Rusty Mills, GWSB MBA ’93
City: Highlands Ranch, CO
Role: Chair, Denver Alumni Network
How long have you been volunteering with GW?
I have been a volunteer with the Denver Alumni Network Committee for the past 6 years.
What made you decide to get involved and build up the Denver Alumni Network?
After returning from a 2-year assignment in Germany with Avaya, I was looking for an opportunity to get involved in my local community. I received an email from GWU looking for people to volunteer on the local alumni committee and went to the meeting. The next thing I knew, I was the Chair for the Denver Area Alumni Network. I have really enjoyed the experience and getting to know other alumni in the Denver metropolitan area.
What has been the most rewarding part of your volunteer experience?
Getting to know the alumni in the area and helping people expand their professional network.
How do you think creating a Denver Alumni Network has strengthened your connection back to GW as well as with your fellow alumni in the area?
I always enjoy meeting alumni, especially young alumni. As a graduate student at GW, I worked full time and went to school full time. I did not really get a chance to develop friendships or expand my personal network. I know more about GW and the great work they are doing now than I did when I was attending school.
Do you have a favorite #OnlyatGW story involving an alumni connection in Denver?
I met GW alum, Nicole Roush, who is the curator for the Molly Brown Museum in Denver at our annual New To Denver event. We ended up doing an event at the Museum over the holidays when the house was decorated for the season, and she gave our alumni a private tour. It was really a special evening.
Why is it important for alumni to be engaged and volunteer with your respective Regional Alumni Network?
GW has amazing alumni, but I don’t think we leverage our network enough to help young alumni develop in their careers. The local alumni events organized and run by the local Alumni Network and the volunteers on the committee offer an opportunity to network and have some fun. In addition, we often do service events as a part of our programming in the Denver area which gives us an opportunity to give back to our community and develop good will for the university. It’s about building community.