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William A. Clement, Jr.

Entrepreneur and corporate chief executive William Alexander Clement, Jr. was born on January 22, 1943 in Atlanta, Georgia to politician Josephine Dobbs Clement and Executive Vice President for North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company William Alexander Clement, Sr. Clement received his B.A. degree from Morehouse College in 1964, majoring in mathematics and business administration, and his M.B.A. degree in finance and insurance from Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1967.

Clement worked as a credit analyst for NCNB Corporation (predecessor to Bank of America) in Charlotte, North Carolina, as a registered representative for Bache & Company as well as a representative for The Robinson-Humphrey Company prior to becoming vice president and senior loan officer of Citizens Trust Bank in 1973. In 1977, Clement was a political appointee in the Carter Administration and served as an associate administrator of the United States Small Business Administration. While in this position, he served as senior management officer for the federal government’s largest minority business development program. Clement also received a presidential appointment by President Jimmy Carter to join the board of directors of the National Consumer Cooperative Bank in Washington, D.C. In addition, he was founder and former chairman and chief executive officer of DOBBS, RAM & Company, a systems integration company. Founded in 1981, DOBBS, RAM & Company was engaged by the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to maintain its E-Filing System.

Clement became an outside director of Atlanta Life Insurance Company in 1992, and in 2001, the board of directors named him chairman. In 2008, Clement was elected president and chief executive officer of the Atlanta Life Financial Group, Inc., and worked in this position for three years. He also served on the boards of two publicly-traded companies, Radiant Systems, Inc. and TRX, Inc.

Clement has been active in numerous civic and community organizations. He was former chair of the board of Opportunity Funding Corporation, a trustee of the Maynard Jackson Youth Foundation, and a former trustee of the Woodruff Arts Center. He served on the board of directors of The Commerce Club and the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. Clement was also a charter member of the 100 Black Men of Atlanta, a former co-chair of the Atlanta Action Forum and a former chair of the Atlanta Business League. He has served as a member of the trustee board ministry of Antioch Baptist Church, as co-grantor of the Brown-Clement Endowed Scholarship Fund at Morehouse College, and a member of the Society of International Business Fellows.

Clement is married to R. Ressie Guy-Clement and is the father of two daughters and the grandfather of two grandchildren.

William Alexander Clement, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 27, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.114

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/27/2007

Last Name

Clement

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

A.

Schools

Morehouse College

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

W. G. Pearson S.T.E.A.M. Elementary School

Whitted Elementary School

Hillside High School

First Name

Willliam

Birth City, State, Country

Atlanta

HM ID

CLE05

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

Don't give in, don't give up, and don't give out.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

1/22/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken, Collard Greens, Potatoes, Cornbread

Short Description

Corporate chief executive and entrepreneur William A. Clement, Jr. (1943 - ) is the co-founder of DOBBS, RAM & Company and, as of 2008, serves as the President and CEO of the Atlanta Life Financial Group, Inc.

Employment

Atlanta Life Insurance Company

DOBBS, RAM & Company

United States Small Business Administration

Citizens Trust Bank

Robinson-Humphey Company

Bache & Company

NCNB Corporation (predecessor to Bank of America)

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William A. Clement, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William A. Clement, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his maternal family history, pt.1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his maternal family history, pt.2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his paternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his father, William Clement, Sr.

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William A. Clement, Jr. remembers his grandparents' farm on Edisto Island in South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his childhood neighborhood of Buttermilk Bottom in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - William A. Clement, Jr. recalls his childhood memories of Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his mother, Josephine Dobbs Clement

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his father, William Clement, Sr.

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - William A. Clement, Jr. begins to talk about his elementary school years

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his grandfather's emphasis on education, and his mother's sisters

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William A. Clement, Jr. continues to describe his elementary school years

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William A. Clement, Jr. remembers his childhood neighborhood in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his five siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William A. Clement, Jr. remembers attending majority white summer camps in Boston, Massachusetts as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William A. Clement, Jr. recalls his activities during his junior high years

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William A. Clement, Jr. remembers his favorite teacher at Hillside High School in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his decision to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about sit-ins in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his experience with segregation

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - William A. Clement, Jr. remembers his senior prom at Hillside High School in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his experience at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes Dr. Benjamin Mays and his professors at Morehouse College

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his jobs in college

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about working for North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company as a college student

