Born in Washington, D.C., Willie Jolley got his entrepreneurial start as a newspaper boy who designed a distribution system employing his friends and building one of the area's most profitable routes.
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Willie started a singing group which became a local success story and signed his first record deal at the age of 17. The group broke up, but Willie continued as a solo act by singing jingles, and performing in local night clubs, which helped pay his way through college and graduate school.
He received a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from American University and a Masters Degree from Wesley Theological Seminary.
Willie soon became Washington's #1 jingle singer doing commercials for Pizza Hut, Phil Donahue, Black Entertainment Television, Seventh Heaven, Oldsmobile and many more.
In 1987, he was awarded his first of five consecutive Washington Area Music Association (WAMMIE) Awards -- 3 for Best Jazz Vocalist, and 2 for Best Inspirational Vocalist.
In 1990, D.C. Public Schools asked Willie to join the Drug Prevention division as a Project Coordinator to develop a program using arts and music to attract youth to seek positive alternatives to drugs and violence. The program was called "Positive Images" and became an overnight success, winning awards from the Department of Education, and Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
From this platform Willie started his professional speaking career, first speaking to young inner city students, then to teachers and school administrators. This proved to be a pivotal time in Willie's career.
After performing for the National Gospel Awards event in Nashville, Tennessee and BOMBING, Willie realized, it was time for a major change -- to leave the security of a steady job and paycheck, and risk everything for his own dream of becoming a full time speaker who could inspire millions of people. This, with only $200 in the bank, a mortgage to pay, family to support, and a dream of success.
Willie proved to be a practical dreamer, who knew he had one of the greatest challenges facing him--including communicating this vision to his wife and son. He was inspired to start his own company, InspirTainment, built on the foundation of inspiration, education and entertainment, combining his talents as a speaker and singer.
In 1991 Willie started speaking full time to associations, corporations and conventions such as: American Society of Association Executives, Bell Atlantic, Staples, Nabisco, U.S. Postal Service, Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Future Homemakers of America (FHA) Regional and National Conventions.
Willie joined the National Speakers Association, learning from some of the best speakers in the world, honing his talents and techniques. In 1995, he became President of the local chapter of NSA, the National Capital Speakers Association. In that one year Willie doubled attendance, membership and revenues! In July 1998, Willie was elected to the National Speakers Association Board of Directors, as the first African American Member to achieve that distinction.
Willie is the host of "The Magnificent Motivational Minute" syndicated with the Sheridan Broadcasting Network and on television with TPN (The People's Television Network). Willie is also a "Successpert" columnist for Black Enterprise Magazine.
He is the author of the best selling new book, "It Only Takes a Minute to Change Your Life!" published by St. Martin's Press and available at bookstores nationwide. This book is now distributed in China, Australia, Germany and The Czech Republic.
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