This month’s spotlighted member Willie Diefenbach-Jones grew up with humble beginnings living in the countryside near Kankakee, Illinois. It would not be erroneous to say that Willie was a farm girl comfortable among her family that was raising cattle, hogs, chickens, corn and soybeans. School days were local before she journeyed to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois where she earned a B.S. in Accounting.

Well many of us have ambitious plans for the future, but Willie’s was a little different. She says “My original goal was to be the first female president of the United States.” Jokingly, later she rationalizes that original goal with “Whatever was I thinking?” To this day she carries that same enjoyment of  life philosophy and willingness to help.

So, this farm girl came to the big city, Houston, in 1985. Entering a different phase of her life, Willie gained valuable business experience by working for Cigna HealthCare, United Health and US Oncology where she ran large departments in process improvement, claims and quality. Now a veteran of over 5 years as a Chamber member, Willie stated that she “Always wanted to be a part of the Chamber to be able to give back to the community, meet new people and help businesses to grow.” This was an attainable goal because she is quite an important part of the Chamber who serves as co- chair of the Ambassador and Education Committees.

Presently Willie is a Business Owner of SendOutCards which is a relationship marketing program and strategy. Her personality and expertise help clients achieve meaningful results by treating customers as important and being appreciated.  Important because she knows that appreciation is the key to loyal customers and referrals. The Chamber appreciates Willie as well, and it was interesting to learn that she plays the piano, reads, sings and loves to try out new restaurants. She is active in organizations beyond the Chamber and the family includes her son, Austin and 2 big rescue dogs. Oatmeal is a golden retriever mix and Chase is a black lab/greyhound mix.

Always with a welcome smile, look up and meet Willie at Chamber events which she regularly attends. Thank you, Willie, for all you do on behalf of our Chamber, even if it is hard for this editor to continually spell your last name correctly!.