Born September 25, 1926 in Waycross, GA
Chief Finance Officer, Hillside Chapel and Truth Center, Inc.; worked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a former Controller for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference
Interviewed by Jeffery McLeod
2006 Visionary Heritage Fellow
First Place NVLP Scholarship Winner
Businesswoman Willieboyd McNeil Saddler was born on September 25, 1926 to Will McNeil and Laura Boyd in Waycross, GA. Waycross Georgia is located in Ware County, Georgia near the Okefenokee Swamp Park which is a National Park that is many times referred to as “The Land of the Trembling Earth.”
Ms. Saddler’s father was a barber who learned his trade by being an apprentice to another gentleman. Ms. Saddler's mother worked in the homes of other families until she got married. Ms. Saddler says her mother was a very compassionate woman and both parents have been a great inspiration to her.
Ms. Saddler grew up with four siblings in her household: two brothers, Leonard (deceased) and Perry Lee, and two sisters, Mary Beth and Nettie Marie. On September 16, 1951, Ms. Saddler married her husband, Mr. Albert Saddler. She has one son, Willie Homer Saddler, and one step son, Albert Darnell Saddler, along with seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Ms. Saddler's personality and work ethic have afforded her the opportunity to meet and work with other legendary individuals, such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She was able to meet him through her work as part-time Controller of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Because of her direct involvement with the Civil Rights Movement, Ms. Saddler is able to recall many events, such as answering the phone when Jacqueline Kennedy called to comfort Coretta Scott King at the time of Dr. King’s death and being in an executive board meeting of the SCLC when the news that James Meredith had been shot was released.
Ms. Saddler was brought up believing that education is the key. Her parents instilled in her that if she did well in school, she could do whatever she wanted. As a result, Ms. Saddler has excelled in all areas of her life.
Ms. Saddler was educated at Fort Valley State University in Fort Valley, Georgia. After completing her education at Fort Valley State, she continued on to Atlanta University (which is now Clark Atlanta University) where she received her Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting.In addition to these studies, Ms. Saddler has done supplemental work through the Executive Federal Management Institute in Berkeley, CA and with Federal Home Loan Bank Board Home study courses.
Ms. Saddler served as a Tax Practitioner in Atlanta, GA and later as an administrator for Jesse B. Blayton Enterprises, which included Mr. Blayton’s radio station (WERD) and his accounting practice. In addition, Ms. Saddler taught as an Accounting Professor for the Department of Business and Economics at Morris Brown College as an “On-Loan Executive” for the U.S. Department of State. Additionally, she served as the Division Director of Program Review and Management Support for the U.S. Department of Education.
Currently, Ms. Saddler serves as the Chief Finance Officer of the historic six thousand-plus member Hillside Chapel and Truth Center, Inc.
Ms. Saddler has been a proud member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. since 1944.
URL (Click to bookmark): http://www.visionaryproject.org/saddlerwillieboyd