MLK Speaker on Campus this Monday

January 16, 2019

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Monday, January 21, 2019. To help us reflect on this holiday, Renee Hardman, BBBSCI Chief Executive Officer, will be our keynote speaker in the Viking Theatre at 12:00 p.m.

In 2017, Renee made history when she was elected as the first African American woman to the West Des Moines City Council in its 125 year history. Among her many areas of focus, her main objective will be to move the needle on Affordable Housing, better representation of minorities on Boards and Commissions and enhance citizen engagement to include ensuring all voices are heard in West Des Moines.

Renee is currently Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa. She has served this organization for over 18 years as Big Sister, eight year Board member, and Big Sister of the Year in 1996.

Renee has a lengthy list of community service and honors. A select few include:

  • Trustee for Des Moines University
  • Advisory Board member for The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center
  • Board Member of the Latina Leadership Initiative
  • Polk County Housing Trust Fund, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority (27 years)
  • Des Moines Chapter of The Links, Inc.
  • Past President of the Chrysalis Foundation
  • Longtime volunteer and past 5th Judicial District Commissioner appointed by the Governor.

In 2014, she was inducted into the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame and also has received a number of awards for her outstanding civic engagement to include but not limited to: Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute’s Alumni Volunteer Award, DMU’s Diversity Champion Award, Connie Wimer Spirit Award, President Obama’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major of Service Award, Des Moines University Glanton Scholarship Honoree, Women of Influence Award, Best Minority Business Leader Award, and YWCA’s Women of Achievement Award.