He started working in the hotel industry at the age of 15 in the historic Fairmont Hotel Macdonald located in Edmonton, Alberta. Dr. Willie has provided his professional services to governments and corporations in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, The Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Mexico, Florida, and Guyana. He served Her Majesty, The Queen, during the 1978 Commonwealth Games as well as the late Premier of Alberta, Peter Lougheed at various government functions.
Dr. Willie holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Hotel and Food Administration, an MBA with a Hospitality Management concentration and a Doctorate Degree in International Business. Complimenting his University degrees, Dr. Willie also holds eight professional certifications. He currently serves as President for the Ontario Chapter of the Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) association which has about 5,000 members worldwide. He has authored and coauthored numerous journal articles and text books and has served on a variety of tourism related boards.
His wife, Lesley Thompson-Willie, is an eight time Olympian for Canada. She has won five Olympic medals and several world championships in the sport of rowing. She has been honored in the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, The Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame, The City of London Sports Hall of Fame, and The University of Western Ontario Sports Hall of Fame.
Dr. Willie and his wife Lesley are both life-long learners. They enjoy travel, tennis, skiing, cycling, reading; as well as exploring new lands, cultures and cuisine.