Meet Brenda Mills - Incoming President of Helpmate !
The old saying goes, "If you need someone to do a job, ask a busy person." And so, Brenda G. Mills will become President of Helpmate's Board of Directors for fiscal year 2012-13.
With a BS from the University of North Carolina and a Masters of Public Affairs from Western Carolina University, she has been employed by the City of Asheville for over six years, presently as Administrative Service Manager.
Brenda has a range of work experiences from the private sector to local governments that includes two years as a detention officer for the Buncombe County Sheriff's Department. That job she says, "gave me a good look into a whole other world." She is still proud that, when she left the department, the inmates asked her to come back so they could thank her and say good-bye.
Brenda firmly believes in giving back to her community. Her volunteer roles have been as varied as her professional ones. She has served with the Goombay Planning Committee, Leadership Asheville, Self Help Credit Union Advisory Board, and on the Boards of Directors of the Asheville Area Arts Council, Manna Food Bank, YWCA, and United Way.
In another role dear to Brenda's heart, she has become a licensed Foster Care parent. "Improving children's lives is very important to me," Brenda explains. "I was lucky to have great and loving parents, and I want to help to a child who has not had that luck in their life." She hopes to welcome a foster child to her home by this summer.
If that is not enough to keep Brenda busy, she is taking beginning running classes hoping to fulfill her dream of running a 5K race at Bele Chere this July. She relaxes by tending her small container gardens (tomatoes, cucumbers, greens), and watching movies at home (comedies and suspense her favorites).
Professionally honored by both employers and non-profits, Brenda received N. C. Magazine's 2009 Most Influential Women Recognition, and nominations in 2002 and 2011 for the Excellence In Public Service Hoyt Abney Volunteerism Award.
During her service on the United Way board she met Valerie Collins, Executive Director of Helpmate. Brenda was impressed with the work of the organization, and when time allowed she got back in touch to volunteer. This lead to a seat on Helpmate's Board of Directors where she has served as Secretary then Vice President.
She is excited to be leading the Helpmate Board at this time in its history, "I get to be President when the economy is recovering, a time when we can really begin to move Helpmate forward in its goals. Strategic planning for our future will be a priority." She also hopes to have more board and staff interaction, "As a board we support the staff, but we can't make decisions for people until we really know what they do every day."