Matthew Willard is a lifelong resident of Gentilly, raised in a family that values faith, community service, education and altruism. Matthew attended elementary school at Corpus Christi, Stuart Hall for middle school, and is a graduate of Jesuit High School. He received his Bachelor of Science from the University of New Orleans.
As a child, he developed an early love for baseball. He grew up in the NORD system, playing for Milne and the Lakeshore Allstars, where his teams won several state and regional championships. He spent his teenage years painting houses for his father’s company, and Matthew credits his dad, Dominic, for instilling in him personal values of selflessness, hard work and service.
His mother, Terrie Bazanac Willard, is a lifelong educator who taught Matthew to respect the tireless, and oftentimes, underappreciated work of educators. She always challenged Matthew to do his best and to utilize his God-given assets to help others.
Perhaps it would be impossible to miss the lessons of teamwork, setting and achieving goals, finding common ground to make improvements, and how to think critically and problem solve when there was a deep family legacy of service stemming from Matthew’s grandparents, Elliot and Mary Jane Willard. Both were civil rights leaders and lifelong educators at St. Augustine, Booker T. Washington and John McDonogh High Schools. Matthew’s Aunt Cynthia Willard-Lewis served as a State Senator and City Councilperson.
“I believe that every person is important with a unique purpose and value to our society. Everyone deserves a chance to succeed.”
Today, Matthew is a Senior Marketing and Communications Manager at Fluence Analytics, a technology startup based in New Orleans. With innovative strategies and strong interpersonal skills, Matthew guides the company’s overall marketing direction and manages business development initiatives and communication policies. Most notably, Matthew led the successful public relations campaigns following the company’s Series A and A-1 venture capital funding rounds. He also spearheaded a comprehensive company rebrand in 2017. He received the certification of Scrum Master and leads an agile, companywide project management framework. He was recently honored by Gambit New Orleans as a 40 Under 40 leader.
Matthew is an elected member of Orleans Parish Democratic Executive Committee for City Council District D and serves as a Board Member for Jason’s House, a nonprofit organization working to finance low-cost housing for men following rehabilitation for chemical dependency. Matthew is a homeowner, President of the Seabrook Neighborhood Association, and Board Member for the Seabrook Neighborhood Improvement and Security District. He is a parishioner of St. Raymond / St. Leo the Great Catholic Church.
Stemming from a legacy of service with deep roots to the Gentilly and Seventh Ward neighborhoods, Matthew is committed to the success of his community and embodies leadership that we can trust.