One-Time 'Big Sister of the Year' Becomes Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa CEO
DES MOINES, Iowa (July 17, 2018) — Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa (BBBSCI) today announced the appointment of Renee Hardman as CEO of the 50-year-old organization. Hardman, a West Des Moines city councilwoman and long-time Des Moines area civic leader, began her position with the organization on July 17.
Over a nearly 40-year career in the Des Moines area, Hardman has served as a public service executive for the State of Iowa; senior vice president of HR and then senior vice president of community relations for Bankers Trust; and most recently, president of Hardman Consulting, an LLC she launched in 2013 to provide HR services to a variety of businesses in the Des Moines area. Hardman holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Drake University.
Hardman is heavily engaged in civic leadership, having served as board member for nearly 20 nonprofits in the area. Just a few of those organizations include the Des Moines affiliate of Dress for Success, Des Moines University, Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa, Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute, Robert D. and Billie Ray Center, and Chrysalis Foundation, for which she served as Board President.
A big sister herself, Hardman was introduced to BBBSCI in 1983 when she was matched with her little sister, whose family had immigrated to the U.S. from Sierra Leone in West Africa. The pair have stayed in contact ever since, and the child, now an ICU nurse in Florida, credits her relationship with Renee for many of the goals she has reached throughout her now 40 years. In 1996, Hardman was named Big Sister of the Year by BBBSCI.
BBBSCI board chairman Tyler Dingel said, “Renee is the ideal match for this organization. She not only has rich experience with fundraising and nonprofit leadership, she also has a strong corporate background, with specialty in disciplines that impact the human side of business.
“Renee’s roots in the program run almost as deeply as her passion for mentorship,” Dingel continued. “Across the nation, we see the best leaders for this special organization are often those who have experienced the program first-hand. Renee’s story of what has become a life-long relationship with her Little is beyond compelling – it’s the kind of thing that makes you want to act. We’re confident the board, the staff, our supporters and our families will get swept up in Renee’s enthusiasm for the mission and believe even more richly in possibilities for the future. I can’t wait to see the great things we accomplish with Renee at the helm.”
Hardman has received numerous awards, honors and recognition from Des Moines-area organizations. These include, but are not limited to, being inducted into the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame, named to the Des Moines Register’s 2018 People to Watch list, earning the 2018 Women of Impact and the 2013 National Alumni awards from Drake University and receiving the 2011 Connie Wimer Spirit Award.
Joining the organization as it is celebrating its 50th anniversary will allow Hardman a unique opportunity to shine an even greater light on the mission and goals of BBBSCI. “This organization has a wonderful brand, strong partnerships and a growing community with a very compelling need. There are more than 200 children on our waiting list today. I can't wait to dive in to see how the mission I have loved for so long can have an even greater impact on the lives of the families who call this community home.”
50th Anniversary Celebration Scheduled for Oct. 27, 2018
Community members are invited to attend BBBSCI’s 50th anniversary gala on Saturday, Oct. 27 from 6 to 11 p.m. at The Ron Pearson Center in West Des Moines. The event is open to anyone who wants to learn more about the organization, ways to support and how to become a BIG or LITTLE. Watch BBBSCI’s social channels for more details as they emerge. And if you’re interested in sponsorship opportunities, check out the many available on the BBBSCI website.
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa, launched in 1968, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit on a mission to impact youth by empowering them to discover and achieve their goals through meaningful mentoring relationships. The programs include free community, school and workplace-based opportunities for adult mentors to connect with youth. To learn more, visit bbbsia.org, facebook.com/BBBSCI or instagram.com/bbbsci.