Commissioner, who are you now versus the person I met five to six years ago?
Wow, what a way to start an interview! Andreal, it is 2023; I am a different person. My journey as a commissioner is under public scrutiny, and I can share that I have not and will not compromise my faith in God and my integrity. My journey here has sharpened my skills as a decision-maker, has caused me to push for excellence in delivery, and tightened the circle of influencers in my life.
Commissioner, you are described as a community leader, servant leader, approachable but cautious, yet touchable. Do you agree?
I am here by the confirmed votes of district four constituents. Their vote of confidence in the leadership style I bring to Henry County Government humbles me. I am accountable to the individuals, families, and businesses who pour into me and provoke me to be better than good. Being a servant leader is a natural reflection of my upbringing. My mother and father taught their children to care for each other and those around us. I still live by that motto. I welcome conversations publicly and privately with constituents. My team and I host several town hall conversations virtually and in person. I am involved with a number of non-profit initiatives that serve the Community and often take time to converse with individuals. Anyone is welcome to request a meeting with me by contacting my office.
March is "Women's History Month." This year, you decided not to have your annual event celebrating women and their accomplishments. Why? Phenomenal Women of Distinction has expanded beyond just women. The group will continue to celebrate the amazing accomplishments of women in an exponential way, Under the banner of “Leadership” hosted by Phenomenal Women & Men of Distinction. There are so many showcase women's events popping up without purpose or impact. It is usually the same circle of women or hosted by non-creditable persons building personal platforms for notoriety. We can do better, and the group that supports authentic Leadership expects better. Being purposeful and accountable for our actions will naturally lead to awards.
This banner of Leadership, where is it leading to?
First, it opens doors of opportunity for inclusiveness. Hopefully, we have spoken life and encouraged and inspired women to their next level of greatness. Now, we are moving out of the siloes of "us" to all. We speak to women, men, the Community, the free, and incarcerated with the goal of impacting the Community and building partnerships. Awards are secondary, and the needs of the Community are elevated to the primary level. Believe me; there is so much more to come; stay tuned.
With that, what is the failure, in your opinion? We have Black Women elected and in powerful positions, but our Community, the Black Community, is still suffering.
Andrea, no easy questions today? At Game Changers, Commissioner, that’s not how we do it!
There are pockets of Black Americans doing just fine. We have the privilege of sharing their accomplishments on television, radio, social media, and print media within groups and families. There is a positive trail of upward progression for Black Americans. A conversation, signages, and echoing of our accomplishments must be blasted on as many forms of media as possible.
Let me pause and say "thank you, Andreal Mallard, and the Game Changers Magazine Team, podcast, IHeart Radio, and all the other media you use to tell our stories. I salute you and know we need you!
Now the failure comes in not maximizing the many tools available to us to better our conditions and situations. We own phones valued at thousands of dollars and more, but not taking technical or college classes but taking a selfie. Wrong. We allow other cultures to define our culture. Wrong. The Black Woman is on the move yet being used by negative forces for their good. Wrong. We need to stop and do an assessment and take back ownership of our purpose and culture.
Finishing words, Commissioner…
Well, this is "Women's History Month." I want to express to women we are awesome! We are creating our earned space and occupying that space without apology. Embrace this deserved presence with a spirit of love, sharing, and inclusion. This publication, Gamechangers Magazine, highlights a deserving group of women on the move and, as stated, earned the space they now occupy. Congratulations! Job well done! The Community is better because of your work and accomplishments.
My sisters, black, brown, white, it does not matter what your color may be, we are women, and we need each other. Be watchful and prayerful. A woman’s presence is an expression of life to share and enable others forward to betterment in their lives. Ladies own your accomplishments! No one has the right to impede upon you and place an IOU requirement for who you are and what you have earned. I commend and celebrate you for setting goals and fighting through the many challenges that tried to stop your evolution into greatness. The world sees us with admiration and wonder. Many statistics are calculated about our worth, strategies, capabilities, and quality of Leadership. We continue to shatter all of them. Why? Because it is hard to calculate the "God Factor." Continue to walk in faith, owning your destiny.
District 4 Commissioner Vivian Thomas
Henry County Board of Commissioners
Thank you, Commissioner, for taking the time to complete this interview.
By Game Changers Media Network
Andreal Mallard, Senior Editor/Owner
Get Your Copy Today of Game Changers Magazine 2023 Spring Edition featuring Judge Holly Veal