March 8 is International Women's Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. In celebration of this day, we asked our current Advisory Board Chair, Mrs. Ginny Beach, a few questions. Beach is the first female board chair for The Salvation Army of Greenville, Pickens and Oconee Counties.
Q: When & how did you become involved with The Salvation Army?
A: My first experience with The Salvation Army was probably about 15 years ago. I used to handle a Loaves and Fishes route on Sundays after church and I would pick up bread and bakery items from a couple of grocery stores and deliver to the Salvation Army. As a working mom, I was looking for ways to serve the community while also spending time with my kids.
Q: How does it feel to be the first female board chair?
A: It is a tremendous honor. I have always said that I am a person who can lead or follow. I am happy to do whatever is needed. I am fortunate to be surrounded by fellow board members who are equally passionate about the mission of The Salvation Army.
Q: Why is it important to have female leadership both within the workplace and in board compositions?
A: I feel very strongly about the importance of having female leadership and representation on boards and in the workplace. I believe that we all have a unique perspective that is colored by our upbringing, gender, faith and color. We can learn so much more from each other if we do not all look the same. I am fortunate to have so many awesome role models in my life who have believed in me and given me confidence to lead. First and foremost is my dad who was very involved in the community of my hometown of Orangeburg, SC. I also owe a lot to Julie Godshall Brown, who I work for at Godshall Staffing. She has given me so many opportunities to lead at work and in the community.
Q: Why does the work of The Salvation Army matter to you?
I believe that we are all brothers and sisters in the eyes of God and we are all here to serve each other without discrimination. In my opinion, no one does this better than The Salvation Army. I am continually moved by their love and respect for everyone and their ability to assist our neighbors in their times of greatest need.
Q: What advice would you give to other women looking to advocate for a cause?
A: It has always been my belief that it is important to help others that we do not know. We must all find what works best for us and be generous with our time, talent and treasure. Greenville is a very generous community. We are all very fortunate to live in such a giving place.
Q: What hopes do you have for the growth of The Salvation Army over the next few years?
A: Since we are in the first year of our five year strategic plan, I believe in the many goals that The Salvation Army's officers, staff and board have set forth to accomplish. Strategic planning was a very productive process and a time to look inward and recognize our strengths and weaknesses. From an advisory board perspective, we are strengthening our committees so we can better support The Salvation Army's officers and staff. We will continue to work to make sure our campus is a safe place for those we serve. The Social Ministries campus is quite busy: providing meals, shelter, social services and even a Men’s Rehabilitation Center. Much of Greenville has no idea of how much is done on the Rutherford Street campus. It is my goal to share my knowledge of these services with our greater community.