COLUMBIA — United Way of the Midlands has named Mike Brenan as the 2012 Humanitarian of the Year Award recipient. Brenan will be recognized Feb. 28 at the 29th annual United Way of the Midlands Humanitarian of the Year dinner and award ceremony at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.
Brenan currently serves as president of BB&T South Carolina. He began his banking career in 1975, and in 1988 he became the president and CEO of Bank One. In 1994 he became chairman, president, and CEO of MainStreet Financial Corporation, a multi-bank holding company headquartered in Virginia.
When BB&T Corporation acquired MainStreet in 1998, Brenan moved to Columbia to assume his role with BB&T as the state/group president.
“Mike has made and continues to make an impact on his adopted community and state,” said Mac Bennett, president and CEO of United Way of the Midlands. “As a community we are fortunate to be the beneficiary of his many gifts and talents.”
Brenan, a past chairman at United Way of the Midlands, has been dedicated to public service since his arrival in Columbia. His most recent contribution to the community’s continued growth has been his efforts in regards to public transportation.
As chair of the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce this past year, he led the initiative of the Chamber and secured backing from other business leaders to promote the sales tax referendum in support of a thriving public transportation system, new roadways, traffic improvements, greenways and pedestrian nodes.
Holt Chetwood, Midlands Market president/business banking manager for Wells Fargo, submitted Brenan’s name for the award.
“Mike is credited with assuring that the Chamber and other business leaders kept their focus on public transportation,” said Chetwood. “His commitment to our community’s most at risk citizens can be seen through his work in this area.”
Brenan is also a past chairman of United Way Association of South Carolina and is Gov. Nikki Haley’s appointee to the South Carolina Board of Education. He currently serves as chairman of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce.
In the past, Brenan has held leadership positions at the University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business Partnership Foundation, Claflin University, Midlands Business Leadership Group, Midlands Housing Alliance, Palmetto Business Forum, InvestSC, South Carolina Bankers Association and South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities.
He is currently involved with Central SC Alliance, the Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics Foundation, SC Economics, Palmetto AgriBusiness Council, Clemson University President’s Advisory Council, SC BIPEC and the Trinity Forum in Washington, D.C.
“Mike is a man of strong faith and the highest character,” said Chetwood. “He is a great example of servant leadership, and we are fortunate to have a community leader like him in the Midlands.”
Brenan is married to Julie Wyatt, and they have four children: Erin, Andrew, Rob and Molly.
The Humanitarian of the Year Award is presented every year to someone who has exhibited extraordinary service and philanthropy in the Midlands. Nominations are accepted beginning in October and a selection committee from United Way of the Midlands leadership givers, The Palmetto Society, collectively decide on the recipient.
The black tie event begins at 6:30 p.m. Advanced registration is required and available at uway.org. Tickets are $65 per person. To register, go to www.uway.org or contact Katie Bullard at 803-733-5419.