by Andrea Judy
Leaders of the World Trade Center Atlanta recently honored William Poole, EMBA ‘88, and presented him with the organization’s first-ever Global Leadership Award. Poole, a long-time member of the organization, was honored at the group’s first annual World Trade Day conference.
Poole has always had a passion for international business and law. A Robinson alumnus, Poole began the EMBA program after his legal clients kept coming to him with business dilemmas. “I decided if I was going to help them, I had to know business,” he said. The reputation of the Robinson College of Business made it an easy decision. He started taking evening courses but soon realized that if he was going to commit, he wanted to dive all in. He started the EMBA and never looked back.
From the moment he entered the program, he began learning about not just business, but about himself. His cohort took the Myers-Briggs test where he learned he was one of the rarest types, an INTJ. “That helped me for the rest of life — how I relate to other people and how to understand myself,” Poole said.
His cohort studied Japanese businesses and visited Japan to present to companies. The experience only increased Poole’s already considerable passion for international business.
In 1981, Poole served as the incorporator, first secretary and a member of the founding board of directors of the World Trade Center Atlanta. Since then he has served continuously as an officer and director of the organization. Poole additionally served as president of the organization from 2007 to 2011 and currently serves as a member of the board.
The mission of the World Trade Center Atlanta is to become a global marketplace, offering every essential service for veteran traders as well as for those new to international trade. These include trade information, education, mission and exhibition services, and easy access to the many business and government organizations involved in trade.
In accepting the award, Poole reminded the audience of his belief in the theory that “world peace is possible through global trade.”