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Building Coalitions on Multiple Levels: Charmaine Ward-Millner, Advocate for Empowering the Arts, Culture, Education, and Community

By Donald James

Charmaine Ward-Millner says her mission in life is…“to be a catalyst and create positive change in individuals, organizations and communities through connecting, coaching and servant leadership.”

As Director of Corporate Relations for Georgia Power, Charmaine is on a mission to build and maintain key relationships with diverse and underserved communities, organizations and individuals. Her goal is to form strategic alliances that empower such groups through the resources of Georgia Power and its partnerships with corporate, civic, government and community leaders and entities.

“I focus on engaging with our diverse customer communities: African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, LGBTQ, women and seniors,” Charmaine explained. “The objective of my team is threefold: to educate on energy initiatives, build advocacy around energy issues, and enhance the brand in the communities.”

Charmaine feels blessed that her passion to empower underserved individuals, organizations and communities is the common thread that connects her professional career with personal endeavors, and vice versa. Prior to Georgia Power, Charmaine was a champion of empowerment and philanthropic engagement with other organizations, including Georgia-Pacific, John H. Harland, and Bank of America.

Charmaine has served on a number of civic and community boards, to include the National Black MBA Association, where she’s currently the board’s secretary. She was the former Atlanta chapter’s president and served two terms, elevating the chapter to unprecedented heights.

“I’m proud that I was instrumental in the growth of the organization,” said Charmaine. “It’s now the largest chapter in the United States, with over 2,000 members. During my tenure, we received many accolades, including Chapter of the Year and Chapter President of the Year.”

Manifesting her love for the arts, culture, education and community, Charmaine serves on the National Black Arts Festival Advisory Board and Alliance Theatre Advisory Council. And she is currently a Board member of the Urban League of Greater Atlanta, Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company, Atlanta Business League Foundation, and Atlanta Technical College Foundation.

Charmaine is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Links, Inc. She is an active member of the Coalition of 100 Black Women and National Council of Negro Women. She is also an alum of Leadership Georgia and Leadership Atlanta.

A native of Chicago, Charmaine says her love for volunteerism began in the Windy City.

“I grew up volunteering all the time,” she recalled. “I like to think it was part of my DNA. I felt volunteering was what I was supposed to do.”

In addition to her dedicated work of empowerment and philanthropic endeavors, Charmaine is a certified coach, serial entrepreneur and adjunct professor at Georgia State University, where she teaches non-profit leadership and management.

For Charmaine Ward-Millner, the beat goes on, as she seeks new and innovative ways to empower and build stronger coalitions to help people, communities, and organizations thrive.

“I’m appreciative that Georgia Power has given me a platform to help do that. I wake up every day hoping I can do something that will positively impact people, regardless of how large or how small,” said Charmaine, who holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Clark Atlanta University (Magna Cum Laude) and an MBA, with honors, from Kennesaw State University. “If I’ve done that, then I am living out my purpose every day.”

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