Frank Williams Honored for His Work to Improve Our Communities

Frank Williams is a familiar face around the Association. He is a past president (1989 -1990), as well as an instructor for the REALTORS® Real Estate School. As such, he has influenced hundreds of REALTORS® who are starting their careers and served to further our industry immensely. That’s why it is no surprise that Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago honored him with the 2017 Gale Cincotta Community Visionary Award, for his work to ensure fair housing practices throughout the city. Williams was presented with the award in March at NHS’ annual awards gala. Presented annually to a community leader who exemplifies leadership, innovation and passion in his or her efforts to make our communities better places to live and work, the Gale Cincotta Award is a fitting honor for Williams. He became a REALTOR® in 1969, opening FJ Williams Realty two years later. For decades, he has advocated for fair housing legislation in Springfield and City Hall, and following the civil rights movement, he found homes for black buyers in historically white areas on the Southwest Side, including his own neighborhood of Beverly. He persisted in his efforts to desegregate these neighborhoods, despite ongoing harassment and threats, including a bomb being detonated outside his front door. In addition to his service as the second African-American president of C.A.R., from 1973 to 1974 he served as the president of the Dearborn REALTIST® Board. He was president of the Southside Chicago branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) from 1979 to 1985. In 1991, Illinois REALTORS® named him the first Distinguished Member Award recipient for Community Service, and in 1992, C.A.R. honored him as our REALTOR® of the Year. His emphasis on mentorship, education and the hiring and placement of minorities in the real estate business has truly helped to advance and strengthen our industry. Congratulations, Frank!