Bill Watkins is a graduate of Pace University and received an MBA Degree from New York University. He spent a major part of his career with New England Electric System where he held a number of posts before retiring as Executive Vice President of its Rhode Island subsidiary. In that capacity he was instrumental in building the capacity of Contractors of Color during the construction of the Manchester Street Generating Station in Providence, RI.
He served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Rhode Island School of Design. He also served as a member of the Board of Directors of Bank of Boston, RI, the John Hope settlement House and the Urban League of Rhode Island.
During his retirement he became President of the Sarasota Branch of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). Under his leadership the branch produced the “Veterans of Color” film in conjunction with the Ringling College of Art and Design, which has received national acclaim.
Mr. Watkins and his wife Kae reside in Sarasota, Florida and Middletown, Rhode Island. He and his late wife Sylvia have three daughters; Cheryl Snead, President of Banneker Industries in Smithfield, RI, Rene Payne, Managing Principal of the Massachusetts based Graphic Design Firm-Favor and Linda Watkins, Pastor of First Baptist Church of Pawtucket, RI.