WEI Leadership

Willow Wetherall

Willow Wetherall, M.A. is the Project Director of Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative and is directly responsible for all community based WEI activities. This includes overseeing the SPARK business accelerator and the THRIVE Engaging Women conference as well as planning and implementing events and training events for women business owners and executives.

Willow graduated from the University of Maine with a dual BA in International Affairs/Anthropology and Women's Studies. She holds a master's in International Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame. She is a skilled economic and community development specialist with eight years of experience working on large-scale development projects and city revitalization through entrepreneurship, talent attraction and retention, tech sector and industry growth, and creative placemaking. She is an active participant in the Regional Economic Development Plan initiatives and serves on the board of DTSB, Inc. She is the founder of Ignite Michiana and former owner of Little Bird Preschool. Willow has a passion for intentional inclusion and women's economic empowerment. She lives in the Near Northwest Neighborhood with her three children. As a family they enjoy playing sports, reading on the porch, rafting on the East Race, biking, and loving on their two cats Lucky and Yeti. 


Co-Founder, Facilitators & Mentors


WEI Advisory Board

  • Deb Childs, State Farm Insurance
  • Mary Chmiel, Senior Vice President, 1st Source Bank
  • Janet Horvath, Jones Obenchain, LLP
  • Carrie Lytle, Assistant Vice President, KeyBank
  • Rita Miller, CPA, Kruggel, Lawton & Company, LLC
  • Angela Nelson, NIPSCO
  • Michael Plenzler, V.P. Business Banking, PNC Bank
  • Katherine Schneider, Executive Director, Saint Margaret's House
  • Karen Sommers, Vice President, Community Investment, United Way of St. Joseph County, Inc.

SPARK Action Group

  • Karen Barnett, Valley Screen Process Company
  • Elaine Kendell, Raymond James & Associates, Inc.
  • Carrie Kosac, 1st Source Bank
  • Sheryl Kosovski, Artful Work
  • Ed Lockman, Detex Corporation & SCORE
  • Carrie Lytle, SPARK Class Coordinator
  • Idalia Maldonado, University of Notre Dame
  • Rita Miller, Kruggel, Lawton & Company, LLC
  • Jack Ruhe, SCORE
  • Santiago Rodriguez, PNC Bank
  • Paula Sours, SPARK Class Coordinator
  • Carol Thompson, Healthy Trex
  • Diane Winn, Through Eagles Eyes

SCORE Business Plan Advisors

  • Ed Lockman
  • Gerald Marchetti
  • Norm Riley
  • Jack Ruhe
  • Bob Sones