|Date submitted: May 3, 2011|
|Gift: General Gift|
|Location on plaza map: A2|
|Areas of Achievement:
Entrepreneur, Humanitarian, and Mentor|
|A native Tucsonan and the oldest of four children, Michelle’s family was abandoned by their father without even a goodbye as she turned 8. The challenges of a mother who was not permitted to work or drive during the marriage at the demands of her father, caused an immediate financial strain after the divorce. At the age of 12, Michelle was thrust into the workforce to help make ends meet. She began cleaning houses and working in labor factories to help the family buy food and clothing. When her mother could find work, Michelle became responsible for the care and upbringing of her three younger siblings. While doing so, she maintained perfect school attendance as a straight “A” student.|
Returning to the workforce as a young adult, Michelle’s drive aided her in quickly climbing the corporate ladder in both the finance and banking industries. After several years as a Vice President with Arizona Bank, and later an executive with Countrywide Mortgages, she made a cross-roads decision to re-prioritize her life. She felt compelled to give her two children something that she didn’t have, which was a parent at home during her formative years. The young Alexis and Elijah were both toddlers and it was those early years that she was mostly concerned with. To Michelle, it was both possible and necessary to do; however, the difficulty would be in finding a way to maintain the executive income. She took inventory of her skills and unique industry opportunities and as a result, an entrepreneur was born.
In 2004, The Signing Agents, LLC was created and its Founder and CEO was a 35-year-old Michelle Williams working from home. Within a few short years, the nationwide document service business was employing over a hundred women from all over the country, many of which desired to work from home for similar reasons. With a 5 star rating reputation, a database of nearly 35,000 qualified personal agents and attorneys, major clients and a comfortable executive income, Michelle had earned the right to be called Tucson’s Barefoot CEO, all while working exclusively from home. She used her heart and passion for others, and her proven business model to employ and empower many.
Over the years, Michelle empowered and mentored a countless number of women, most of whom she employed. With the success of TSA and again her heart’s passion, she has also made a difference through the efforts of her generous giving. She’s built a home for Orphan’s in Uganda, been an event sponsor for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Angel Charity Ball supporter, and maintains a commitment to sponsoring economically challenged young female students with college assistance. She continues to be committed to setting aside 10% of the company’s gross revenue monthly to give a financial gift of love to wherever she is so inclined in order to sow seeds of hope and encouragement.
Michelle has continued to build The Signing Agents, LLC in order to someday turn it over to another woman who may have a similar desire to work a thriving business from home in order to employ and empower others while giving back to her community.
At the age of 42, Michelle will tell you that she is just getting started as she prepares to raise awareness, money, and compete in the 2011 New York City Marathon, as the Team Captain for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s charity. Michelle’s single greatest passion in life has always been to live a life that makes a difference.
Honored on the African American Women's Arch.