At the intersection of technology and community is where you’ll find Emma Willis. Whether overseeing California-based fintech startup, Sootchy, or volunteering with technical development for a group of Black-owned venture studios called Spectra, Willis’ ability to tap into the connectivity of tech is always at the forefront. And that’s something that often gets overlooked — tech’s ability to connect people to resources and opportunities that enhance communities at all levels.
“I saw a great opportunity to take on the role of COO with Sootchy,” Willis said. “The app has the potential to make an enormous impact on the education and wealth disparity in this country, so it engages both parts of my personality: strategy and compassion.”
Her journey to COO of Sootchy has been deeply rooted in the Natural State. Willis is an alumnus of Philander Smith College, a former senior strategist with MHP/Team SI and worked for numerous years with Junior Achievement of Arkansas and Junior Achievement of NWA. As the former executive director of Arkansas 529, Willis launched Gift Arkansas 529, the first state-run 529 plan app in the country. Soon after, she joined the team at Sootchy, working to expand access to debt-free education across the entire country, while continuing to call Northwest Arkansas home.