Board of Trustees
Thomas A. "Tony" Waller
Tony Waller is Senior Director, Corporate Affairs Constituent Relations for Walmart Stores, Inc. in Bentonville, AR. In his position he actively works in helping to set strategy for the company’s outreach opportunities and social investments in the African-American, American Indian, mature and women’s markets. Tony joined Wal-Mart December 2006.
Prior to joining Wal-Mart, Tony worked for State Farm Insurance Companies in Bloomington, IL, where he was employed for 22 years. He began his career with the company as a claim representative and worked in various capacities. In his last position with State Farm® Tony served as Assistant Director of Community Alliances in Corporate Communications and External Relations. He was responsible for all external efforts in multicultural communities as well as all efforts in Auto Safety, Disaster Preparedness, Community and Economic Development, and Financial Education.
Tony serves as Chair of the NAACP ACT-SO Advisory Council. In addition he serves on the Board of Trustees of Center for Asian Pacific American Women and the Board of Directors of the National African-American Women’s Leadership Institute where he serves as 2nd Vice President. With both of these organizations he was the first male ever selected to serve. In 2000 Tony became the first recipient of the Spirit of Democracy Emerging Leaders Award, presented by the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation. The award is given to individuals for their work in the promoting of civic participation. Also in that year, he was the recipient of the Leadership Award of the National Association of Black County Officials for his contributions to the community. In July 2002 and 2010 Tony was the recipient of the Donald H. McGannon Award, the highest distinction given by the National Urban League to a corporate individual in recognition of one’s efforts in the community. Tony is the only individual who has been given this award twice.
In his spare time, Tony enjoys reading and writing. He also enjoys cooking and baking. Music plays a strong role in his life. He sings quite often, belonging to a number of choirs. He is a strong supporter of the arts and serves on the Corporate Advisory Council of the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville, AR. Prior to that, he served on the Bloomington, IL Cultural District Commission and on the Board of Directors of the McLean County Arts Center. He loves foreign languages. He speaks Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese. A graduate of the University of Virginia, he is a diehard WAHOO. He remains very active with The University and served on the board of the Walter N. Ridley Scholarship Fund, named after its first African-American graduate. In addition, he is a passionate collector of African-American and Latina art & sculpture, antique watches, vintage cuff links and children’s story books. He also spends as much time as possible with his family and values his close relationship with his niece, nephew and three goddaughters.
Tony strives to live each and every day by the words of Lao Tzu, “Always nurture unconditional love for all beings, for this what it means to be truly human. Day and night the wise never forget their desire to help others.”
Signature Themes (Strengths): Connectedness, Developer, Individualization, Relator, Input