Pat Williams is a basketball Hall-of-Famer, currently serving as co-founder and senior vice president of the NBA’s Orlando Magic. Since 1968, Pat has been in the NBA as general manager for teams in Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia—including the 1983 World Champion 76ers—and now the Orlando Magic, which he co-founded in 1987 and helped lead to the NBA finals in 1995 and 2009. In 1996, Pat was named as one of the 50 most influential people in NBA history by Beckett’s, a national publication. In 2012, Pat received the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Pat has been an integral part of NBA history, including bringing the NBA to Orlando. He has traded Pete Maravich as well as traded for Julius Erving, Moses Malone, and Penny Hardaway. He has won four NBA draft lotteries, including back-to-back winners in 1992 and 1993. He also drafted Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Maurice Cheeks, Andrew Toney and Darryl Dawkins. He signed Billy Cunningham, Chuck Daly, and Matt Guokas to their first professional coaching contracts. Nineteen of his former players have become NBA head coaches, nine have become college head coaches while seven have become assistant NBA coaches.
As one of America’s top motivational speakers, he has addressed thousands of executives in organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies and national associations to universities and nonprofits. Clients include AllState, American Express, Citrix, Coca-Cola, Deloitte, Disney, Honeywell, IBM, ING, Lockheed Martin, Nike, Millennium Pharmaceuticals and Tyson Foods to name a few.
Pat is also the author of over 80 books, including: How to Be Like Walt: Capturing the Disney Magic Every Day of Your Life, Coach Wooden: The 7 Principles That Shaped His Life and Will Change Yours, Leadership Excellence, and The Mission is Remission: Hope For Battling Cancer.
Pat and his wife, Ruth, are the parents of 19 children, including 14 adopted from four nations, ranging in age from 26 to 40. Pat and his family have been featured in Sports Illustrated, Readers Digest, Good Housekeeping, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Focus on the Family as well as all of the major network and cable television news channels.
Pat was diagnosed in February of 2011 with Multiple Myeloma. After several rounds of chemo treatments, Pat received a bone marrow transplant. Pat’s recovery from the stem cell transplant has been remarkable and the doctors are extremely pleased. While Multiple Myeloma is incurable the goal is to get the cancer into remission (Pat’s personal slogan has been “The Mission is Remission”).
Pat has accepted positions on several boards for different cancer groups, including an appointment on the Board of Directors for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. Pat spends many hours each week responding to emails and phone calls of others affected by cancer, offering hope and words of encouragement.
Pat was raised in Wilmington, Delaware, earned his bachelor’s degree at Wake Forest University, and his master’s degree at Indiana University. He is a member of the Wake Forest Sports Hall of Fame after catching for the Deacon baseball team, including the 1962 Atlantic Coast Conference Championship team. He is also a member of six other hall of fames around the country.
As the keynote speaker, you surpassed our expectations. You inspired, enlightened, and challenged the audience with your stories on your life experiences. Your wisdom in regards to the "Keys to Quality Success" was inspirational. You captured the minds and hearts of the audience with stories regarding your family. Please accept my personal thanks for helping the Coco-Cola Company bring added value to our customers.
I want to thank you for your gracious support and presence at our Food & Beverage Conference. Your remarks were an inspiration for all of us and will have a positive impact on making a difference in our lives. Many leaders have come up to me and said how much they have enjoyed your book and I want to thank you for staying to sign them.
I want to thank you for awaking the senses and the desire of the entire staff and management team of Crown Marketing Group through thought, experiences and laughter. The messages you delivered transcended every level, culture and creed, and made all of us completely enthralled throughout. Nobody wanted the presentation to end. As you are aware, your presentation inspired our company's president to purchase 320 copies of your book, The Magic of Teamwork, which we presented as a gift to each of our employees.
On behalf of the Greater Houston Restaurant Association I want to express my sincere gratitude to you for being our guest speaker at our general membership meeting held on at the King Fish Market. The evening is being talked about by many as one of the best meetings in recent memory. Your observations about quality were insightful. We all need to be reminded from time to time about why we do what we do and what it takes to do it well.