Men & Women of the Year
Meet nine dynamic people we honor for their major contributions to our community.
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ROCK STAR; PHILANTHROPIST
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone more content with life than Cliff Williams. And with good reason; the 63-year-old has a beautiful wife of more than 30 years (Georganne), two successful children (Erin and Luke), and the finest head of hair of any man in all of Florida (although Jimmy Johnson may argue that point). And, oh yes, he happens to be the bass player and backing vocalist for the hardest rocking band in the world, AC/DC (Back in Black, For Those About To Rock We Salute You). The group is one of the highest-grossing bands of all time, with more than 200 million albums sold.
Best of all, since 1986, Williams has called Fort Myers home. And with it, he has made a point of giving back. He and Georganne are fixtures at the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, where they’ve donated huge sums of money toward the Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, and are vigorous supporters of The Heights Foundation.
Most gratifying experience: We were lucky enough to get a few accolades, such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Grammys, but just being able to play for so many people and see those reactions… Different career path: I left school at 16 and was an apprentice toolmaker for a year—that’s how my father’s career went—and hated it. What drew him to the bass: Well, there was a job opening in the school band for a bass player. People might be surprised to know: We did that horrible thing that when the kids went to college we followed them. One went to Savannah, Ga., and the other to New York City. We’re out of that now. Thank God. Still on his bucket list: Grandkids. A typical day: Just busy work. You get up, take the dog for a run, then come back—I’ve got the cleanest garage you’d ever want to see—we might fiddle around on the water, get a bite to eat. A lot of social, “Come on over, we’ll throw a couple of burgers on the grill…” In his garage: A 1954 Chevy pickup truck in North Carolina. And in Fort Myers? I did have a little indulgence and got an Audi R8. It’s a beast. I love it.