Who's Who of Professional Women


Joy Willadsen

For more than two decades, Joy Marie Willadsen has been a respected resource advocate and representative payee at the East Texas Center for Independent Living in Tyler, Texas. The nonprofit organization offers training and information to assist individuals with disabilities and their families, helping them achieve the highest possible level of independence in their lives.

Ms. Willadsen helps individuals file for disability benefits through the U.S. Social Security Administration and acts as a payee for people who are unable to manage their own money. She also helps people enroll in Medicare Part D prescription drug plans and figures out whether returning to work will impact their benefits. Among her many accomplishments, Ms. Willadsen considers the most notable to be guiding individuals through government paperwork and helping them secure benefits.

Ms. Willadsen believes the mentorship she received during her career has been key to her professional success. Educationally, she attended Ellsworth Community College and obtained an Associate of Arts in physical education teaching and coaching in 1977. She continued her higher education at the University of Texas at Tyler, graduating in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science in health and physical education. Ms. Willadsen has remained committed to her professional development, and, in 2023, she earned a certification in Mental Health First Aid USA through the National Council for Mental Wellbeing. From 1980 to 1983, she worked as a teacher and coach with the Winona Independent School District, after which she spent 15 years as a route driver and merchandiser with Anderson Merchandisers.

A deeply caring and involved member of her community, Ms. Willadsen is active in numerous civic organizations, including, yet not limited to, the East Texas Food Bank, the Tyler 500/600 Club, and the Texas State 500/600 Club. Additionally, she has participated in Sunday school classes and efforts of the Hiway 80 Rescue Mission in Longview, Texas. Ms. Willadsen hopes to pass along what she has learned by training someone to take over her role upon her future retirement. When that well-deserved stage arrives, she plans to enjoy her leisure time traveling and continuing to volunteer for worthy causes. Currently, when not working, Ms. Willadsen loves singing in her church choir and bowling.


Most Popular:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *