A top-performing director in corporate information technology sales, speaker, author and community activist, Wilma Jones is a dynamic force in a variety of pursuits. During her multifaceted career, she’s always had a part-time hustle, initially operating a successful grant writing and consulting business for five years. The firm received federal and foundation grant awards totaling over $50 million for her clients, minority colleges and non-profits supporting underserved communities. She wrote, sold and executive produced a music entertainment television show that aired on a cable television network for three years. She’s executive produced two CD releases and managed tours for a jazz artist for five years. Wilma’s a go-getter and perpetual learner who inspires others to pursue and achieve their goals no matter their circumstance.
Wilma has been an award-winning salesperson for 30 years in the information technology and telecommunications market. Generating hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts for high technology products and services, she is a leader in the industry. She’s a hard worker whose excellent presentation and communication skills support her success as she establishes strong business relationships with her clients.
Wilma began to take courses and secure certifications in 2010 to become a professional speaker, a goal she achieved with membership in the National Speakers Association in 2013. She gives keynotes, workshops and participates as a panelist for a variety of organizations and events. Wilma speaks about the subjects of her books; saving community history and using positivity to drive results. Her presentations provide simple yet effective tools and tips that can be implemented right away to impact change, both personally and professionally.
Just like you, Wilma has dealt with some difficult problems in her life. We all know those times can often make a person or break them. It can make them bitter. Or better.
Introduced to positive psychology while going through a tough divorce, Wilma began to study the science to get better. Initially reading hundreds of books and taking online courses; she later studied at the Coaching and Positive Psychology Institute in Atlanta, GA. Her first book, Living Happier After: 20 Women Talk About Life After Divorce, focused on using the concepts in your personal life.
In 2014 Wilma received a Black Blogger Award from Blogging While Brown for her blog, LivingHappierAfter.com. She wrote the “Better, Not Bitter” column for Rene Syler’s GoodEnough Mother.com website for three years, as well as guest posting on BlackAndMarriedWithKids.com and other websites. She completed a successful radio tour, appearing on the Frank Ski Show, WHUR’s The Insight Segment and Pillow Talk with other appearances on programs aired on Clear Channel, Radio One, Clear Channel and Sirius XM.
Soon after publishing the first book, Wilma had to deploy the tools professionally to overcome trouble, turmoil and transition when corporate acquisition, reorganizations, reductions-in-force and overall chaos began to thrive at her day job. The second book, Is It Monday Already?! 197 Tools and Tips to Start Living Happier at Work was published in July 2016. Turning the spotlight on those issues that make you dread the day job, Wilma’s book provides the tools to improve the workplace environment with insightful stories, lots of humor, and plenty of jaw-dropping facts. Her business, Wilma J, LLC which handles her speaking, workshops and writing has been featured in the Washington Post.com Business section. Wilma was also a contributing blogger on Huffington Post during this period.
Wilma’s third book, My Halls Hill Family: More Than a Neighborhood is all about the neighborhood she grew up in and still resides in today, Halls Hill. It’s a small neighborhood of about 800 families located outside Washington, DC in north Arlington, Virginia. The book is slated for publication in fall 2018. The book will be available on Amazon.com.
As a fourth-generation resident of Halls Hill which was a completely African-American community until the 1970’s the book is her attempt to save at least some of the community’s stories. To the many people who grew up there, visited family there or even spent time there, they knew it as more than a neighborhood. Wilma’s hope is that others join to share the stories and experiences of the neighborhood to save grandma’s history and thus our own.
Wilma became involved in her neighborhood civic association, the John M. Langston Citizens Association (JMLCA) in the 1990’s because she wanted improvements on her street. The County Government required that the civic organization support any resident request in order to have the matter considered for approval. Wilma joined the group and became a volunteer while she worked successfully to have the street improvements completed and other traffic calming measures implemented in the neighborhood.
Wilma was later elected to the organization board and then to two terms as association president. She and her family moved to Prince George’s County, Maryland for eight years. In 2011 she returned to her home on Halls Hill with her sons. She became involved with the civic association two years ago to help fight the local government’s planned relocation of the historic neighborhood Fire Station 8. The community was successful in maintaining the fire station at its current location on Halls Hill. Wilma also represents the neighborhood on the Lee Highway Association, a group focused on a major transportation corridor that runs through our neighborhood. The civic association nominating committee asked Wilma to lead the group as president for the 2018-2020 term. The nomination was unopposed. This fall she begins her third term as president of the John M. Langston Citizens Association.
Wilma is the proud mom of two grown sons. She’s Aunt Wilma to 13 nieces and nephews and five great-nieces and nephews. She’s the youngest of seven siblings. And one of over a hundred cousins. The family’s legacy is our stories and the love we have for one another. The hope is this book will be a reminder of the strong family foundation that George and Idabel Jones and the ancestors before them gave to us all.
Wilma lives on Halls Hill in Arlington, Virginia.