Although Tonie Willis’ career path has taken her around the globe, into the world of entertainers and music’s elite, she has never lost sight of her most important skill set: her personal touch and a helping hand. Reflecting on her career journey, Anita – or Tonie as she is affectionately called, is now focusing her life’s work and her imbued skill set on Ardella’s House.
While promoting music’s top artists for Warner Bros. Records, Tonie, was responsible for knowing her target market -intimately. Analyzing and determining the needs of the music market in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions, she nurtured relationships with music legends, radio jocks, club dj’s , concert and club promoters, teenage-influencers, television personalities and cultural icons. Knowing the culture and trends of her market were her stock-in-trade. Yet, even within this fast-paced milieu, she was known for her persistent grace, and consistently up-lifting spirit.
It was Tonie’s on-the-job modus operandi that became her calling card when after nearly 20 years in the music industry she transitioned to her next position at US Airways. She was soon embarked on another journey – traveling. And as the current manager of Customer Relations, Tonie’s skill, poise and willing patience are appreciated as she serves as company point person on research, interpretation and work-place policy and communications.
In culmination, her career became the precursor to her greatest calling: to create a haven for women who are in need of experiencing that consummate grace and uplifting spirit.
Today, Tonie is the founder and director of Ardella’s House.
Ardella’s House is a service and advocacy organization committed to helping women with criminal justice histories realize new possibilities for themselves and their families. AH program services make it possible for women to obtain work, housing, and health care; to rebuild their families; and to participate fully in civic life. Through the Institute on Women & Criminal Justice, AH pursues a rigorous policy, advocacy, and research agenda to bring new perspectives to public debates on women and criminal justice.