Lorita Williams is the CEO and Founder of Accelerated College Experiences (ACE), a 501c3 based in Boston, MA. She is an experienced leader in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors. Before establishing ACE, Lorita spent over 20 years as a corporate executive at IBM and Digital Equipment Corporation, now known as Hewlett Packard (HP).
In 2004 Williams transitioned into Higher Education, serving as the Executive Director of Alumnae Relations and later the Associate Vice President of Alumni Affairs and the Annual Fund at Simmons University. Prior appointments include the Vice President of Advancement and Community Engagement at Roxbury Community College (RCC) .and as an Interim Executive Director for various nonprofit organizations for Third Sector New England.
Williams’s passion for supporting young adults’ development led her to serve as an adjunct professor at Roxbury Community College (RCC). For ten years, she taught College Experience, a course designed to help incoming first-year students successfully transition into college life.
At both RCC and Simmons University, Lorita witnessed the challenges students of color had adjusting to college. Many became overwhelmed or disengaged as they tried to acclimate to their first year of college. Through observations and trying different approaches in her classroom, she developed the ACE approach.
In 2010, Williams founded Accelerated College Experiences Inc. (ACE) is a nonprofit organization that teaches students from under-resourced communities how to self-direct, self-manage, self-correct, self-advocate and complete college with excellence. ACE partners with colleges, universities, corporations, and families to improve retention and graduation rates using an innovative, collaborative, student-driven approach.
In addition to her role as the CEO and Founder of ACE, Williams currently serves as the Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Becker College in Worcester, MA.
Lorita has earned many awards, recognitions, and achievements. These include the Recognition for Service Excellence for five consecutive years at Digital Equipment Corporation and the District Quality and the Productivity Award for Operations Excellence from Digital. She has been a speaker at the New England Regional CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) for Simmons University and developed a national services process to evaluate and qualify alternative service providers at IBM.
Williams is a graduate of Northeastern University with a BS in Computer Science. Her memberships and affiliations include The Boston Club, The Association of Fundraising Professionals, and the Commonwealth Institute.