Deidra Parrish Williams has had a distinguished 30-year career spanning corporate communications, nonprofit leadership, fundraising and journalism. She started her career in high tech magazine publishing and has a variety of bylines that span specialty and consumer media, from features stories to editorials. In 2017, Deidra published a novel The Current’s Whisper.
Much of her career has been spent in organizational communications, helping to shape narratives that build stakeholder engagement. In a number of instances her roles have included fundraising and corporate philanthropy.
At Newsday, Deidra was director of community affairs and media relations, leading the newspaper’s public facing activities, including fundraising and grantmaking. She implemented a comprehensive strategy to re-engineer the company’s fundraising, which resulted in more than 60% growth. She also managed a unique set of in-paper programs that married original content and high-value sponsorship advertising.
Deidra was hired away from Newsday to serve as the founding executive director for the fundraising arm of a vital safety-net health system where she raised millions of dollars, created robust fundraising programs and events, built a solid board of directors, and established several fruitful programmatic partnerships that helped enhance the credibility of the health system’s brand. After NuHealth, Deidra headed North American communications and social responsibility for QBE, a global specialty insurance company.
Deidra was born and raised in New York and now lives with her husband, Derrick in a suburb of Charlotte, N.C. The couple has two adult daughters, Maiya and Alana, but these days, the only girl left in the nest is their dog, Lola.