Corey Williams: 2018 Community Strong Person of the Year

Corey Williams is the founder and creative director of Rivertown, a local creative agency that provides marketing and media services to individuals and small businesses. A Danville transplant and an Averett University alumnus, Corey received his B.S. in Psychology in May 2014. After graduating and serving a year as an intern through the Danville RegionalFoundation, Corey relocated to Richmond, Virginia for, what he calls, a creative gap year. While there, he focused on becoming a better artist, writer , and photographer. In December 2016, Corey moved back to Danville and in May2017, he graduated with his M.A. in English. Upon moving back, Corey quickly got involved with several organizations including Danville After Hours Rotary, God’s Storehouse, and Middle Border Forward, all of which he serves board positions. Corey has recently completed Middle Border Forward’s Fellowship and currently serves as the Alumni Representative on their board. Corey takes great pride in living in this region and is proud to say that Danville is home. 

Corey took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to talk about community involvement with Showcase.

SC: Why is community involvement so important to you?

CW: When you get involved with your community, you are investing into your home. A community is much more than where you live; it’s where you eat, it’s where you pray, it’s where your friends live, it’s where you raise your family. By getting involved, you take bigger sense of pride in where you live. You see the bright spots and the not-so-bright spots. It becomes a lifestyle after a while.

SC: What inspires you to volunteer?

CW:  I want people to fall in love with this region for all the same reasons I did. I also want people to have reasons to love where they live. So, if that means building bookshelves and reading to kids or cleaning up the Riverwalk or assembling Blessing Buckets, I’m here to serve.

SC: How do you balance life, work, and community involvement?

CW: I’m still working on this one. Time management. I’m a morning person, so my days typically start around 5:30 AM. I allot time, naturally, for my 9 to 5 job, and then for board meetings and clubs. And then, I spend free time with friends and family. A lot of the organizations I’m involved with only meet weekly or quarterly which is helpful too. I take Sundays as my recharge day and also, I’ve learned the power of saying “no.”

SC: What is the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you? 

CW: Go fast. Break things. Pivot if needed (Thank you, MBF team!)

SC: Who are your real-life heroes and why?

CW: Barack Obama, for sure. I love his charisma and his passion for people. And Pastor Bruce Wilson. He’s my biggest role model and mentor. I wouldn’t be doing half the things I’m doing now if it weren’t for him. I love what he has done for the city, and I hope to do just as many great things as him one day.

SC: What is it about Danville that makes it special to you? 

CW: I’ve met all of my lifelong friends here who have also committed to staying in the region, and I’m close to my parents , who live in South Boston. Danville is a very walkable city, and it’s a good central hub for traveling, which I love to do.

SC: Do you have a favorite quote, and if so, what is it? 

CW: “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama

SC: How do you recharge? What do you like to do outside of work and volunteerism?

CW:  I’m a runner and a photographer. I love to take day trips to other cities. I love exploring the food, coffee and craft beverage scene here and other places. I’m an avid reader, and I love hanging out with my friends.

SC: What is your idea of happiness?

CW: Happiness is being completely and unconditionally content with who you are and what you do. Happiness isn’t based on the thoughts, opinions, or ideas of others. It’s about following your passion and doing what makes you feel good.

SC: What are your favorite things to do in Danville?

I love just walking downtown and noticing the details. The buildings, the architecture, the storefront windows. I love going to Me’s and Ballad and spending Friday nights downtown with my friends.

SC: What are you most looking forward to in 2019?

CW: I’m looking forward to transitioning to being a full-time creative and hopefully having a downtown office space.

SC: What are your visions for the future of Danville?

CW: I want Danville to become a hub for creatives. I hope to see a community arts center where artists, writers , dancers, actors and all the sorts can come together under one roof and support each other.