State of Michigan
Industry: Government/Public Service
Field: Public Services
Marilyn J. Branham longed for a career that would enable her to serve others. As an office supervisor for the state of Michigan, she serves as the primary contact for customers in the accounts receivable unit and makes it her first priority to ensure customer satisfaction. Although dealing with members of the public, especially those who are frustrated, can be trying, she strives to understand her client’s needs, thus leading her to assess the situation and resolve their issues. When helping those who are less fortunate, to her it is a moral and social responsibility, not just a job.
Growing up, Ms. Branham was greatly inspired by her parents, who made many sacrifices to educate her and her sister and instill strong values in them. Being a young single parent, she cultivated in herself the determination and drive to provide for her own son. She feels that her experiences in raising a child alone made her a stronger person than she would have been otherwise. In addition to her parents, she gives credit to three of her teachers who always provided encouragement and expected excellence.
A certified social work technician, Ms. Branham has been working for the state for more than 37 years. Her responsibilities include assisting with the collection of monies owed to the department of state, which can be taxing. However, her greatest career achievement and source of gratification was helping clients to become self-sufficient. In fact, a former client of hers was interviewed on television for her accomplishments in a sheltered workshop. Ms. Branham has been recognized as an outstanding individual in public service with several awards. She has been bestowed a certificate of merit for her part with the Grand Idea Program, and an award for 35 years of service, both from the state of Michigan, in addition to being a four-time recipient of a certificate of appreciation from the Michigan Department of State.
A freelance musician since 1969, Ms. Branham teaches private lessons and performs at several venues. She earned a bachelor’s degree in music in 1971 from Western Michigan University. In order to perfect her craft, she holds memberships with the Grand Rapids Federation of Musicians and the American Federation of Musicians. She also is a volunteer for Saint James Church. In the future, she intends to continue performing, teaching, and serving the public. Continue reading