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A graduate of St. Francis College with a BS in Accounting, in 1979 Williams and her husband founded A. Williams Trucking & Backhoe Trenching Company (also known as A. Williams Construction), which has grown into a multi-million dollar business with 25 employees. A. Williams Construction received the U.S. Small Business Administration's Contractor of the Year Award in 1995, Crain’s Small Business Award in 1999 for Contractor of the Year, and Contractor Firm of the Year in 2001 by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Williams received the U.S. Small Business Administration Minority Small Business Person of the Year Award for the New York District in 1998, and was honored as the 1999 Woman of the Year by the Brooklyn Boys & Girls Club.
Williams has served on the boards of the Red Hook/Gowanus Chamber of Commerce, the South Brooklyn Empire Zone and the NYS Association of Minority Contractors. She was chairperson of the Caribbean American Center for New York, and has served as a member of Brooklyn Community Board Six.
New York City Planning Commission
In 2002, Williams was appointed to the New York City Planning Commission by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. As a member of the Commission (and the only appointee from Brooklyn), she was involved with reviewing and voting on development and land use in New York City, including the controversial Atlantic Yards proposal for downtown Brooklyn, a project which would include a new arena for the New Jersey Nets.
In 2004 it was revealed that Williams had invested a million dollars in real estate developer Bruce Ratner's purchase of the New Jersey Nets. Williams subsequently announce that she would recuse herself from any further decisions about the Atlantic Yards project.
In 2007 Williams was fined $4,000 by the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board for voting in support of Atlantic Yards while at the same time investing in the project. Borough President Marty Markowitz declined to reappoint Williams to the Planning Commission, and named Shirley McRae as her successor.
- Dolly Williams, Commissioner, New York City Department of City Planning, archived from the original (– SCHOLAR SEARCH) on 2007-10-14, retrieved 2007-11-28[dead link]
- Forum: Tapping the Economic Potential of New York's Immigrant Entrepreneurs (– SCHOLAR SEARCH), Center for an Urban Future, 2004-02-17, retrieved 2007-11-28[dead link][dead link]
- Borough President Appoints Award Winning Businesswoman to the City Planning Commission, Brooklyn Borough President, 2002-09-19, retrieved 2007-11-28
- Kolben, Deborah (2004-08-21), "HELLO DOLLY!", The Brooklyn Paper
- Wisloski, Jess (2005-03-19), "REC-U-U-USE ME!", The Brooklyn Paper
- Sederstrom, Jotham (2007-11-28), "City Planning Commission member fined, successor named", New York Daily News
- Rebinstein, Dana (2007-10-13), "Hit the road, Dolly!", The Brooklyn Paper