Earle C. Williams, a central and commanding figure in the founding and growth of the technology industry in Northern Virginia, died on March 25 at the age of 86. Earle joined BDM International, an early government defense technology company, in 1962 and moved the company from El Paso to the Tysons Corner area in 1970. Earle became BDM’s President and CEO in 1972 and served in those roles until his retirement in 1992. He remained on BDM’s Board of Directors until its sale to TRW in 1997.
|Earle C. Williams at NVTC’s Annual Banquet in 2013 during the Earle C. Williams Lifetime Achievement Award presentation. Earle passed away on March 25 at the age of 86.|
“Earle was a founder of NVTC, a Board member, and one of our strongest supporters and advocates,” said NVTC President and CEO Bobbie Kilberg. “NVTC would not exist without Earle’s leadership and guidance. He was especially influential in promoting sound economic development, educational policy and innovation in the Commonwealth. He was a leader of our community and his strong imprint is on many aspects of our business, educational and cultural life in the region. He was continuously involved in our organization over the years and he and his wife June personally participated in seventeen presentations of the Earle C. Williams Lifetime Achievement Award, which is given to a leader who continues Earle’s legacy of creating a significant impact on the Northern Virginia technology community through his or her lifetime personal and professional endeavors.”
|From left: NVTC Chair Todd Stottlemyer of Inova Center for Personalized Health, Earle C. Williams, Earle C. Williams Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Bob Templin, and NVTC President and CEO Bobbie Kilberg at NVTC's Annual Banquet in 2014.|
Earle served on the NVTC TechPAC Board of Trustees for five years. He also served as Chairman of the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, where the Earle C. Williams Learning Center is named after him; was Chairman of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority and a founder of the Professional Services Council; had an integral role in the development of George Mason University, where an endowed information technology and electrical engineering professorship bears his name. In addition, Earle served as a member of the Virginia State Board for Community Colleges and was a driving force behind Northern Virginia Community College.
|From left: NVTC Chair Emeritus Sudhakar Kesavan of ICF International, Earle C. Williams Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Paul Lombardi, NVTC President and CEO Bobbie Kilberg and Earle C. Williams at NVTC's Annual Banquet in 2013.|
“I had the distinct privilege of working for Earle at BDM International. He was an authentic leader and titan of industry and our community,” according to NVTC Chair Todd Stottlemyer, CEO of Inova Center for Personalized Health. “His resume was long with accomplishments – a successful entrepreneur who built a great technology company, took it public, sold it, bought it back, and then helped lead it to another successful public offering and eventual sale. Most importantly, Earle passionately believed in building a great community – Northern Virginia – in addition to a great company. He will be missed greatly, and his contributions to our community will live on for generations to come.”
We will be proud to continue Earle’s legacy and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife June, his daughters and their families, his colleagues and friends. Please read Earle’s full obituary here.