Willie Brown

Past President

Promise Council is proud to remember Willie Brown, a longtime Bloomington-Normal community servant and retired executive vice president of State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company in Bloomington, Ill.  Willie died on Saturday, March 5, 2022. Before his death, Willie served as the Inaugural President of Promise Council's Board of Directors from 2018 - 2020. He led the organization through an important period of redevelopment that allowed it to grow and thrive into the organization it is today.  

Willie was not only an integral part of Promise Council.  He was a NAACP Roy Wilkens award winner for life time achievement, lifetime member of NAACP, and an Urban League member. He was member of the boards of State Farm Guaranty and Indemnity and the State Farm Foundation. He served on the United Way of McLean County Board of Directors and was a Trustee of Illinois Wesleyan University and President of the Illinois Wesleyan University’s Associates Board. Willie received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Illinois State University in 1973 and was elected to the ISU College of Business Hall of Fame in 2005. He was a member of Illinois State University’s College of Business Advisory Board and the College of Arts and Sciences Community Advisory Board. Brown was elected to the ISU College of Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame in 2008. Brown was elected to the Bloomington High School Hall of Fame in 2007. In 2009, Brown was inducted into the African American Hall of Fame Museum of Peoria as the inaugural recipient of the William Watkins, Jr. Founder’s Award. The Founder’s Award was created to honor those individuals that have given outstanding service to their community.

Will had a profound impact on our communities. We were lucky to have him as a friend, colleague and mentor.  He will be missed.