Mt. Juliet native Michelle Williams was recently named became AP Regional Director-South.
Williams was named South Atlantic bureau chief in 2010. She was part of a team examining the changing roles of bureau chiefs and devised a training program for U.S. administrative assistants supporting chiefs with marketing and sales efforts. She was named bureau chief for Arizona and New Mexico in 2007, and before that was assistant bureau chief for Texas, correspondent in Chattanooga, Tenn., and supervisory correspondent in San Diego. She was Tennessee news editor in 2000 during Al Gore’s presidential run and news editor for Texas during President Bush’s second term and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. As a reporter in Milwaukee, she covered serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. Williams began her AP career in 1989 as an editorial assistant in Nashville, Tenn. She grew up in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., and is a graduate of Belmont University in Nashville.
Her first professional byline was at The Chronicle. As a junior at Mt. Juliet High School, she joined an afterschool program to visit with professionals in town who were in a career that interested them. She chose The Chronicle along with another student.
“I met editor Mark Zimmerman, and soon I was hanging out at the Chronicle trying to learn as much as I could about the newspaper business,” said Williams.
When she became editor of the high school newspaper her senior year, Zimmerman suggested that she write a column about what is going on in the high school. That started her now 30 year career. She is the daughter of Stan Williams and the late Jane Hackney Williams.