As we approach the end Women’s History Month, we recognize and celebrate the community impact of female leaders within the LMR network and the paths they have forged for future leaders across our region. Among this group is Linda Tiller (LMR Class of 2011), who recently retired as Executive Director of Hanover Habitat for Humanity in December. We were excited to hear that her successor was also one of LMR’s own, Renee Robinson (LMR Class of 2019). The swift identification of Linda’s successor allowed these two female leaders to work together on a seamless and airtight transition for several weeks.
Linda herself was also excited to discover that Renee is an LMR grad. She found that the shared experience made the transition easier. Linda revealed, “As I was leaving a long career behind, I was most concerned that the organization be left in capable hands such that the mission continued without interruption. While Renee came from a mostly corporate background, the LMR experience had exposed her to the interdependence of private, public, and nonprofit organizations in providing affordable housing. Also, during a time of COVID, it was difficult to make in-person introductions to many key colleagues, but fortunately Renee already had acquaintance with most of them through the LMR experience and the nonprofit consulting she had been doing. I could not have felt more secure turning the organization over to Renee.”
Renee likewise shared that she was thrilled to have the opportunity to partner so closely with Linda as she transitioned onto the team. Linda had 30 years of history with Habitat for Humanity and having access to that breadth of knowledge was invaluable. Renee shared, “Linda was so welcoming and willing to do anything she could to help me be successful in my new role. Even since she has retired, she has continued to make herself available to me and I am grateful to have her as a resource. In my professional experience there have been times where a transition of leadership has not gone as smoothly. It can sometimes be hard for the departing leader to let go of the reins and that makes it difficult to get your footing and build relationships with the team. Linda and I had the perfect balance, and it was clear that we were both committed to ensuring the organization was as successful as possible.”
These two are not the only recent female transition of leadership amongst our LMR alumni. We would also like to recognize Tracey Wiley (LMR Class of 1999), who recently passed the title of Agency Director of the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity to Jennifer Mayton (LMR Class of 2020). Tracey served nearly seven years in that role and we thank her for that service and congratulate Jennifer on this new opportunity.
LMR’s mission is to connect diverse leaders and prepare them to serve, and we are thrilled to see our alumni living out that mission by preparing one another for leadership roles across the region.
Patricia Bradby, LMR Class of 2019
Director of Communications and Programs, Leadership Metro Richmond
Operations Coordinator, Leadership Metro Richmond