J. Mac Bennett
Growing up in a small town in the South was a mixed blessing. Everyone knew you and your goings-on. I learned from my father, who tackled church lay leadership and little league sports promotion (I am one of three boys) with undeniable passion, and my grandfather who served as mayor for 14 years. There was always a helping hand to someone in need. It wasn't talked about in company—it was just done quietly!
The legacy of their lives has been influential in my personal development and career. I tightly grasp the Biblical principal that to whom much is given, much is expected. I have tried to apply this truth in my life, sometimes with more success, but always with hope.
After graduating from the University of South Carolina, I was very fortunate to launch my career as an assistant, managing correspondence and logistics in the Office of the President at my alma mater. Eleven years at the university in various roles, including Chief of Staff for the President, molded my understanding of large organizations, fund-development and community engagement. I carried lessons learned to my subsequent roles as chief executive officer at both the Central Carolina Community Foundation and the United Way of the Midlands.
I have had the good fortune of learning from community leaders whom I admire and appreciate. The projects I have been involved with are as varied and unique as the people served, but one element remains constant—achieving in the world of nonprofits often requires bringing disparate interests and goals together to create change.
When not working, I enjoy time with family, especially my wife of more than three decades. Fishing, boating and golfing get me out of doors to recharge my batteries for the next challenge.