Cassi Willard is an advocate, attorney and educator for entrepreneurs and creatives. She currently serves as an Instructor in the Management Department in the College of Business and the Program Director at the Blackstone LaunchPad at the University of Central Florida. The Blackstone LaunchPad offers coaching, programming, pitch competitions and additional opportunities to make entrepreneurship skills available for all college students. Prior to joining UCF’s faculty, she was a Course Director at Full Sail University for nearly 20 years, where she taught in the undergraduate and graduate business courses.
Willard has been counseling and advocating for entrepreneurs, creatives and entertainers for more than 20 years. Through her practice, she negotiates contracts, optimizes opportunities, safeguards intellectual property rights and limits potential risks and liabilities. She is the first female to Chair the Entertainment, Art & Sports Law section of The Florida Bar twice. In addition, she is the first in her family to earn a doctoral degree and the first attorney. She presented a TEDx Orlando talk on “An Attorney’s Perspective on Creativity.”
Willard was the President of the National Association of Women Business Owners – Orlando from 2019-21, which afforded her the opportunity to advocate and support entrepreneurs during unprecedented challenges posed during the pandemic. She also serves as Chair of the Advocacy Committee for Orlando Regional Chamber’s All Women Empowered task force and as an Advisory Board member for Seminole State College’s Elle Collective, a space for female entrepreneurs to network and grow their business. She proudly supports the Girl Scouts of Citrus Council as their Fun(d) Development Committee Chair and Co-Chair for the 2023 Girl Scout Convention.
She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in Business Administration, focusing on Finance, Hospitality and Accounting, from the University of Central Florida. She then earned her Juris Doctorate, with honors, from the University of Florida’s College of Law, with a focus in Intellectual Property.