Jessica Williams was born and raised in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Her parents, Paul “Coot” Williams was a Firefighter in Appleton and Kathy Williams was a Food Service Director for the Unified Catholic Schools in Oshkosh. Jessica has a younger brother, Aaron Williams who is married to Jordan and together they have a little boy named Ashton who is one of three god-children Jessica has.
While growing up Jessica and Aaron were heavily involved with sports, volunteer work, campus ministry, 4-H, choir, band, clubs, traveling, and hosting foreign exchange students and various get togethers. Paul and Kathy enjoy hosting broom hockey, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Pool, and Hawaiian parties on their five-acre hobby farm which sparked interest of Jessica for hosting “theme” parties and being an extrovert with the desire to see the world and meet various people.
Jessica is a 2006 Lourdes Alum and obtained a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Professional Communications from Alverno College in Milwaukee in 2009. While earning her BA she served as a Community Advisor in the Resident Halls, Secretary Assistant for Academic Affairs, Peer Advisor for new students, Ambassador for Admissions, and Program Manager for Alumnae in Training. Within these roles she developed educational and social activities, Miss Alverno Pageant, Powder Puff Football, Homecoming marketing, tours and public speaking, customer service, and active listening and assistance. Jessica was a Summer Event Coordinator Intern at Leach Amphitheater through the Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau organizing and facilitating a city-wide family event featuring The Chinese Acrobats and Circus Band along with other family-centered performances and activities such as space robots, characters, clowns, face painting, reptiles, and mascots without a team or budget. In addition, Jessica was a Event Coordinator and Fundraising Intern for Appleton’s Children Hospital coordinating fundraisers for Juvenile Diabetes, Photographer Assistant for Dee Photo, and a Campus Ministry Assistant for Lourdes Academy serving as a Retreat Counselor and Coordinator for the 30 Day Famine.
Shortly after graduation she started her career at the Wisconsin Challenge Academy located in Fort McCoy as an Admissions Counselor helping at-risk 16-18 years olds earn their High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) through a quasi-military environment. She provided structure, mentorship, career counseling, and physical fitness training to encourage and support the Cadets as they made a Choice, took on the Challenge, and positively Changed their life. Jessica served as a Supervisor of the Connection Team and Ambassador as well as provided marketing materials to better connect to the public. The connection and impact Jessica had with the Cadets sealed the deal when she decided to enlist in the Army Reserves on October 5, 2011.
Jessica Williams served as a Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) Soldier within the career fields of 42A Human Resources, F5 Postal Operations, and 79V Career Counselor. As a Staff Sergeant (SSG) she managed oversight of 50 to 100 Soldiers on a monthly basis, processed and maintained military records and confidential files, communicated with leadership to improve Soldier readiness, attrition, and retention, and encouraged comradery and positive morale within the units. She represented herself and the military as a Family Readiness Group Representative, Color Guard member, Military Ball Master of Ceremonies (MC), Army’s Ask, Care, and Escort (ACE) Suicide Intervention Leader, Monthly Newspaper Writer, and 2015’s Best Warrior Runner Up. While serving in the United States Army, Jessica also served as a Veteran Advocate through her civilian career while volunteering and fundraising for Juvenile Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, and Leukemia and Lymphoma and worked towards earning her Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degree.
Following the Wisconsin Challenge Academy employment and enlisting in the United States Army Reserves Jessica served as Wisconsin’s Job Connection Education Program (JCEP) Manager in a partnership with the National Guard Wisconsin Employment Resource Connection (WERC) program providing several employment related services to Wisconsin’s service members and their spouses. Jessica managed and produced private sector and federal resumes for a caseload of 250 military personnel residing in 17 counties in addition to conducting mock job interviews and providing military transition workshops. Business symposiums, hiring events, conferences, and featured employer events was coordinated in order to connect the service members with local, state, and federal agencies/businesses.
Jessica was then promoted to serve as Former Secretary Zimmerman of Wisconsin’s Department of Veterans Affairs’ Statewide Veterans Field Representative. Her primary areas of focus were veteran employment, post-secondary education, and entrepreneurship which aligned with her co-leadership of the Talent Attraction marketing campaign – Mission Wisconsin: It’s More You! Jessica served as the direct liaison to the WDVA Secretary; meeting, exchanging information, and educating employers on how to be veteran ready. This in turned secured our veterans with employment prior to transition, as well as, provided a valuable asset to a company. She communicated with Wisconsin post-secondary education systems in order to establish a relationship and bridge the gap between WDVA and the resources and veteran benefits offered throughout the state. Jessica also provided assistance in the review, analysis, and recommendations to the Non-Profit Organization and Entrepreneurship Grants process in order to best provide veterans and the public, entrepreneurship classes, business plan assistance, and financial donations to start up their business.
Other professional work experience included being a Counselor for USA Summer Camp in Fukuoka, Japan for seven weeks teaching Japanese resides the English language, Job Service Outreach & Training Coordinator for Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD), Business Representative & Project Manager for Oshkosh Defense, Executive Project Manager & Community Engagement for Bug Tussel Wireless, Medical Assistant II (Covid testing) for UW-Oshkosh, and Apprenticeship Navigator for Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards (BAS).
Jessica Williams has a love for travel and trying new things. She has traveled to 12 countries and all 50 states. Some of her adventures have included surfing in Raglan, New Zealand, backpacking the Arches National Park in Utah, dancing the night away at Mobile, Alabama’s Mardi Gras ball, learning combatives and taking a punch in the face, dining in Hobbiton, sleeping in a prison, freight container, and a caboose. She enjoys hosting themed parties such as a murder mystery, glitz & glamor, art, Packer, America and others. She continues to be an active member in the community participating with Team Red White and Blue, assisting veterans with their resumes, sharing and marketing local veteran events, and hosting traveling nurses in her home.