Wandra Ashley-Williams is an accomplished senior management executive, community activist, and elected official with notable experience in diversified industries as well as public service. A native of Alexandria, Louisiana, she has lived most of her adult life in Somerset, New Jersey, and currently resides in Ellicott City, Maryland. She has held several management positions with major corporations, which include Merrill Lynch Corporate Real Estate Finance (Rent Controller) and Turner Construction Company (National Accounts Manager).
Wandra has served on several boards and commissions, including the New Jersey Black Issues Convention Board of Directors (Treasurer), New Brunswick Housing Task Force (HOPE VI), Verizon New Jersey Executive Community Advisory Panel (ECAP), New Jersey State League of Municipalities Legislative Committee, American Heart Association New Jersey Affiliate (Treasurer, Finance Committee and Chairperson, Multicultural Involvement Committee), First Fidelity Bank Central New Jersey Executive Advisory Board, National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (New Jersey President), New Jersey State African-American Political Alliance, Franklin Township Democratic Municipal Committee (1st Vice-Chairperson), and the J.F.K. Democratic Club of Franklin Township (President). As Wandra's community involvement expanded, so did her recognition as a community activist. For example, she translated her wealth of experiences into a grassroots election victory when she won a seat on the Franklin Township Council, receiving the most votes in a primary field of nine candidates. She was then selected by her fellow council members to serve as Deputy Mayor (President of the Council).
In 2006, Wandra relocated to Maryland to accept an appointment in Washington, DC as a Special Assistant to the Director of the District of Columbia Department of Correction. She also served as Executive Director of the St John Baptist Church Mentoring Program (Columbia, MD). She is currently the President/CEO of WLA Associates, LLC – a consulting company that specializes in business management, event/conference planning, lobbying, and referral partnerships. In Maryland, she also continues her mission to positively impact society and address the needs of those who are often marginalized. She served on the Washington, DC Fugitive Safe Surrender Planning Committee and the Washington, DC Council on Homelessness. In 2013, she was appointed by Governor O'Malley to serve on the Maryland Commission for Women (Secretary) and in 2015, was elected to the Maryland Legislative Agenda for Women (MLAW) Board of Directors.
True to her commitment to advance more humane public policy, Wandra has held key positions in the leadership of several community and civil rights organizations. In the NAACP, she has fulfilled a number of roles at the local, state, and national levels. She served as president of the New Brunswick Area Branch (NJ) and 1st Vice President of the New Jersey State Conference of NAACP Branches. Wandra is a Gold Life member of the Howard County Branch (MD) and currently serves as 1st Vice President of the Maryland State Conference of NAACP Branches. In July 2015, at the NAACP Annual Convention, she was unanimously elected by Region VII delegates to serve as the regional representative to the National Board of Directors. She was confirmed and sworn into office as a member of the NAACP National Board of Directors in February 2016.
For her many contributions, Wandra is the recipient of several awards, including the Maryland State Conference NAACP President's Award, the New Jersey State Conference NAACP Presidential Award, and the New Brunswick Area Branch NAACP Community Service Award. In addition, she has received numerous community awards, honors and citations, including the Johnson & Johnson Community Service Award, Ebenezer Baptist Church Recognition for Community Service, American Heart Association Affiliate Volunteer of the Year, Women Hold Up the Sky Recognition for Professional Merits, Maryland Governor's Citation for Hosting the Inaugural Holiday Toys for Tots Drive, and was nominated for the 2014 Professional Women in Advocacy Conference (PWIA) Excellence in Advocacy Award.
Throughout her service, whether professional or public, Wandra has demonstrated exemplary dedication and competence. Her desire to be a voice for the voiceless and fight for justice for all has led to her involvement in leadership in the NAACP as well as her ongoing commitment to improving the lives of others.