Gilan L. Cockrell, OD (l) and William (Bill) Nolan.
LINCOLN, Neb.—Williams Group, a leading practice management consulting firm, has announced that Gilan L. Cockrell, OD, CEO, plans to retire at the end of January, 2022. The board of directors has appointed William (Bill) Nolan to succeed Dr. Cockrell as chief executive officer, effective Feb. 1. “On behalf of the board of directors, the management team, and Williams Group’s employees, we want to thank Dr. Cockrell for his leadership and impact of the past five years.” said Erwin Braun, Williams Group's chairperson.

“A steadfast and strategic leader, Dr. Cockrell has guided Williams Group since 2017. During his tenure, he played  a significant role in the development of a multifaceted business encompassing practice management, accounting, and practice transition. The board is sincerely grateful to Dr. Cockrell for his dedication to Williams Group, and wishes him nothing but the best in this next chapter," one aspect of which will be as an advisor to the Williams Group board, Braun noted.
Dr. Cockrell said that Nolan’s insightful knowledge of the industry and the inner workings of a successful optometry practice make him a great fit for his new role.  He added, “For the past 33 years, Bill has been an integral member of the Williams Group team, and with his deep experience and strong track record of helping optometrists in all phases of their practice, he is the right choice to lead Williams Group through its next  phase of continued growth.” 

Dr. Cockrell continued, “It has been an honor to serve as CEO of Williams Group during this period of  transformation and growth, and I want to offer my sincere thanks to our employees, whose hard work and dedication have allowed us to achieve so much. I also want to thank our clients, vendor partners, colleagues, shareholders, and the board of directors for their ongoing support.

“I want to thank Dr. Cockrell for his distinguished leadership at Williams Group and also the board for its confidence in me as I step into this role,” said Nolan. “I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to work with our talented team and employees to advance Williams Group in our mission to help optometrists be successful in achieving their goals.”