Rufus Williams is the President and Chief Executive Officer of BBF Family Services, formerly known as Better Boys Foundation. He is an active community leader who works to secure opportunities and advancement for children and families from the BBF Center on the West Side of Chicago.
Through policy and advocacy efforts, Williams consistently brings public focus to vital community issues. Under his leadership, BBF has seen a rebranding initiative that includes greater engagement in youth mentoring, reentry services, programming for adults, health and wellness, pre-employment and academic assistance, and neighborhood outreach.
Williams has long been invested in the city he lives in. The fifth of six children, Williams was born and raised in Chicago. He attended Crown and Dvorak Elementary Schools in Lawndale before his family moved to the West Garfield community, allowing him to attend Morton Upper Grade Center, Lane Technical High School, and, ultimately, Orr High School, from which he graduated. His experience growing up on Chicago’s West Side has instilled him with a passion for social justice and community renewal.
In pursuit of a better Chicago, Williams served as President of the Chicago Board of Education, President of the Children First Fund, President of the Fund for Inner-City Athletic Equipment, President of the Whitney Young Magnet School Local School Council, Treasurer of Francis W. Parker School, Vice-Chairman and Treasurer of Providence St. Mel School, and President of the Board of Directors of the Better Boys Foundation.
During his time on Chicago’s Board of Education, Williams created the “Real Men Read” program which brought almost 1,000 men to read books to children in elementary schools throughout the city for one day each month, gifting a copy of each book to every child. He also garnered an anonymous contribution to provide shoes for the boys and girls basketball teams in each high school for 10 years.
Aside from his current leadership at BBF Family Services, Williams is a highly sought-after speaker on issues of education. He hosts and co-hosts phone-in, issues-oriented talk shows on WVON radio in Chicago.
Williams holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, LA. He is a Certified Public Accountant who has served as Vice Chairman of the Board of Advisors of the Northstar Lottery Group, President and CEO of Olympus, LLC, Corporate Audit Manager at Baxter Healthcare Corporation, and Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Financial Planning at Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo, Incorporated.
Rufus Williams is married with two children and three grandchildren.