Story by Megan Whitehead | Jun 26, 2017
Photography by Keith Borgmeyer

brenda-hatfieldPresident, Hatfield Training and Consulting 

Current job title and number of years/months in that position: 

I have been a private consultant for 10 years working to improve organizational performance in both the private and public sectors. My focus is on leadership, culture development, customer requirements, measurements, and service standards, as well as the use of quality improvement tools. This fall, I’ll begin part-time work with Jefferson City Public Schools helping to plan, organize, direct, and lead the process of quality improvement through the district’s strategic plan. 

Tell us about your family: 

I have been married to Chuck Hatfield for 23 years, and we have two children: Thomas is a junior at MU, and Georgia is a sophomore at JCHS. We also have a dog, Zelda, who is a labradoodle and in charge of our home. My family not only supports my volunteer efforts, they happily join in from time to time. 

Please list your education:  

I graduated from MU with an undergraduate degree in agriculture journalism and a master’s in public administration.

brenda-hatfieldFavorite charitable organization and why: 

Jefferson City is fortunate to have a number of wonderful organizations who do amazing things in our community. One such organization is the JCPS Foundation. I have served on the foundation’s  board of directors for the past six years and am humbled by the work this group does to support our schools. The foundation supports one of our community’s most amazing programs, the Southwest Early Childhood Center. SWECC serves the district’s youngest learners and their families. The work done at SWECC truly changes lives, and I’m proud to support their efforts.

What are some of your immediate and long-term goals for Jefferson City?

I am an active PTO [parent–teacher organization] member and will work this year with the high school PTO and the SWECC PTO. Long-term, I want to remain active in our community and continue to serve those in need. Professionally, my life will change this fall when I begin working for JCPS. I hope I can use the skills I have to make positive improvements in our schools. 

How do you hope to impact the community? 

I hope I can set an example for others on how you can manage both career and volunteer commitments. I believe we can all make a difference in our community, and with only a few hours of time, big changes can happen. Service is key to a thriving community, and I want to continue to do my part to make the world a better place. 

Why you are passionate about volunteering in Jefferson City?

My husband and I moved to Jefferson City in 1993 and this is our home. Volunteering has provided me with an opportunity to meet some pretty amazing people and contribute to something bigger than myself. The people you meet while volunteering here are amazing — they come from all walks of life and you can learn something from all of them. 

brenda-hatfieldWhen did you begin volunteering with Southwest Early Childhood Center?

I began volunteering at SWECC five years ago. When I first walked in the building, I knew these people were making a difference. SWECC is a magical place — no matter what I do there, I leave with a smile on my face. If you want to make a difference, volunteer to help us on the first couple days of school when more than 100 brand new students show up. Remember your first day of school; maybe you were scared, excited, or anxious. Now think about what it must be like for the teachers. They’re feeling the same way, but they’re in charge of making it a great day for students. 

In your opinion, what is the importance of volunteering with SWECC?

SWECC serves our community’s youngest learners, and the work they do makes a lifelong impact on not only the students, but on the whole family. Students who attend are able to learn skills that help prepare them for school, and families participate in parenting programs through SWECC. I once asked a teen dad how the program had impacted him — he was 19 with a 4-year-old — and he told me he learned the importance of always communicating with his daughter’s mother. The lessons that dad learned enhanced his life and the life of his child.

What prompted you to volunteer your time campaigning for J+C?

I am a product of public education. I grew up in a small town in northwest Missouri and attended MU. I believe in the power of education to shape lives. When approached about helping with J+C [a political action committee supporting JCPS], I was an enthusiastic yes. This campaign was different. People from all across our community were coming together to support this initiative.

Last book read: 

“A Culture of High Performance: Achieving Higher Quality at a Lower Cost” by Quint Studer.

Secret aspiration: 

To be the fun grandma. When I have grandchildren, I want them to think: “Yes! we get to go see Grandma Brenda, she is awesome!” Of course, I hope I have many years before this happens.

Source of inspiration:  

The many people I meet who give tirelessly of themselves for something bigger. My friend Kolbi teaches low-income families to cook healthy meals. Jessica, with the JCPS teen parent program, works with young families to teach them how to parent in some challenging circumstances. Nicole, at SWECC, greets each day with a smile, but she’s tough as nails when it comes to ensuring that every student feels safe, loved, and learns how to make good choices. Lisa, the family school advocate at SWECC, practices what she preaches to families and leads with so much love in her heart. Then there are the countless volunteers who I’ve worked with over the years — the folks who take my calls, respond to my emails, and generally support our community. Their willingness to answer the call is an inspiration to me.

What is a fun fact about you that most people do not know? 

I can weld and I can judge livestock. This does not come in handy very often, but they are skills I have just in case they are needed.