Episode 33: Mike Conaway – Courage to Never Be Complacent
Take a servant’s heart, an innate talent for organization, and the energy to make things happen. The result is Peachtree City, GA, charity executive Mike Conaway.
Mike spent 20 years in the corrugated industry in the U.S. and Central America, first as an engineer, then in sales and finally, as a business owner. The leadership skills he gained through sales and business were put to greater use when he became an ordained minister and coordinated a Peachtree City congregation’s outreach programs that included a “car care” that performed basic automotive services for needy individuals with many donated materials.
Another program provided after-school backpacks filled with food and necessities to children of working or absent parents.
Conaway’s community outreach led to a 501c3 nonprofit community health service, Healing Bridge Clinic, that provides healthcare to the underserved communities of central Georgia. First recruited to the board of directors, he became full time executive director in 2018. Since taking leadership of the HBC the value of medical care provided to the community has increased from $241,400 in 2017 to $1,200,000 in 2020. Mike led the organization through the 2020 pandemic shutdown while sustaining needed funding and increasing the impact made on the local community.
Mike is the co-founder of the Fore Our Community Charity Golf Classic – a partnership between two nonprofits serving the same community, coming together to raise money for both. Proving his creativity and flexibility, the Healing Bridge Clinic transformed its annual fundraising dinner to a virtual event that saved expenses while generating substantial monies for the organization. Additionally, the HBC’s services continued to expand while the pandemic provided a pause that allowed more creative administration of free medical services.
Mike Conaway believes that independent charitable institutions can serve communities as well or better than bureaucracies with appropriate support; that a helping hand at an appropriate time in an individual’s life can lead them to greater control of their future and perhaps, to financial independence and an opportunity to pay it forward to others.
Mike Conaway has been married for 37 years to wife Shirley and has one adult son, Shawn. He as an A.S. degree in industrial technologies from Vincennes University.
To learn more about The Healing Bridge Clinic, to make donations, or to explore volunteer opportunities, check out their website: https://healingbridgeclinic.org/