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Meet Todd Willis

Ivy Tech Degree Propels Willis and His Family Forward in Life

Todd WillisBorn and raised in Indianapolis, Todd Willis attended Warren Central High School and finished his secondary education at Broad Ripple High School. He didn’t pursue higher education right away due to youth adversities and uncertainty about what he really wanted to do. By 2009, Willis enrolled in Ivy Tech for the first time.

“I was there with my friends, and it was like adult high school,” explained Willis. “I did well in my classes, but I didn’t see myself walking the stage in 2009.”

Then, Willis faced additional family adversities and left school for about 10 years. In total, he spent about 15 years in the restaurant industry, working his way from cook to kitchen manager. When he was finally tired of kitchen work, he realized he needed a degree to secure something else and that was a catalyst for change.

By this time, Willis was also balancing a family including three young children.

“My wife encouraged me to try and said, maybe, life had something different in store for me this time,” shared Willis. “I went back with the mentality, if I’m going to do this, I’m going to do this.”

And in 2019, Willis went back to Ivy Tech. He graduated in December 2021 with an honors associate degree and a certificate in business administration. He walked the graduation stage in May 2022, while raising a family, managing other responsibilities, and completing classes through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We called ourselves ‘Zoom Warriors,’” said Willis. “I’m a big class discussion and classroom environment proponent and COVID was a challenge, until I created my own classroom at home with my own pockets of space, time, and opportunity.”

Todd WillisWillis’ intense dedication paid off and through networking, he found his employer, Spot Inc.Since starting with Spot in April 2022, he’s been promoted four times. He attributes the success to his combined customer service experience with his business acumen. Taking many of the same concepts he learned at Ivy Tech, he started as a coordinator, accurately tracking and tracing driver loads.

After about nine months without any driver or dispatcher issues, Willis was promoted into a sales role as a broker, brokering freight. Now, he’s a senior carrier account manager overseeing and delivering key metrics.

“I’m part of the top grossing revenue pod in the Midwest zone for my company,” shared Willis. “And this all started once I graduated.”

Willis credits Ivy Tech with a lot of offerings, but he sees one of the biggest benefits to him was the flex scheduling that allowed him to quickly and efficiently get the work done and graduate.

“Make sure you’re grounded and going to school for the right reasons,” recommended Willis. “I’m not saying you need to be a social butterfly, but you have to be mentally engaged in what you’re doing for the success to be present. Make sure you see yourself completing – walking across that stage.”

Thanks to his degree Willis has also been able to achieve another milestone. He’s a football and wrestling coach, which requires a degree.

Spoken like a truly motivating coach, Willis shared, "When I knew I needed this degree be a next step to propel myself and my family forward in life, that’s when the ball game became serious. I didn’t let my past shortcomings hold me back.”


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