Carmen Brandt viewed as a community solution finder

When recently reflecting, Carmen Brandt recognized that she is less of a problem solver and more of a solution finder.

“I believe that if you have a problem, you have to address it,” Carmen said. “I was talking to a friend of mine not long ago, and I said I’m a problem solver. She said ‘No, you’re a solution finder because as you see things then you think how do we fix that?’ I said that’s a problem. She said, ‘No, you’re looking for a solution immediately as you look at that problem.’ So, I like that title, solution finder.”

While she’s been heavily involved in work to renovate Carver School into a senior living facility for about eight years, Carmen has been involved in a variety of efforts around Fulton and Callaway County. She served on the Fulton Human Rights Commission for about eight years including time as president, is the current vice president of the Friends of the Churchill Museum, and works as director at the Center for Women’s Ministry. Her favorite role is that of a mom and grandma.

“Now I do (view myself as a leader). For a long time, I didn’t. I like to be in the background. I like to be that support person. I’ve always thought my job was to support those in front of me, but it seems like the good Lord has decided that’s not where I need to be. He pulls me forward in many things that for a long time I didn’t think I was worthy of doing, but I have had people that apparently thought I was; so, I did. I guess I am a leader.”

It’s important for leaders to take responsibility while being respectful to their team and offering direction, guidance, and support. It’s most important to make the space inclusive enough that everybody’s welcome and heard. Good leadership shows through the group, she said.

For those interested in becoming leaders, Carmen said, they should find something they’re passionate about and follow their heart.

“Become educated about the topic that you’re interested in, look for role models or mentors in that area, and don’t be afraid to ask questions,” she said. “Other leaders are willing to ask questions and to even ask the hard questions. There are no dumb questions Be willing to find a mentor and find someone that is willing to support you. In most of the groups I’ve been in lately, we have accountability people, and I have never been involved in that before. That’s so important. You need to be held accountable for what you do. Find a mentor. I would encourage everybody to do that.”