Ryan Stringham, Jeff Robinson, Don Willie, Utah Business 20 in Their 20s

Don C. Willie: 20 in Their 20s

Congratulations to Don C. Willie, managing director at World Trade Center Utah and co-founder of the Emerging Leaders Initiative. He has been selected as one of the 2017 20 in Their 20s honorees.

Don C. Willie believes in the phrase “if you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backwards” – and he’s chosen to always be moving forward. He credits working both smarter and harder with his success, of which he’s already had much. As a program manager for the state AmeriCorps program, Willie oversaw 10-12 AmeriCorps programs and a $3.2 million budget. He was then recruited to join World Trade Center Utah, where his responsibilities include financial oversight, program management and impact analysis. One of the projects Willie worked on is the WTC utah Rural Outreach Program, which has sen over 5,000 individuals educated and assisted hundreds of rural Utah companies.

Willie also co-founded and is the chair of the Emerging Leaders Initiative, a nonpartisan nonprofit aimed at getting 18-35 year olds more involved with politics. The nonprofit urges millennials to vote, serve and run for office to make their voices heard. “Utah has zero millennials in the state legislature and only a handful in municipal office, yet we make up the single largest portion of the state’s population and are the largest voting block,” says Willie. “By engaging young leaders, we believe that we can create sensible public policy that better represents Utah’s unique demographics.”


West WingMadam Secretary … pretty much any political drama. Oh, and Ryan Hamilton.”