Okay, so you went to North Carolina after you graduated, right, is that true?$$Oh yes. I told General Foods [General Foods Corporation] I was coming back. And then, I got this call from this guy from General Foods, from North Carolina Agriculture Extension Service [North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service], and he said, "I want you to come down here for an interview." He was a graduate from Cornell [Cornell University, Ithaca, New York]. He got his Ph.D. there. And I said okay, because I had never been to Greensboro [North Carolina] before, so I went down there and came back, because I was going to go work for J. Walter Thompson and, who was the other one, Ebony. J. Walter Thompson wouldn't spend the money to take me down, bring me down to New York if I didn't have any way to get there, so I'd even go for the interview for that. Another one I went to, ad agency and they wanted me to write a couple of stories, which I refused to do, and Ebony, they just didn't like me because I didn't have experience, and so that left General Foods, which I didn't really want to go back to, and so when I went to the interview at North Carolina Agriculture Extension Service, when I landed the airport was in the middle of this field and there were cows over there. I thought, oh god, I can't come and live here. So, I went back to Ithaca [New York] and didn't think anything of it, and then this guy called me. I can't remember his name, but he was cool. He called me and he said, "Are you going to take this job or what?" I said, "Excuse me?" He said, "Are you coming down here to work for us or what?" I said, "Oh." He sounded like my dad [Albert Williams], so I said, "Yeah, yeah, I'm coming." (Laughter) He gave me the riot act, so I ended up working there. I started the department of communication arts at the agri school at A and T [North Carolina Agricultural Technical State University, Greensboro, North Carolina].$$So, was that the, don't mumble that through because this is important.$$Oh, I'm sorry. You know, we were having a conversation. I forgot he was taping. I am so sorry.$$Yeah, now don't mumble that through. This is something, you started the department.$$Yeah, but it was just for the ag school.$$And the idea was that he was coming and you were brought there to start this department thing, is that true?$$It was just me and a secretary. I mean, we did the publicity for Ag Extension and the black school [HBCU] which is the 1890 university schools, you know. They had the separate pieces and, so I didn't really start, I started department--we're talking about two people--I was the first one that they hired to do the job, and I started and I started doing publicity for them and there was a photographer who I hired a lot, and he was cool, and he said to me, "You should join the chamber of commerce [Greensboro Chamber of Commerce]." I said, "Okay." So I did. I got in the eight o'clock club and got really active with them and I had a mentee. This is interesting. I was dating this guy because, see, I went to North Carolina on a mission. I was going to save people's lives. I was going to teach them how to cook and how to clean, how to sew and how to make their lives better. That was my mission, and I was going to have a boyfriend just to be on the side, just so I could, whatever. Anyway, he had a roommate that he said was a Vietnam [Vietnam War] vet. This guy was a runaround. I mean, I knew that. I didn't give a, I didn't care. I mean, he was a womanizer. I didn't care. The guy, his roommate, had me go with him for lunch and he said, "Did you know that this--," and I said, "Yeah, I know that. I don't care." He said, "But you're so much better than that." I said, "I know that." I said, "He's not important to me." We got to be best of friends. We're still friends. He was right, he was not a Vietnam vet. He was a student at UNCG, University of North Carolina at Greensboro [Greensboro, North Carolina]. The guy didn't want me to know he was rooming with a guy that was that young and, anyway, I got him to take a job. I said you're too smart to stay here. We got to be friends, too, because he, anytime I sent him an article or something, I used to call him up, I said, "Maurice, you know you ought to print this for me." I said, "We got a lot of stuff in the paper because of that." And, so I got him out of there and I got him to move to New York, and he just is retiring now as vice president of PepsiCo. One of my success stories. I had a lot of those.$$This is Maurice-$$Maurice Cox.$$Okay.$$From PepsiCo. Yeah. And he, to this day, he said, "If it hadn't been for you." 'Cause I used to rag at him all the time. I said, "What are you gonna do? What are you gonna do with your life? You gonna work at this paper forever?" Anyway, that was my first real mentee. I had some other people, but I was, I stuck with him.$Was there any incident that precipitated the crisis, that made you want to leave?