Steve Williams was elected as Huntington’s 47th mayor on Nov. 6, 2012. Since taking office, he has utilized his diverse background in economic development, finance, state government and leading local governments to shepherd a renaissance in Huntington that has not been seen in decades.
Under Williams’ leadership, Huntington has gained national recognition for a number of initiatives, most notably the establishment of the Mayor’s Office of Drug Control Policy. The Office has formed several partnerships in developing a holistic harm reduction program and has focused on reducing drug trafficking and related crime while promoting prevention and treatment options for addicts. In March 2016, Williams was named to a joint task force of the National League of Cities and National Association of Counties to address the opioid epidemic.
Working closely with the EPA, Huntington also has been awarded $600,000 in federal grants to spark reuse of underutilized, former manufacturing facilities located along the Ohio River. The vision for these brownfields sites includes new recreational and riverfront facilities; retail and hotel development; research and development facilities; green infrastructure for storm water management; and an “advanced polymer center” that will commercialize new technologies.
Williams’ other accomplishments include spearheading efforts to address the city’s decades-long problem with storm water flooding by consolidating the three city entities that deal with water quality under one umbrella agency; leading a multi-disciplinary initiative known as River to Rail that aims to foster economic development and enhance the quality of life in the West End; and resolving a long-standing lawsuit involving a proposal to build a barge-mooring facility near a residential neighborhood along the Ohio River. The settlement will result in a multi-million dollar commercial development project at Huntington’s riverfront park.
For these and many other efforts, Huntington is one of eight finalists in the America’s Best Communities competition, a nationwide contest sponsored by Frontier Communications to spur economic development in small communities.
Williams earned a bachelor’s degree in political science with Cum Laude honors from Marshall University in 1978 and a master's degree in public administration from West Virginia University in 1980. He began serving as the city’s director of economic development in 1984 and, later that same year, he was named the youngest city manager in Huntington’s history. He served as city manager until Huntington switched to a strong mayor form of government in 1985.
Williams also represented Cabell and Wayne counties in the West Virginia House of Delegates from 1987 to 1994 where he spent much of his time working to reform the higher education and medical education systems in West Virginia.
Professionally, Williams established a career in finance with 26 years in investment banking and investment brokerage. He has served as an investment banker, stock broker, sales manager and senior level executive, overseeing many of the largest markets for the largest banking institutions in the nation.
Williams returned to politics in 2008 when he was elected as an at-large Huntington city councilman. He fulfilled his four-year term and served as the governing body’s Finance Committee chairman before he was elected mayor.
Williams is married to Mary Poindexter Williams. He has two stepdaughters, Nikki Reed and Laura Urban, and has a beloved family dog, Darby.
To read Williams’ inaugural address, which was given at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center on Jan. 3, 2013, click here.
Mayor Steve Williams
800 Fifth Avenue
P.O. Box 1659
Huntington, WV 25701