Sara (Dauber) Williams looks back fondly on her time at Cowley
Sara (Dauber) Williams, a 2003 graduate of Cowley College, has gone on to accomplish many things since her time spent at Cowley. The energetic mother of two somehow finds the ability to balance her time with work and raising a family, while also donating her time to many worthwhile organizations in Cowley County.
Williams graduated from Oxford High School in 1999 and came to Cowley on a basketball scholarship.
“I had taken dual courses in high school so I thought Cowley would be a great fit,” Williams said.
Along with spending the first semester as a member of the Lady Tiger Basketball team, Williams was also involved in Phi Theta Kappa.
While at Cowley, Williams said faculty and staff such as Kristi Shaw, Bruce Watson, and JoLynne Stalnaker helped her along the way to achieving academic success.
“College, beyond the knowledge you gain, teaches you hard work, perseverance and dedication,” Williams said. “For many it can be a confusing time in life and it’s important to find a school that goes beyond supplying its students with information and facts. Cowley cares about its students and shapes them to be not only knowledgeable people in their field, but well-rounded and contributing members of society. I also remember there was never a dull moment living in the dorms with my teammates. Anytime you needed someone to talk to, or help with homework, or just to hang with, there was always a friend nearby.”
After Cowley, Williams went on to obtain a Bachelor of Science and a minor in Business Administration from Southwestern College in Winfield, KS. At Southwestern, she was involved in Beta Sigma Phi and Students in Free Enterprise.
“I was able to get my undergrad completed at Cowley which allowed me to focus more on my degree at SC,” Williams said.
After college she went on to spend some time working in the sales department of the NBA’s Houston Rockets, before being employed as an accounting specialist at Easter Seals Capper Foundation, and later at Inno-Labs.
With Inno-Labs planning to close, Williams learned of an upcoming Job Fair to be held at Cowley College. Williams attended the Job Fair and applied for the General Manager position at the Best Western Plus Patterson Park Inn in Arkansas City.
“I applied in person with the owner, had two phone interviews and two face to face interviews and here I am now,” Williams said. “As the General Manager, it is my responsibility to oversee the operations of the hotel. The General manager is responsible for all aspects of operations at the hotel, to day-to-day staff management and guests. I am to be an ambassador for the brand and for my hotel. Provide leadership and strategic planning to all departments in support of our service culture, maximized operations and guest satisfaction. I work very closely with the hotel owners and other stake holders, and am responsible for managing the Hotels management team (HOD’s) and overall hotel targets to deliver an excellent guest experience. As the GM, I am also required to manage between profitability and guest satisfaction measures.”
Williams enjoys the people she works with and the people the hotel gets to serve.
“Every day we get to take care of someone and be their home away from home,” Williams said. “We get to build relationships with those travelling into town for either corporate or leisure travel and when you love people and you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. “
Williams was the recipient of the Exceptional Woman in Industry, Business and Agriculture Award, and has seen Best Western Plus Patterson Park Inn be recognized for numerous honors since opening in 2014.
Most recently Williams and the hotel were inducted into the Business Hall of Fame at Southwestern College.
Williams and her husband, Brandon, reside in Winfield, KS. The couple have two children, daughter Braelyn 11 and son Braesyn 10. Williams currently serves as a Board of Director for the Winfield Chamber of Commerce, VISIT Ark City, & Cowley County Tourism Alliance. She is also active in her children’s school on the Site Council and devotes her time to her children’s’ activities and sports.
“To live in this community and to be able to serve my community and my guests is something I cherish each and every day,” Williams said. “I cannot truly express what a gift it has been to find a career I enjoy in the community I love. I could not have made it through the tough times or been offered the jobs I was without the education and formation I received from Cowley College and Southwestern College.”