$$I'm sure there was, but I can't remember exactly what it was because I just really had had it, because I wasn't being respected by the people, my boss at the time. I was getting slammed down for my ideas, and this was after. I came to, and I'm all around the map but let me go back one moment. When I came here I had done a program at the Hanes Group [Hanesbrands Inc.] called the Women of Hanes [ph.] and it ended up being a brochure and they wanted me in it and I said, "No, this is for them." And Paul [Paul Fulton] said, "No, you should be in it." So I said, "I'll take a picture on the cover." So, I took a picture on the cover and it had little vignettes of the women in Hanes of different levels, so when I got here, I said, "Well that's something else to start with." Because first of all they wanted me to be director of urban affairs and I said, "Unh-uh. This isn't what I do." You know. "I'm not here to be an urban affairs person. I'm here to be director of public affairs." So, I told him what title I would take and they wanted to make me senior manager because the director in the regional office was equivalent to senior manager in corporate, and I said, "No, I'm a director. That's what I've been. That's what I've known, that's what I've known in this company." So, I fought them on that and I won. So, I got to be director of public affairs and I'm making this sound easy. It wasn't. It was like painful and it was hard. I was selling pencils on the street in a cup (laughter). I was going through the whole nine yards, but I had people at my back, Bob Brown [Robert J. Brown], Paul Fulton, who never spoke to me once we moved up here, because he knew he had to put some distance between us and he was the president and I was where I was, but I helped to save the company. So, I brought the idea of women being their sole customer to the corporate office, and then I decided I wasn't just going to do this booklet, I was going to do a program. This is one of my proudest achievements in my life. And, I taught the vice presidents of human resources, because I was reporting at that time to the vice chairman; no, the vice president of corporate affairs, that's who I was reporting to. He was reporting to the vice chairman, and I said, "I'm going to go and sell this idea." He didn't care what I did, because he didn't really want me up there in the first place, up here in the first place. So, I learned that at Western Electric [Western Electric Company], you get people to buy in. When I ran for office, you get people to buy in. That's the key thing for success. You get them to buy in, and once they bought in you got 'em. So, I made these presentations that I wanted to do this program, a booklet on the women in Sara Lee [Sara Lee Corporation], but I wanted them to nominate these women, and then I wanted them from the plant level all the way up to the vice presidents of each company, to select the woman that's going to represent them, and then those names would come to corporate and I had a team of people that would review them and pick the ones the ten that we would, would choose. And I had the categories of management, secretarial, we had, in the end, Bill Clinton [William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton] sent a letter when he was governor of Arkansas to this woman who had won it from Arkansas. It was an amazing program, because it still brings tears to my eyes at every level. We gave women an opportunity to be recognized and we ended up with a truck driver, she was one of the winners, an executive secretary from one of the divisions, one of the women, one woman who had done, gotten another degree through the corporate education program and she was now manager and she had started out as a secretary. Of course, we had to have some diversity in there. I mean, I told my committee what I wanted from them. We had women in so many small cities getting keys to the city. There was one women who wrote me a letter. You have changed my life. She didn't think anybody noticed. The truck driver, she's like eighteen pounds soaking wet--118 pounds soaking wet, a little bitty thing, driving an 18-wheeler. She had no dresses. The company, her friends got money together to buy her some clothes to come to Chicago [Illinois]. The division president heard about that. They bought her luggage. They bought, it was just amazing. Even women who didn't win. So, I said okay. This is good. So, what I want to do is, we aren't gonna just do this booklet. We're gonna have them present it at the annual meeting, and then I got a video tape done of all their stories. Then we did the booklet, and then we, we had them meet the board of directors. Every time I kept pushing, pushing, pushing because we only, there was a pot of money in the annual meeting budget for public responsibility, but they were always sharing something that they were doing at the foundation. I said, "No, this is more important. Give me that money." So, they gave it to me and we took them out to dinner, we got them in box seats. Some of them hadn't even travelled out of their city. I mean, it was just, I just loved it for what it did for the people's self-esteem, even, you know, even if they didn't get to come to Chicago. I was very proud of that program, and I did it with no money at all. I had just enough money to do a brochure and I kept finding little pockets of money that I could squirrel together.