A Man of Many Firsts

Michael Terry

Michael Terry Williams Sr. was originally born in Beaumont Texas, moving to Houston Texas at a young age. Terry was the first African-American to be voted as President of the Student Body and Mr. Eisenhower at Eisenhower High School in 1980. He graduated in the top 10 percent of his class and received a scholarship to Sam Houston State University. He was awarded all-region basketball honors, and all-district in baseball honors, while also working 40 hours a week at Safeway. Terry started his career as a grocery sacker at Safeway at the age of 16, becoming a Top Leader while also doing commercials for Safeway/Appletree. Terry was selected to open his first HEB grocery store on Antoine and Pinemont as a Top Leader in the Acres Homes community. Terry proudly held several leadership positions, before becoming a Regional Vice President of Operations for the largest Privately held Grocery Company (HEB) in the nation. HEB corporate headquarters is based in San Antonio, Texas operating throughout the U.S. of Texas, as well as in northern Mexico. The company also operates Central Market, an upscale organic and fine foods retailer.

As Regional Vice President Terry has mentored, developed, and trained many employees to become Store Managers, and other leadership roles. He was rewarded Manager of the Year for the best internal people development in the Houston Division. Terry has consistently been known for growing profits and sales in stores with substantial income losses. Terry has been awarded and recognized for the highest recognized employee retention scores in the Houston Division. Michael Terry holds a BS degree from Sam Houston State University, Management Studies from Cornell University, and the University of Houston. Terry’s tenure as Regional Vice President of HEB has also allowed him to proudly hold Leadership roles within non-profit education entities and organizations. Terry has served as the President & Chairman of the board for the United Negro College Fund (South Texas) for 4 years and was instrumental in seeing the Houston Branch and Beaumont Branch raise over $2.5M toward scholarships. Terry has served as President of the Sam Houston State University Alumni Board and has been a keynote speaker for several Graduation Commencements. Terry was instrumental in leading efforts to name the first building after an African American professor, who was well-known for his exemplary leadership at Sam Houston State University.

Terry has also served on many other boards, including End Hunger, and HEB United Way. He has received the David Ashworth Humanity Award, Who’s Who Top American Business Leaders, and Top 50 Black Professional. Terry has served as President & Chairman of the Aldine ISD Foundation board.

Terry is admired and well-respected by many professionals, friends, and family. He is a great husband and father and is happily married to Joycelyn Williams. He has four wonderful children and he is a proud member of Fallbrook Church. He loves family and frequently has large family gatherings at his home, including enjoying Thursday night dinners at his mother’s home. He loves history and loves challenging you on any historical events. He is an athlete and loves a good game of golf.

Beyond his accomplishments, Michael Terry Williams is also considered “A Man of Many Firsts” throughout his professional and personal accomplishments.

Michael Terry Williams as “Man of Many Firsts”

Did You Know …

Michael Terry Williams was in the FIRST graduating class (1976) at Aldine Hoffman Middle School where he was honored with being named the FIRST best Athlete of the Year at Hoffman. The plaque remains at Hoffman Today.

He was the FIRST African-American to be voted in as President of the Student body at Eisenhower High School in 1980. He was also voted as the FIRST black Mr. Eisenhower in 1980. He was the FIRST black Athlete at Eisenhower to get an Athletic scholarship to SHSU.

Michael Terry Williams Sr. was a member of the FIRST Omega Psi Phi charter line at SHSU. This charter line was formed by his father Menion Tony Williams (An Omega Man). He was the FIRST African-American featured in two full TV commercials with Safeway/Appletree. He was the Top Leader at HEB who opened the FIRST HEB store inside the Houston City limits located in Acres Homes on Antoine @ Tidwell. He was the FIRST African-American to win the prestigious Diversity Award at HEB. He was the FIRST ever selected black District Manager at HEB. He is the FIRST African-American to hold the title of Vice President of Operations for the largest privately held Grocery Company in the United States of America. He was the FIRST African-American to be named President/Chairman of the board for SHSU Alumni Board at a time when there was also an African-American President & Chairman of the Board of Regents. He served as the FIRST African-American President & Chairman of the Board of the Aldine Independent Foundation Board. He led the board in raising money for Aldine students/teachers to further their education. Terry was a charter member of the FIRST Northside area Nationally known as Professional Boule.

Michael Terry Williams continues to pursue excellence and strive for professionalism, fairness, and determination in making substantial efforts to set the bar, being a professional, a mentor, a leader, an expert in his profession, and most of all a role model for others.

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