Professional Bio


Along with being a faculty member in the College of Business at Florida State University (FSU) with active involvement in the FSU Sales Institute, Willy Bolander is co-founder of Go Foster!, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the U.S. foster care system by improving foster parent recruitment and retention efforts. He holds a Ph.D. in Marketing and conducts research on interpersonal influence in selling and sales management, new salesperson career development, and the informal aspects of organizations that drive sales performance. His work has been published in various outlets, including the Journal of Marketing, and has been recognized for his research through receiving the FSU Research Productivity Award and being named an Emerging Scholar by the FSU College of Business. Willy also serves on the Editorial Review Boards for the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Sciences and the Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management.

Prior to entering academia, Willy held various sales and marketing positions with small professional service firms and start-ups. He has sold life insurance, financial products, and accounting services. He remains actively involved in real world selling through his role in fundraising for Go Foster! and through his research, consulting, and sales training projects with firms from industries as diverse as professional services, distribution, and retail. Willy has also been featured in a variety of business publications, including Forbes, YFS Magazine, Advantages, the Military Times Edge, and 850 Magazine, discussing topics such as building trust with customers, objection handling, dealing with problem clients, and increasing sales during a sluggish economy. He also writes an occasional blog for the Association for Talent Development Sales Enablement website.

Willy teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on selling and sales management. He has also helped develop and deliver customized curriculum for corporate development programs for a number of organizations. Willy has been recognized for his teaching through Teaching Excellence Awards at the University of Houston and the Core Values Award at Florida State University. Most importantly, Willy’s students have gone on to build successful careers in some of the world’s top sales organizations.

Personal Info

Willy lives in Tallahassee, FL. He has a swarm of brilliant children, mostly adopted though foster care. In his free time, Willy plays sports with his kids, practices music, and talks others into becoming foster and adoptive parents.