Growing up in rural Georgia, Willard developed a strong work ethic working on his family’s farm and in their hardware store. The son of a mayor and a nurse, Willard naturally gravitated toward serving his community. When he headed to college, architecture narrowly won out over a career in pediatrics, but his passion for the medical world manifested itself in a healthcare design focus.
Inspired by his own experience in helping to care for his wife and their premature twin girls, Willard became intimately acquainted with the challenges of hospitals and, in particular, the way in which doctors, staff, and patients interfaced with the built environment.
The twins, now all grown up, take up a lot of Willard’s spare time—one an active softball player and the other an artist. He loves to dabble in sports photography for his daughter’s team, and participates in a competitive golf league with friends. He lives with his wife and twin girls, and an English black lab named Deacon.