Marita A. Willis is a native of Louisville, Kentucky. She and her husband, Robert E. Willis, grew up together in the Park Hill neighborhood, married 48 years ago, had two beautiful children, and built their life here in the bluegrass state.
She attended the University of Louisville and has built a career in the banking industry and the non-profit sector. She is a champion for her community and is dedicated to removing barriers, cultivating a sense of purpose and empowering people to rise above their circumstances.
She worked at PNC Bank as the Vice President of Community Development where she aided in transforming low to moderate-income neighborhoods through education and financial resources. After leaving the banking industry, she took the position of President of eHome America with Community Ventures Corporation which provided access to affordable financial education to thousands of customers across the globe.
Prior to this, Marita served as the Chief Empowerment Officer at Hope Collaborative,a non-profit serving our distressed community through their public-school mentoring program and community center in the Beechmont neighborhood. She also filled the role of Philanthropy Officer at the American Red Cross helping to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies.
Currently, she is the President of Community Engagement at Community Ventures Corporation where she assists residents of Kentucky in achieving their dream of home ownership and entrepreneurs in starting businesses. They provide services such as affordable financing, education, and neighborhood revitalization.
Marita has used hardships in her own life to learn and grow. She had two children with Sickle Cell that forced her to navigate the healthcare system that knew little about this disease back then. She became an advocate for her children, ensuring that their medical needs were cared for. The tragic loss of her son, Ra’Shaan, in a flood and later her daughter, Ra’Tanya, to complications from Sickle Cell, forced her to lean into her faith and find her inner strength to make it through those difficult times. She has then looked for opportunities to use her experiences to help others.
Marita serves on the board of various organizations:
2019 Chair KY Derby Festival
Chair -KY Commission for Women
Chair -Norton Healthcare Children’s Foundation
Chair -Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD)
Board Trustee -Nativity Academy School
Ambassador -Churchill Downs Board Trustee -Bates Memorial CDC
Board Trustee -Louisville Collegiate School
While she stays busy wearing her many hats, she always makes time for her family and friends. You can find her with her son-in-law Gary at the Saint X basketball games watching her grand guys, Noa’Sosa & Nehemiah, play. On the tennis, pickle ball and golf course with her husband Bob. Worshiping with her church family at Bates Memorial. Or entertaining friends at her lovely home in Jeffersontown.