Business owner, public policy professional and education advocate, Brenda now leads BEST NC, a nonpartisan organization of business leaders focused on excellent education in North Carolina. Brenda is a first-generation college graduate and holds a B.A. in Economics and Master’s degree in Public Policy, both from Georgetown University.
What statistic have you recently heard that surprised you?
In 1970, only 17% of the workforce needed more than a high school diploma. Just 50 years later, in 2020, that number is expected to be 67%. The demands on our education system are much greater than just a few decades years ago.
What is the greatest challenge our educators face?
Providing personalized educational experiences for each student without the necessary support and autonomy
What do you consider your organization's greatest achievement?
Engaging business leaders in a nuanced and ongoing conversation about elevating educators and how the business community can help
What quality do you most admire in a school leader?
Charisma and outside-the-box thinking
If you could change one thing about public education, what would it be?
Ensure that every student has a great teacher and school leader – and that the most effective teachers are compelled and rewarded for working with the students with the greatest need
What is your favorite children's storybook character?
What is your current state of mind?
Optimistic and courageous
Which living person do you most admire?
Anyone who has found their destiny – the intersection of their greatest passion with the world’s greatest need. Elon Musk stands out.
When and where were you happiest?
When I traveled the country in an RV with my children for seven months, delivering books to kids in need