Ex-Fishbowl Chairman and CEO David K. Williams joins InXAthlete roster

 

InXAthlete is pleased to announce the addition of David K. Williams to its executive leadership team.

Williams, the former chairman and chief executive officer of inventory-management software giant Fishbowl, officially joins the InXAthlete roster as an external board member.

Williams brings an impressive stats line to InXAthlete, with more than 35 years of executive-level experience in multiple industries. His penchant for inspiring employees and passionate leadership skills led Inc. magazine to name Williams one of the world’s top 10 CEOs earlier this year. He officially retired from Fishbowl in July.

As to what attracted Williams to InXAthlete, Williams said that it was the organization’s effort to foster fulfilling, challenging, and wholesome opportunities for student-athletes in the workforce.

“You can be from all walks of life,” Williams said, “and if you come into the right culture, with the right leadership, and have the right opportunities, you can walk away fulfilled every day, and you’ll be successful.”

Founders Cody Ferraro and Max Wessell said Williams’ overall business experience and passion for helping people perfectly complements InXAthlete’s mission of bringing employers and athletes together.

“When we first started talking to David, we could just feel his passion and warmth,” Ferraro said. “In a company that really wants to help people, such as InXAthlete and our demographic, David is definitely on board with it. He creates opportunities and has a conviction in this space. His professional background speaks leaps and bounds, but his personal character is a direct fit with our culture at the company.”

Williams may have just joined InXAthlete officially, but in spirit, he’s been there from the beginning. That’s because when Ferraro and Wessell were in the beginning stages of formulating their business model of bringing collegiate athletes and employers together, they found instant credibility in a 2013 column Williams had written for Forbes magazine a couple of years earlier. The article—titled “Why You Should Fill Your Company With ‘Athletes’”—outlined six specific traits of athletes that help make them exceptional employees.

“We first found Williams when we were college kids throwing this idea around,” Wessell said, noting that a Google search for the idea of businesses hiring athletes brought up his Forbes column. “At the inception, this article was one of our main sources of validation. It wasn’t the only thing we saw, but it was definitely the first and most published, as it had several thousand shares.”

About six months ago, as Wessell and Ferraro were thinking about ways to expand InXAthlete’s organic reach, they decided to reach out to a handful of significant business leaders who shared their vision of the inherent value athletes bring to the workplace.

“We reached out to five or six people,” Wessell said. “Some didn’t even give us a response email, and others said they were too busy to talk. But David immediately got back to us. David was definitely the biggest name that we reached out to, and he immediately said he was interested in having a call with us. We had the call and could tell there was a direct fit. I think it was five days later he was in Colorado visiting us at our offices.”

Williams, who was always very involved in sports himself, said he was motivated by InXAthlete’s primary mission of creating enhanced opportunities for student-athletes.

“People reach out to me all the time, but I don’t usually get on board,” Williams said. “There was something about Cody and Max, however. They are so intelligent and passionate. And I was inspired by their desire to want to help student-athletes succeed.”

InXAthlete is already benefiting from Williams’ wealth of experience, Ferraro and Wessell said, as a couple of strategic business decisions can be traced directly to his advice.

“His expertise is very overarching, and it’s going to be incredible for us to tap into that, to run ideas past him and to have him every step of the way as our company grows,” Ferraro said. “He’s going to be a very big part of our group going forward.”