SAC Alumni Highlight - Paula Gold-Williams
May 3, 2018
In 2017, CPS Energy celebrated its 75 th year of being owned by the City of San Antonio and the guiding light at the nation's largest municipally-owned utility is Paula Gold-Williams, the president and CEO who is also a SAC alumna.
She said she never envisioned herself in running a company with engineers and analysts, but an education at San Antonio College gave her the confidence to believe she could accomplish anything she put her mind to.
Her family had not been able to save money for college, so Gold-Williams believed coming to SAC would be a great way to get her basics. With help from a few small scholarships and funds from a work study program at the school library, she was able to attend SAC, taking the bus to campus every day. She decided to get a degree in fine arts and was part of a modern dance troupe that performed on campus. She also took accounting courses and found as much as she loved the arts, she loved the business side as well.
As she finished her associate degree, Gold-Williams said SAC helped her land a transfer scholarship to St. Mary's University, where she earned a bachelor's in accounting. Later she went to Regis University in Denver, Colo. and received an MBA in finance and accounting.
Her first public accounting job was with one of the Big 8 accounting firms with an office in San Antonio. She then took her first controllership job with Act III Theaters. When the company relocated to the West Coast, Gold-Williams went to Rogers (now Spectrum) Cable and later to Luby's cafeteria.
When Luby's corporate headquarters moved to Houston, Gold-Williams received an offer to join CPS Energy where she was hired as a senior director and controller. During her tenure at CPS Energy, she rose through the ranks becoming chief administrative officer, chief financial officer, and then a group vice president.
Gold-Williams was made the interim president and CEO of CPS Energy when her predecessor left the company and was ultimately hired for the permanent position in July 2016. She is now in charge of more than 3,000 team members and works to ensure electricity and gas are both reliable and affordable.
Gold-Williams said SAC played a pivotal part in her role as the president & CEO of CPS Energy. "I will tell anyone that it is the reason, in many ways, that I am here today," she said. "Being able to know that I could get my first degree helped me realize that I could do a lot of things and I will always be grateful to San Antonio College."