CPC Spotlight: BB&T of South Carolina

BB&T is one of the CCCF’s Corporate Philanthropy Champions (CPC). Philanthropy is a big part of the bank’s culture and their leadership understands that giving back is good business. For years, BB&T has joined our other CPC partners to offer incentives like matching gifts and prizes that amplify giving to nonprofits during Midlands Gives, our annual 18-hour giving challenge. Partnerships like this are essential when it comes to doing what we do best: encouraging philanthropy in every corner of the community.

For Mike Brenan, BB&T’s South Carolina regional president, volunteering and philanthropy have been part of his life for as long as he can remember. His mother instilled a sense of service in him at a young age. As he grew more successful, she encouraged him to invest that success. “When you’re blessed,” she said, “you need to be a blessing.” BB&T makes it possible for Brenan to serve not only in his personal life but also through his work for the bank.

Investing in the Community

BB&T’s mission is to “make the world a better place to live,” and that effort starts in the community. Investing in the local community and in the people who live there makes life better for everyone. Through its foundation, BB&T offers ongoing grants to the community, all of which are reviewed by Brenan. He’s also the current chair-elect of the South Carolina Board of Education, so he knows firsthand how investing in education benefits a community. He says, “When you invest in a community, it makes it better, and nothing is more important than improving education.”

Beyond Philanthropy

Most of our donors go beyond making donations to support causes that are important to them. Volunteering is part of engaging personally with people who need the most help. BB&T employees contribute volunteer hours by partnering with nonprofits like Samaritan’s Feet. Their mission is simple: They provide shoes to children in need. But they go a step further and wash the children’s feet before providing the shoes.

This fall, Brenan, along with 40 other BB&T teammates, spent four hours connecting with children as he held their feet in his hands and washed them. He also forged bonds with their parents. “They were so grateful,” he says. “Parents would thank us and ask for prayers. Connecting with people who need it most is its own reward.”

Leading by Example

In addition to overseeing BB&T’s grant program, Brenan gives back personally by serving on nonprofit boards like the United Way. And giving runs in the family! His wife, Julie, currently serves on our board. Both Brenans have served on numerous boards, volunteered in various capacities, and supported diverse causes, leading to their reputation in the Columbia community as generous people with seemingly boundless energy. Mike and Julie moved to Columbia 20 years ago, and Mike’s been known to say, “I may not be from here, but I got here as soon as I could.” Having moved often for Mike’s career, the Brenans decided to treat every new place as though it would be the last place they lived. For them, that means getting involved, volunteering, and always finding ways to give back.

To learn more about how we can help your company or corporation focus your philanthropy, get in touch with Michelle Hardy, Vice President for Advancement, today.