams for the Person of the Year Award:
Dr. Ed Williams has impacted the economics of the chiropractic community profoundly by trailblazing on a state level. His efforts in the State of Florida have shown that chiropractic can win politically and legislatively despite the unlevel playing field it always must deal with. As the person in this country responsible for passage of the most pro-chiropractic state legislation, his results have set standards for every other state to emulate. Florida’s insurance equality legislation pioneered by Dr. Ed Williams in the 70’s was the single most profound economic enhancement for chiropractic, as his success led directly to passage of similar legislation by other states nationwide.
His effectiveness as a lobbyist has resulted in favorable legislation, by his leadership example, it has been proven that state chiropractic associations can become strong and viable arms of this profession; he was one of the first to realize the potential for companies who market to chiropractors to support chiropractic efforts. He led the way in producing the first successful chiropractic expositions, which increased sales by participating companies to their DC customers and provided revenue to the association for lobbying and public relations programs directly benefiting chiropractors.
Under Ed’s leadership the first state chiropractic political action committee (PAC) was formed, and it again served as a pattern of progress for all state and national chiropractic organizations.
In another crowning achievement, the State of Florida will soon give matching funds of almost $1 million to an endowed chiropractic research facility at a state university. There are sure to be more important firsts as Ed Williams continues to lead the FCA, setting even more and greater economic trends for the chiropractic profession.