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Columbia Business Monthly

Brenda Wheeler Receives John Richard Craft Leadership Award

Nov 20, 2017 08:52AM ● By Emily Stevenson
The Columbia Museum of Art presented the 2017 John Richard Craft Leadership Award to Brenda Wheeler. Through her board service, committee participation, and gifts to the museum, Wheeler epitomizes the philanthropic leadership the CMA recognizes each year with the Craft Award, named for its first director. Executive director Della Watkins and Scott McClelland, president of the museum’s board of trustees, presented the award, the highest honor the CMA bestows, at a dinner celebrating Wheeler’s service on Nov. 16, with nearly 140 museum supporters in attendance.

“Brenda Wheeler couldn’t be more deserving of this award,” says Watkins. “Her commitment to the museum has endured for nearly two decades, and her commitment to the arts a lifetime. Brenda’s leadership and acts of philanthropy are an example to us all of what it means to truly support the arts, not just in gifts, but in time, not just in service, but in passion.”

Beginning with the CMA as a member 20 years ago, Wheeler went on to serve on the board of directors and continues to serve as a member of the finance committee. She and her husband Rick are Legacy Society members, ensuring Columbia experiences world-class art well into the future.

A committed philanthropist, Wheeler has contributed to the arts community of Columbia for nearly three decades. After graduating from the University of North Carolina and Queens College, Wheeler moved to Columbia in 1978 with her husband and promptly dedicated herself to giving back to her new community. In addition to her numerous gifts and service roles with the CMA, she has served on the Advisory Council of the McKissick Museum and on the Board for Communities of Schools of the Midlands. Wheeler is senior vice president and wealth advisor at First Citizens Bank & Trust of South Carolina.