Meet the Collective: Clarence Williams
Meet the Collective is our series highlighting the great people who make up Collective Health. Today, we’re sitting down with Clarence Williams, Vice President of Sales for the West.
Where are you from?
I was born in Spokane, just across the mountains from Seattle, and moved to the Seattle area around age 5. So, I guess you would say I’m from the Seattle area and have lived here all my life.
What happened in your career that led you to Collective Health?
I’ve spent a big chunk of my career in traditional employee benefits, working with employers to understand their strategies, pain points, and challenges. Collective Health is one of the few opportunities where I feel like we really, truly have an opportunity to rethink the whole healthcare experience.
We talk a lot about member experience at Collective, but we’re really addressing the entire healthcare experience. We’re not only helping employers with their strategies and their pain points — we’re helping members with the things that matter to them. We have a solution that really focuses on the entire picture for employers. It’s truly unique. The market may not fully see or understand it yet, but it’s something I wanted to be a part of.
What excites you most about where Collective Health is going?
We’re doing something fundamentally different. That means that people in the market, whether employers or those in the broker channel, may not fully understand what we’re bringing to bear yet. I’m excited to help them better see the possibilities our product represents but also what road map for the future looks like.
We also have the ability to fundamentally change what healthcare looks like for the employer and member — that’s incredibly exciting!
What’s one of the most important lessons you’ve learned in your career?
In this industry, you always have to be a student of the business. You can never truly learn everything — you have to continually educate yourself. Be a student of the business and follow the data.
What’s your favorite thing to do?
I have three kids, and I really love to spend time getting outdoors with my family. I love to ski — we have great mountains not far from our house — and ride motorcycles. I’m also a big believer in facing your fears, so I try to have fun doing that. I’m afraid of heights, for example, so last year, I decided to go skydiving.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up and how does that inform what you do today?
When I was little, I wanted to own a zoo. But after that, I wanted to be an eye doctor to help my grandmother, who had poor vision. Not a lot of little kids think, “Oh, I want to be an eye doctor,” but I always had an interest in helping people who need help. I’m not sure if that led me here or not, but I do love the idea that what we’re doing really helps people get the care that they need in a really simple way.
What’s your favorite quote?
“Be a voice, not an echo.”