New Castle News

TOP STORIES

March 11, 2014

Steelers Partnership: From rags to riches, Croton native finds success by putting God, others first

NEW CASTLE — As a boy, Damian Williams believed in himself even when circumstances didn’t seem to merit it.

Growing up in poverty in lower Croton, Damian didn’t always know when his next meal was coming.

When hunger pangs caused his stomach to growl, rummaging through a Dumpster in the back of a neighborhood grocery store usually sufficed. There, he found bread and other items that had been tossed out due of their expiration dates.

His family received food stamps, but they were often used to provide others in the family with cigarettes.

At Ben Franklin Junior High, Damian qualified for free lunches, but he wouldn’t use the green tickets to get them. “I had too much pride,” he said.

It might have appeared there was no way out, but the boy was determined to prove that persistence — along with faith in God and one’s self — can overcome obstacles.

Even as a youngster, Damian had an entrepreneurial spirit. He’d stop at Q’s Dairy and use money earned from doing chores for his neighbors to buy a box of snack cakes. Then he’d sell them out of the box for 50 cents each to other students.

“I always found ways to survive,” he said. “We have control over how we respond to adversity.”

BUSINESS LEADER AND CEO

Today, the New Wilmington resident is founder and chief executive officer of Leadership League LLC, a multi-faceted company. Damian lives on a 10,000-acre farm with his wife and business partner, Anne, and their two children, Jerica and Markus. His Pittsburgh office is located at the top of the Duquesne Incline in Pittsburgh.

In partnership with the Pittsburgh Steelers and former player and current broadcaster Tunch Ilkin, Damian has co-authored a new book “Forged in Steel: The Seven Time-Tested Leadership Principles Practiced By the Pittsburgh Steelers,” published by Mark Miner Communications.

These principles are used to teach leadership at the annual Forged in Steel leadership forum and in corporate training programs.

Leadership League manages a number of events for professional sports teams, the latest being the inaugural “Steelers Cruise” — involving more than 35 current and former players, as well as hundreds of fans. They set sail yesterday for a Caribbean tour.

“At 38, Damian is wise beyond his years with great poise and maturity,” said Miner, who passed on an initial offer to publish the book. When a second overture came weeks later, Miner hopped on board because of what he saw in Damian. “He understands human motivation and how teams respond to leadership and what good leadership is and what it is not.”

Damian learned it all along the way.

“My parents divorced and we bounced around a lot when I was young,” he said. 

After attending Ben Franklin in seventh and eighth grades, Damian went to New Castle High School for his freshman year. But he went to live with his grandfather, switching to Neshannock High School, where he competed in cross country.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
TOP STORIES
  • Bobby_Ferrara.jpg Ferrara comes home after life in the ring

    Former New Castle resident Bob Ferrara has spent much of his 77 years inside a boxing ring. A Pittsburgh Golden Gloves champion in 1958, Ferrara — who was known then as Bobby Ferry — continued to find success long after leaving his hometown for the sunny skies of Tucson, Ariz.

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • VerySpecial.jpg Jameson Hoyt Atrium display spotlights artwork of special needs kids and adults

    Artwork from dozens of area students will take center stage Thursday in the Hoyt Atrium of Jameson Hospital. The Very Special Arts exhibit will kick off with an opening reception at 5 p.m., and the works will remain on display in the glass-enclosed walkway through Oct. 4.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • DougDanko.jpg Census shows county population getting older

    Lawrence County’s population continues to get older. However, it is not alone, as Pennsylvania overall is aging.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • backpackproject.jpg Councilman picks up tab to help lunch program

    Participants of a local summer feeding program are eating this week courtesy of New Castle City Councilman Tim Fulkerson. On Friday morning, the truck dispatched from New Castle to pick up about 3,500 pounds of items from the Pittsburgh Food Bank broke down as it arrived at its destination.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CRESTVIEW.jpg Outreach: Churches plan to host picnic for residents of Crestview Gardens

    Volunteers from several area churches are banding together in hopes of bringing peace to a troubled neighborhood.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • money.jpg Council OKs funds to remove dead trees

    New Castle City Council has approved spending funds from its contingency account to remove some trees at Darlington Park. Marshall Tree Experts of Ellwood City has given an estimate of $12,000 to remove the large elm trees from the Mahoningtown park.

     
     

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • 12.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Night light

    The balloons may have been on the ground but spirits were soaring.

     

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • StateFair.jpg 'State Fair' coming to Playhouse

    The fair is coming to town. No, not the Lawrence County Fair, although that is right around the corner. This is the Iowa State Fair, and it will be live on the stage of the New Castle Playhouse for three weeks, starting Friday night.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • accountant.jpg DeLorenzo’s status with authority unchanged

    Deno DeLorenzo’s status as a contract employee with the New Castle Sanitation Authority remains unchanged. Authority board members met with DeLorenzo last week regarding an investigation by the Lawrence County district attorney’s office involving Shenango Township funds.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shooting.jpg Detroit area man dies in Ellwood City gunfire

    A triple shooting in an Ellwood City street has claimed the life of a Detroit area man. Gunfire erupted in the middle of Loop Street outside the Walnut Ridge housing project around 10:20 p.m. Sunday, according to state police.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Poll

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted to authorize Speaker John Boehner to sue President Obama for allegedly overstepping his legal authority with the way he's handled Obamacare. Good call?

Yes. Obama's been overstepping his authority since day one in office. It's time he pay the piper.
No. The allegations are ridiculous and the law suit is a waste of time and tax payer money.
I don't know. I'm not a huge fan of Obama, but the suit seems a little extreme.
     View Results