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The Gerald Johnson Legacy Award is named after the BEYA Engineer of the Year 2020, a General Motors executive, and it acknowledges BEYA winners in the automobile industry who have demonstrated operational excellence, leadership in training, and mentoring.

During the presentation of the 2024 Gerald Johnson Legacy Award at the Historically Black College and University Engineering Deans Event at the BEYA STEM Conference, Bob Pragada, Jacob’s CEO, honored his colleague Ron Williams.

Williams started in 1995 as an engineer for water and wastewater treatment plants, and he became senior vice president and general manager of Jacobs’ largest unit in the Americas.

Williams has been successful in building and enhancing communities across the United States and Canada. However, what makes Ron a standout leader is his dedication to creating future generations of professionals in science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics (STEAM) that reflect their communities.

Williams is working at every level to make that happen. He has been a key contributor to the LA Seed School, which promotes college readiness and career advancement.

Furthermore, he is active in mentorship programs with Jacobs and the Los Angeles mentor program, providing exposure, support, and inspiration to early career professionals. Ron’s dedication to ensuring the success of next-generation trailblazers is unrivaled.

In his acceptance speech, Ron expressed his gratitude to the BEYA Selection Committee and his honor to receive the Gerald Johnson Legacy Award.

Gerald Johnson, a trailblazer and mentor, exemplifies unwavering commitment to leadership and operational excellence and continues to shape the automotive industry, and Ron is proud to carry that torch forward at Jacobs.

He reflected on all who have supported him: his family, mentors, colleagues, and friends, each of whom played a role in shaping his path. Their belief in his abilities fueled his determination to push boundaries and create a lasting impact.

Ron emphasized that we must continue to uplift and guide the next generation of STEAM professionals, especially those from underrepresented communities. Inclusion and diversity are not just buzzwords; they are the bedrock of progress. If we are intentional in all we do, we can change the future.

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