2007: Elizabeth Ira Williams
After receiving a degree in business administration from the University of Florida, Liz Ira Williams began a life of service to others. She was a part of the development and implementation of Quigley House, a shelter for battered women and their children, and served on the Board of
Directors from 1988-2000, and as its president from 1990-1991. Quigley House has grown to include elder abuse and sexual assaults services for Clay County and was recently awarded the Paul E. Reinhold Community Service Award for its outstanding contribution to Clay County.
From Quigley House Liz continued her involvement with abused families and became the Clay County Volunteer Director for the Guardian Ad Litem Program. Liz supervised over 40 volunteers in their oversight and recommendations to The Court on behalf of abused and neglected children removed from the care of their parents.
During her work with abused children it became obvious that the children and parents suffered from their lack of contact. Liz chaired the volunteer committee, through her involvement with the Junior League of Jacksonville, that researched, developed, and implemented the Family Visitation Center. Liz became the Chair of the Florida Chapter of Supervised Visitation Network, assisted communities throughout Florida implement and maintain their visitation centers, served on the Children’s Committee of the District IV, Department of Children and Families Health and Human Services Board, chaired the Alternate Care Task Force, and served on Supervised Visitation Workgroup that drafted the proposed Minimum Standard and Guidelines for the Florida Family Court Steering Committee.
It was also through the Junior League of Jacksonville, that Liz was given the opportunity to advocate for a Resolution for Foster Care and Child Permanency for the Association of Junior Leagues International. While in the Junior League Liz served as Treasurer, Community Council Director, and on the Executive Committee.
For her work with Quigley House, the Guardian Ad Litem Program, and the Family Visitation Center Liz has received the President’s Award for outstanding contribution to volunteerism by the Junior League of Jacksonville; named a Community Advocate for support and dedication to abused and neglected children by the Guardian Ad Litem, Florida Supreme Court; and Child Advocate of the Year for outstanding accomplishments as an advocate for dependent children by Children’s Home Society, Buckner Division. Liz has also received the Liberty Bell Award for outstanding community service by the Jacksonville Bar Association, named one of Florida’s Finest by Governor Lawton Chiles for significant dedication and devotion to the common good of our state, and was presented the Child Abuse Prevention Award for outstanding commitment to the prevention of child abuse and neglect in our community by First Coast Family Center and The Florida Times-Union.
Liz has also channeled her energies to the betterment of St. Johns Country Day School. She was a member of the Board of Trustees beginning in 1997, and served as Secretary, Vice President, and President 2003-2005. She also assisted in developing and implementing the first Policy manual for the Board.
Liz currently chairs the Young Life Clay County Board, and in addition to her volunteer work, is “gainfully employed” with Consolidated Laboratories, with St. Vincent’s Hospital. Even at work Liz continues to be involved in the community and was awarded the Spirit of Excellence Award, St. Vincent’s Hospital in recognition for making a positive difference in the lives of others in the healthcare environment.
Liz and her husband Pat live in Orange Park. Their son Buck graduated St. Johns with the Class of ’05 and daughter Ellie with the Class of ’08.