The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Local News

January 24, 2013

Willis: ‘Woman of Year’

TARBORO — Life has gotten a little hectic for Kimberly Pettaway Willis these days. Along with being the mother of a set of twin toddlers, the Tarboro native is the CEO and founder of Cor’Rae Management Agency LLC and the Kolorz of Cancer Presented by Cor’Rae. Willis’ professional obligations have her flying all over the United States transacting business. Her works didn’t go unnoticed. Recently she was chosen from among 400,000 women as the 2012-2013 Professional Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women.

In spite of her hectic schedule and her success, Willis still makes time to give back to her community. On Saturday, Pettaway donated funds to two families whose loved ones are battling cancer. Pettaway was in Tarboro Saturday for a professional photo shoot that included a couple of her teenage models from Tarboro.

“I don’t care how busy I may get, I’m going to always find time for home,” she said. “This is where it all started for me.”

Before the photo shoot, Willis donated funds to the family of Wilbert Williams and another Tarboro resident, a 34-year-old female whose name is being withheld out of respect for the patient’s request for confidentiality.

Williams was diagnosed with lymphoma and the 34-year-old female was diagnosed with breast cancer. Williams’ family wore lime green, the color for lymphoma and the 34-year-old female’s friend wore pink, representing the color for breast cancer.

The color coordination is in line with Willis’ Kolorz of Cancer Presented by Cor’Rae. Willis founded the company to bring awareness to all forms of cancer. Last year, Willis organized a fashion show in Tarboro with models wearing variations of colors that represented the associated type of cancer. Although it was a glamorous affair, it also was educational

“It went very well,” Willis said. “We had fun, but most importantly, we raised money that went toward cancer research. I’m very passionate about Kolorz of Cancer and not just because of the models. We lose too many people to this disease every year just because people wait too late to get checked out.”

Willis said high rollers in bigger city are attracted to her idea. She said she hopes to have a Kolorz of Cancer fashion show in New York. That event has not been booked yet, but there are tentative plans for her to sponsor another event in Tarboro in the near future.

Under Willis’ Cor’Rae Management Agency label, she recently signed Tarboro native Melvin Kearney, who plays “Bo” in the hit TV series, Nashville. The agency helps professionals in the entertainment industry manage their careers.

Willis, who apparently works tirelessly with both of her businesses, said she is currently working on a third venture where she will become a triple CEO. She said she’s not doing it for fame or fortune, but pursuing a dream.

“I didn’t have an idea that I would be chosen as the Woman of the Year,” she said. “That’s not what I thrive to be. I want my businesses to be successful. And if they are successful, that means that I’ve help someone along the way. I’m just Kimberly Pettaway Willis, a 252 girl.

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