FIRST THURSDAY BIZ was founded in May of 2004, by Larry Williams, Francine Williams, Kikora Dorsey, Nate Miles and Ashby Reed in Seattle, Washington. They believed in the spiritual vision of Larry who had recently survived a seven-week life threatening hospital stay. He wanted to give God all of the glory for having spared his life by using his God given ability for strategic marketing and small business mentoring and coaching. Add that to his uncanny and tremendous ability to bring people of different cultures together and you know that he is doing the work that God has appointed him to do.
When some of the best doctors in the world told Larry that he had 24 hours to live, his faith and belief in GOD helped keep his desire to live, alive. Those doctors also predicted Larry’s death would occur in 24 hours or less. When he realized that the doctors were serious, his first comment was, “I have accepted Jesus Christ as my savior and repented my sins. If I have to live with this constant internal bleeding, then I am asking God to take me home now. I am truly at peace and ready to accept whatever fate that God has for me.” That is when Jesus sent an angel who told Larry that not only would he live but that he would walk out of the hospital in less than two weeks. In two weeks and one day, under the order of skeptical and disbelieving doctors, Larry was released from the hospital. To the bewilderment of his medical team, all of his internal bleedings had ceased having been diagnosed as completely healed. That miracle in November 2002 became the source of FirstThursday Biz’s evangelism. Larry and four confidants, his wife Francine, best friend Nate Miles, and two long-time business and personal friends Kikora Dorsey and Ashby Reed decided that the best way to help Black-owned businesses and the Black community in general become an economic stimulus is through regular in person meetings, improved marketing/business planning and spiritual desire. Since that time FTBS has become the premier not for profit professional advocacy, and networking organization for Black businesses in Seattle, and Jacksonville, Florida.
FTBS is an independent organization funded by members and sponsors who share its vision of advocating and empowering Blacks and others seeking self-empowerment and professional networking. Today, FTBS reaches more than 7,500 business owners, entrepreneurs, and community organizations daily with messages aimed at helping them grow their businesses, one opportunity at a time.
About The Chairman & CEO – W. Larry Williams
W. Larry Williams is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of FirstThursday Biz, FirstThursday Seattle & FirstThursday Jacksonville. He is responsible for leading an elite Team of business professionals who help entrepreneurs and future entrepreneurs to successfully realize their dreams of economic prosperity. An extremely successful entrepreneur and business management professional, Larry has a Master’s in Business Marketing, a BA in Journalism and a PH.D. in the hard knocks school of life/business. He has skillfully guided many small and medium sized businesses and non-profits to success through his keen advertising, marketing and business management excellence. He is considered by many as a genius when it comes to niche, target and diverse branding and marketing. His creative and out-of-the box business thinking has helped many clients achieve and become the best in their industries with award winning projects.
Larry is an eCommerce marketing expert who is passionate about innovative technology and creating an experience that makes it easy for businesses to have fun while exceeding their bottom-line expectations.
Larry is very well connected and respected personally, professionally and spiritually from Seattle, Washington and the Great Northwest to the Pan Handles of Florida and beyond.
Larry is married (41 plus years) to Francine Williams (co-Founder FirstThursday). They have three adult daughters and four grandchildren.