Former YMCA director Amy Brennan is new executive director of Center for Women
Amy Brennan, formerly of Georgetown, is the new executive director for the Center for Women, South Carolina’s largest women’s resource and development organization.
She will start on Sept. 9 to spearhead the center’s efforts in Charleston and across the state.
“This is the perfect position for me, with my experience personally and professionally,” Brennan said. “It felt right from the very beginning.”
Brennan brings more than 20 years of professional experience to the position.
She has successfully directed and built nonprofits and has encouraged community development through collaborative efforts and fundraising.
Previously director of development for the Krause Center for Leadership and Ethics at The Citadel, Brennan was the executive director of three nonprofits in Georgetown County, most recently the Georgetown County Family YMCA.
During her eight-years at the YMCA, she grew and managed a staff of 80 full- and part-time employees with an operating budget of $1.3 million.
She also led a capital campaign to raise $6 million to construct a new facility.
“Amy’s passion for supporting women aligns well with the center’s focus on advancing economic and leadership opportunities for South Carolina women,” said Jane Perdue, president of the Center for Women’s board of directors, and founder/CEO of Braithwaite Innovation Group.
“She’ll play an integral role in the Charleston region and across the state as the Center for Women expands its programs to help women succeed personally and professionally every day.”
Brennan said, “I am honored to be assuming the position of executive director for the Center for Women and I look forward to meeting the center’s network of engaged members, program participants and supporters. My passion has always been in helping others to succeed through community development while partnering with caring donors to achieve our united vision.”
She added that the Center for Women already has a program through the Women’s Business Center in Greenville, and it is starting a program in the Myrtle Beach area in September.
“We have an obligation to women in communities across the nation,” Brennan said. “We want to prepare women to be anything they want to be and make sure they have the same opportunities as men as they compete in the workforce. We also want to help women start small businesses.”
Many people in Georgetown County have fond memories of Brennan, her husband, Brian, who taught and coached soccer at Waccamaw High School, and their children.
Carol Winans, the vice president of the Family Justice Center in Georgetown, worked with Brennan for about 10 years and called her good fit for the Center for Women position.
“Amy has always been interested in women advancing in their careers,” Winans said. “She is a community-minded person and has a lot of experience leading people.”
Alan Houghton, a Pawleys Island resident and long-time associate of Brennan, agreed.
“I’ve seen her work. She is bright, sensitive and she listens to people,” Houghton said. “I give her high marks and I’d hire her in a minute.”
Brennan has been involved on many nonprofit boards, including serving as president of Hospice of Georgetown County and the AIDS Task Force.
She has worked with the South Carolina Association of Non-Profits Organizations to develop two annual conferences; and has been part of the Blue Ribbon Task Force to establish accountability standards for nonprofit staff and boards.
In addition to her undergraduate degree in communications from the University of Kentucky, Brennan also earned a four-year certificate from Sewanee Theological Seminary in Education for Ministry in 2001.
About the Center for Women
Center for Women is a Charleston-based 501(c)(3) whose mission is to help women achieve personal and professional success every day.
Each year, more than 100 Center for Women programs and events educate, connect and inspire thousands of women.
The Center for Women’s current focus is on women’s leadership and economic empowerment:
• Helping women find jobs through job counseling and training workshops
• Helping women start and be successful as small business owners
• Providing small microloans to assist women-owned, small businesses
• Training women for leadership positions in business and civic affairs
In 2011, Center for Women received a five-year, $750,000 US Small Business Administration grant to develop a state-wide system of Women’s Business Centers to counsel, train and assist women entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Sites opened in Charleston in January 2012 and in the Upstate in October 2012.
For more information on Center for Women and its programs, visit http://www.c4women.org/.
By Clayton Stairs
Center for Women contributed to this story.
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