Maggi Williams, Chief Global Strategy Officer of KM2 Solutions, passed away earlier this month. But the nearshore outsourcing industry, especially those who knew her well, is still struggling to come to terms with her loss. That was the strength of Maggi, whose insight into the industry was hard to be ignored and whose contagious passion made her impossible to forget.
Although she was born and raised in Australia, Maggi had made Latin America her home over the past few years, helping companies expand and prosper in countries from Mexico to Brazil, and Argentina to Honduras.
For Maggi, death came suddenly. Weeks before she died, she felt dizziness. An MRI detected the swelling of blood vessels and an aneurism was suspected. Doctors recommended that she undergo surgery immediately. Complications developed while doctors operated on her and she passed away soon after.
Maggi’s presence was so widely felt that in his message informing employees of her death, David Kreiss, CEO of KM2 Solutions, wrote that “today we have lost a very loving soul.”
She was an expert on setting up call center operations and making them profitable. In the past few years, she was responsible for the growth and development of KM2’s operations in Honduras, St. Lucia, Barbados and Grenada.
Maggi spent much of her childhood days in Australia before settling down in Canada. There she served many domestic companies, including Bell Canada and Canada Systems Group. These Canadian companies introduced her to Latin America. It seems her relationship with the region spans more than 25 years.
Here some of her friends and colleagues share their tributes to Maggi Williams:
David Kreiss, CEO, KM2 Solutions
To say that Maggi touched many lives is an understatement; just check her Facebook page. The cheers and warm congratulations that she received from 100s of her friends, from all around the world, simultaneously celebrating her birthday last week, is a small reflection of the friends and family that loved, admired and respected this wonderful human being.
Maggi was an extraordinary person, an adventurer of Life; seeking new friends, new paths rarely taken, new geographies needing to be explored and especially new challenges requiring her exceptional intellect, her keen understanding of human interactions and more importantly, her desire to make a difference.
Personally, she walked into my office in 2007 representing one of the largest Outsourcing Companies in the world wishing to do business with us in Barbados. Although we decided that the project was not for us, Maggi proceeded to call me the following day to inform me that she loves KM2 and that I should be smart enough to hire her; which of course I did! That was Maggi…
We will all feel this loss… but then again, she would probably kick our butts and ask us to celebrate her Life.
Thank you Maggi for coming into my Life!
Peter Ryan, Lead Analyst, Ovum
When I learned of Maggi Williams’ untimely passing, in the words of my longtime friend Jeff Pappas, the world seemed just a little bit sadder.
I first met Maggi in 2011 at the ProNicaragua summit in Managua, where not only did we have the opportunity to share our thoughts on the outsourcing world (and the various players that compose it), but to my delight I discovered that she had a chalet in Gatineau, Quebec, only 90 minutes away from my residence in Montreal (a stone’s throw in Canadian terms).
We agreed that when she was back in Canada on one of her regular visits, we would arrange to meet in la belle province; sadly, that never materialized. Maggi Williams was a true force of nature, and this was apparent in everything she did. Whether it was travel, sports, her family or business she always spoke of her passions with gusto, energy and the straight-talking fashion that was her trademark.
Reflecting on Maggi’s legacy as a leader in the outsourcing space, I think back to our many discussions in which I learned so much. What made Maggi special was her happiness to share her insight, whether it happened to be a humble analyst like myself, a visiting delegation of outsourcing professionals or as a speaker at a conference. Our industry has truly lost a star, one that will be missed greatly.
Marvin Bartholomew, Site Director, KM2 St. Lucia
Maggi Williams is simply one of the smartest persons I’ve worked with. She had incredible insight into a varied array of topics, from performance management and HR to the deep belly of technology systems and functioning. Seemingly nothing was a strange topic for her as she had either done something similar or knew someone who did. I could always rely on her insight and fresh take and often turned to her for her unique perspective.
But what truly made her a joy to work with and be around was her great sense of humour and sassy wit. She had the most interesting ways of describing things; at once funny or poignant (situation depending), accurate and succinct. Add her ‘joie de vivre’ to that and it’s easy to see why we’ll all miss her. Not only did we lose a truly beautiful person, our industry did as well.
Kirk Laughlin, Managing Director, Nearshore Americas
When I first met Maggi during a site visit to Barbados in 1998, she explained to me how she was sticking around for the weekend Cricket tournament; she knew exactly what was in store and spoke of the experience like a local. Maggi was like that. She was an exceptional “adapter”, able to not just understand cultures, but grasp the joy and significance of the fabric of the culture – and that would always boil down to the people. In her years in San Pedro Sula, she became such a powerful advocate of her people, many of them young, inspired professionals who appreciated her direct-speaking leadership style.
But probably what I’ll miss most was her ultra-sharp wit and no-nonsense appraisals of what was really going on in the contact center space and the site selection process so critical to investment in the region. “That country is more crooked than a three-legged dog,” was just one of my favorite lines. A wonderful person and a wonderful spirit.