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William A. Clement, Jr. recalls the desegregation of Rich's Department Store and hearing Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speak

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes working for Connecticut General Life Insurance Company in Hartford, Connecticut

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his experience at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his first job out of graduate school with the NCNB Corporation and the bank's history

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his first wife

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William A. Clement, Jr. recalls working for Bache & Company, and for Robinson-Humphrey Company

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about Maynard Jackson's mayoral campaign

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - William A. Clement, Jr. recalls working with Herman Russell and Jesse Hill during Maynard Jackson's mayoral campaign

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about the history of Citizens Trust Bank

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - William A. Clement, Jr. details his tenure as vice president of Citizens Trust Bank

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his work as an associate administrator of the Small Business Administration in the President Jimmy Carter Administration

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about the benefits of his experiences in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about the beginning of The Dobbs Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his company, DOBBS, RAM & Company

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his second marriage

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about how he became the chairman of Atlanta Life Insurance in 2001

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his work on the board of Radiant Systems, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about the national reach of Atlanta Life Financial Group

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his church, Antioch Baptist Church North in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his participation in 100 Black Men and the Maynard Jackson Youth Foundation

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his work on the Opportunity Funding Corporation and Friends of Morehouse

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his parents' deaths and managing Maynard Jackson's estate

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about politicians in his family

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about his grandchildren

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - William A. Clement, Jr. shares his advice for future generations

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - William A. Clement, Jr. shares his business advice

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - William A. Clement, Jr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - William A. Clement, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - William A. Clement, Jr. talks about what he would do differently

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - William A. Clement, Jr. narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

9$8

DATitle
William A. Clement, Jr. talks about sit-ins in Durham, North Carolina
William A. Clement, Jr. talks about Maynard Jackson's mayoral campaign
Transcript
Now civil rights are heating up in Atlanta [Georgia], are your parents involved in civil rights?$$My father [William Clement, Sr.] was, my father was on the Durham Committee For [sic, On] The Affairs Of Black People which was a very, very strong activist organization in, in Durham [North Carolina]. And Durham was the second city in, in the 1960s for the sit-ins. Greensboro [North Carolina] was the first and Durham was the second. And we were in, involved in that, they took us down to Woolworth's or whatever the store, I can't even remember what it was and it, it, it, it just was--I hate to say this, but it was a thing to do. It was not dangerous at that time even though the kids in Greensboro--but it was nothing, you know, like what [HM] John Lewis faced or people in Selma [Alabama], and once again, Durham was a relatively small town and so it was a really a non-event just going down to, you know, sit in a, a luncheon counter at, at, at one of the five-and-ten stores there.$$Were things turned around easily there?$$No, no, eventually it became--but, it was not--even though it started in Greensboro then, an, you know, the images we have of the dogs and the hoses and all, and that was in places like Birmingham [Alabama] and maybe some cities in Mississippi. But that, for some reason just did not happen in North Carolina. I think one reason is that North Carolina's always been a fairly progressive state relative to the other southern states. We had a Governor, whose name was Luther Hodges, and he had a lot of industry there, a place called Research Triangle which had a lot of businesses there and so it was a, a different kind of place, it still is a, a more progressive place then some of the southern, you know, real southern states like Mississippi and Alabama.$During this time Maynard Jackson moves back to Atlanta [Georgia] and we grew up together, even though he was a little older--from the reunions and all, but when he gets back to Atlanta we kind of bound again and it was in the early '70s [1970] that he started talking about running for mayor. And so he called four of us together one Saturday--well, including him, four including him, David Franklin, who was married to Shirley Franklin at one time; gentleman by the name of Chuck Williams, who is dead now; and Maynard. And he talked about wanting to run for mayor, he had run now for the United States Senate against [Herman] Talmadge and then was the sitting vice chair, or vice chairman of the Aldermanic Board which is almost like President of the Atlanta City Council today. And he was still only his thirties, and people thought that he would wait until his, his turn, but he had noticed that the demographics in Atlanta changed and that the Atlan--the city of Atlanta registered voters become predominately black, and he thought that with the right campaign that he could win. And so I tell that because it was really a turning point of my life. I, I, I really got directly engaged in politics. David Franklin and I put up the first $40,000, I mean, back in the '70s [1970], that was a lot of money and we actually lent it to the campaign and he developed a staff and campaign staff and the election was next year and, you know, he won and the rest is, the rest is history.