Goal-oriented Lynne Williams is a ‘doer’ at UWS

Move-in day at the University of Wisconsin-Superior campus fills Lynne Williams, director of marketing and communications, with a sense of renewal. "Students are back, they're excited and it's contagious," she said. At 33, the goal-oriented Willi...

Lynne Williams
Lynne Williams, director of marketing and communications at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, is passionate about contributing to her community. (Jed Carlson /

Move-in day at the University of Wisconsin-Superior campus fills Lynne Williams, director of marketing and communications, with a sense of renewal.
“Students are back, they’re excited and it’s contagious,” she said.
At 33, the goal-oriented Williams has hit many benchmarks. Landing the UWS position at age 29 was one of the highlights. The dream job blended her University of Minnesota Duluth marketing degree and passion for higher education.
“I remember getting this job and thinking, ‘Wow, I’ve made it,’” said Williams, who lives in Duluth.

Related content: Lynne Williams Q&A

She has tackled the role with enthusiasm and creativity.
“If you were to look up ‘possibility thinking’ in the dictionary, I am sure that you would find her picture, smiling,” said UWS Chancellor Renee Wachter. “I don’t think her brain quits - I love it.”
Despite her leadership role, Williams enjoys rolling up her sleeves to crank out a story.
“What sets Lynne apart is that, while she’s a born leader, she’s also a doer,” colleague Tom Hansen said.
Williams serves as UWS spokeswoman, oversees campuswide communication efforts, leads the $1.3 million campaign for website redesign and serves as legislative liaison with the UW System. She earned the UWS 2013 Academic Staff Excellence Award and has been nominated for the Board of Regents award.
In addition, Williams has been involved with volunteer efforts from the Animal Allies Humane Society to the Young Leaders Fund.
“She is an individual who is not only dedicated to her job, she’s dedicated to the community she lives in,” said Dave Minor, president and CEO of the Superior-Douglas County Chamber of Commerce. “She’s always asking, ‘How can I make something better?’ ”
Williams was among the core group that launched Superior Young Professionals last year.
“Lynn brings an amazing sense of organization, drive and more passion than most people show,” group treasurer Erik Abrahamson said.
Although dedicated, Williams limits the number of volunteer boards she’s on, focusing on those she’s passionate about. She hopes her 3-year-old son, Rollie, will learn from her example.
“I want my son to understand the importance of community service,” Williams said. “There are so many ways to give back.”
So what does the 33-year-old do to unwind?
“I run half marathons,” Williams said. “I love to golf.” She also spends time with her family and sings with the Duluth Superior Symphony Chorus.
Williams’ work ethic was forged on her family’s dairy farm in Le Center, Minn. Chores started at
4 a.m. each day. In school, she took the opportunity to get involved in activities ranging from tennis and speech to band and student government. She took piano lessons for years and also plays saxophone and guitar. She and her husband, Ryan, got a piano this summer, and it’s been seeing plenty of use.
“I play piano a couple of times a week,” Williams said. “My son plinks at the piano and sings ‘Frozen’ songs.”
Despite her desire for a new challenge, Williams said she is just getting started at UWS. Her current career goal is to help steer communications as the university seeks to shave $4.5 million off the budget in the next five years.
“I still firmly believe that this institution is going to prosper,” she said.

Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.
What To Read Next
Get Local