Travis Williams, a native of Kannapolis, North Carolina, survived a tumultuous upbringing that included constantly moving from state-to-state, changing schools over a dozen times, no positive role models, which finally led to serious trouble with the law. That trouble resulted in nearly 8 years of incarceration in 14 state and federal facilities.


Nevertheless, while incarcerated, Travis embarked on a rigorous path of personal transformation. He read voraciously, immersed himself in U.S. History, the study of comparative religions, advanced language studies, finance, and an array of other subjects. Soon after his release in 2016, Travis enrolled in Ashford University to pursue a degree in Business Economics and is on course to graduate in 2021. He completed his probation in 2019, as well as the City Startup Labs’ Reentry Entrepreneurship Program (REEP) in Charlotte, NC. Applying what he learned in REEP helped him to secure a management position at a Fortune 500 company, as well as at a North Carolina-based logistics company. His core competencies include critical/analytical thinking, data modeling, computer programming, research, budgeting, project management, and leadership. Travis intends to use his experiences and education to design, develop and implement innovative solutions to address issues of socio-economic mobility among disenfranchised communities – with a particular emphasis on empowering returning citizens (formerly incarcerated persons).


As a self-taught Spanish speaker and avid reader, Travis understands the importance of forgetting everything that you know (or think you know) when exploring new ideas. He believes that disruption is an essential starting point for solving complex problems and he’s bringing this sensibility to his role as Program Director for CSL’s ReEntry Entrepreneurship Program (REEP).


Fun-factoid: Travis is obsessed with finding philosophical references within The Matrix trilogy.

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