Willard joined Marts & Lundy in 2004, bringing with him 30 years of experience in the nonprofit sector as college teacher, fundraiser, senior manager and fundraising consultant. Willard joined the Campaign staff at the University of Chicago in 1976, and served as Executive Director of Development for Illinois Institute of Technology, and Vice President for Institutional Advancement at The Field Museum of Chicago. At these institutions, Willard helped design and execute fund drives that realized more than $900 million in total gifts from private sources.
In 1991, Willard was recognized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals with the Benjamin Franklin Award for career success in development. Willard has served as a Board member and advisor for a number of organizations in the States and abroad, including the Illinois Humanities Council, the Stratford Shakespeare Festival of America and the Association of Midwest Museums. Willard served on the Marts & Lundy Board of Directors from 2007 through 2010. He moved to Of Counsel in 2020.