WICHITA, KS — June 12, 2019 — Natural Gas utility Black Hills Energy serving Wichita and beyond, announced today the hire of James Williams as its community affairs program manager to oversee the company’s community outreach efforts. Williams previously spent four years in Denver as the IMA Financial Group’s public relations manager.
“We’re proud to bring this fifth-generation Kansan back home,”
“We’re proud to bring this fifth-generation Kansan back home,” said Kansas general manager of natural gas operations Jerry Watkins. “His mix of nonprofit experience, corporate communications leadership and civic engagement is uniquely suited to serve our nearly 70 communities and 115,000 customers across Kansas.”
Responsibilities at Black Hills Energy will include extending the company’s civic reputation through sponsorships, donations and scholarships. Williams will also oversee statewide media relations and advertising. In 2018, Black Hills Energy generated a $46 million economic impact in Kansas through taxes and fees paid to local governments, economic development investments, sponsorships and donations to local civic organizations and support to nonprofits across Kansas.
Previously at IMA Financial Group, Williams led corporate communications efforts and IMA Foundation outreach activities across the Midwest, which helped the company be recognized as the top philanthropic company in Colorado. Prior to IMA, he was a spokesperson for Visit Wichita where he supported the winning bid to attract the men’s basketball NCAA tournament, drove communications about the future of Century II, and launched Wichita Restaurant Week. He started his career at the American Red Cross where he would eventually be promoted to a national spokesperson, working with media from around the world.
“Black Hills Energy has presented me an incredible opportunity to focus on the community and state I love,”
“Black Hills Energy has presented me an incredible opportunity to focus on the community and state I love,” Williams said. “I literally flew the Wichita flag in Denver, and I’m looking forward to bringing some of that community’s momentum back home.”
Williams’ local community involvement included board positions on PRSA Kansas, Medical Services Bureau and the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Kansas State. He returns from Denver with his wife, daughter, and two rescue labs.