Elizabeth Willingham Volunteer Profile

August 2, 2019

Elizabeth Willingham co-founded Silverchair in 1993. Silverchair is a technology company that provides a software platform to major publishers in science, medicine, and the humanities. Elizabeth oversaw product development and project management for 23 years and continues to serve on the Board of Directors of Silverchair. She said that Silverchair has experienced a lot of dynamic transformation in the rapidly developing world of digital publishing. “Even today, I would say Silverchair is still an entrepreneurial company because it embraces the changing needs for the customers that we are serving every day.”

Elizabeth was interested in joining CIC’s Board of Directors because she deeply relates to the challenges of being an entrepreneur and wishes to use her experience and wisdom to support entrepreneurs at CIC. She says that she is inspired by CIC entrepreneurs and is so glad to be a part of CIC’s impact in the community. Elizabeth feels that “beyond the support we offer the entrepreneurs themselves, CIC contributes to economic growth when entrepreneurs hire employees and provide jobs in our community.” Witnessing how excited CIC entrepreneurs are when they graduate from the Entrepreneur Workshop energizes Elizabeth. She enjoys watching the entrepreneurs walk away with a strong foundation in business as well as a solid support network.

“Starting your own business may be the hardest thing you ever do,” says Elizabeth, “but it can also be the most exciting and rewarding thing you’ll ever do.” Elizabeth feels that challenge always brings out the best in people. She believes that when entrepreneurs hire and build their companies they have the opportunity to change many people’s lives for the better. 

Though Elizabeth has retired from Silverchair, she still has an entrepreneurial spirit and is the entrepreneur of her own life. She now works as a guide at Monticello and is also on the board of the Children’s Health Improvement Program (CHIP). She feels that volunteering at Monticello “is another meaningful transformation for me. I enjoy sharing Monticello’s history with people from all around the world, chatting with them about democracy, Jefferson’s role in history, and the lives of the enslaved community who lived and worked on Jefferson’s plantation.” 

Thank you, Elizabeth, for your support of CIC!