Who's Who of Top Executives

Dave Thillen

Title: Founder
Company: Thillen Education Foundation, Inc.
Location: Greensboro, Georgia, United States

Dave Thillen, Founder at Thillen Education Foundation, Inc., has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Executives for dedication, achievements, and leadership in financial support for education and skills training.

In 2020, Mr. Thillen founded the Thillen Education Foundation, Inc. (TEF), a distinguished community-based earned financial assistance program based on personal coaching and committed to honoring the achievements of 450+ students participating in Greene College and Career Academy (GCCA) of Greensboro, Georgia, a Title I school. The foundation strives to end generational poverty in Greene County, Georgia by financially enabling post-secondary education and skills training for hardworking students through funding support from donors and corporate sponsorships. By the end of 2021, TEF had raised its first million dollars, raised student promotion rates by 30%, decreased discipline referrals by 60% and was providing approximately 1 coach per every 3 students.

Following obtaining a Bachelor of Science in mathematics in 1966 from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, Mr. Thillen followed with a Master of Science in mathematics in 1968 from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. After joining International Business Machines (IBM) as a business unit executive in 1968, he worked in software development in Chicago, was transferred to Jacksonville, Florida, then Atlanta, where he was exposed to marketing and marketing management. He remained in Atlanta being promoted between staff and line management until retiring in 1998. Early in his career he fulfilled a military obligation by serving as an instructor and gymnastics coach at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York.

Mr. Thillen attributes his success to being disciplined and goal oriented. He was the youngest of five children and the first and only to graduate from high school. He knew how important education is and developed a passion to end generational poverty in his community through a structured model involving education, coaching and formal planning. As a career highlight, he cites his founding TEF, whose model is grass-roots, one-on-one career coaching of poverty students with the opportunity for financial assistance for the next step after high school. In the coming years, his goal is to end generational poverty in Greene County, Georgia.

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