Abrams, Foster, Nole & Williams P
Before going to college, Arnold Williams attended a church program asking participants to write down their career goals. He wrote that he wanted to a certified public accountant.
While attending Baltimore City College, he earned his highest grades in bookkeeping and accounting courses. He knew the field was his preferred career path while earning an accounting degree from the University of Baltimore.
After working for Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Maryland General Assembly and becoming a partner at a private firm, Williams decided to open up his own firm in 1983. Today, the full service Baltimore-based CPA firm is known as Abrams, Foster, Nole & Williams PA.
For more than 20 years, Williams has been a board member on the Baltimore Development Corporation including serving as its chairman. He also gives his time to a number of area organizations including the Greater Baltimore Committee, the United Way of Central Maryland and Associated Black Charities.
This year, Williams was honored by the University of Baltimore as a legend during the school’s annual celebration of leaders in the areas of real estate and economic development. While doing an onstage talk with University of Baltimore President Kurt Schmoke, he told the audience the best advice he ever received was “The only way that you can make a difference is to be at the table.”
“I would just tell anyone coming out of school that you must be in a room to make change,” he said. “You don’t just go in a room because it is a room. You have to be invited in and to get invited in you have to work. You start at a lower level. … You have to work the board and working the board teaches you what the books are saying. You don’t get it without the work and that is the most valuable lesson I learned in my entire career.”