When JC Lyle thinks of housing, she thinks of more than a roof and four walls.
She sees every house as a home, a refuge from the world, and somewhere that should be welcoming, comfortable and safe.
“I was lucky growing up. I lived in the same home until I went to college,” Lyle recalled. “I knew there were other people who didn’t have a secure and happy place as I did. I always wanted to help individuals with this essential aspect of their lives.”
As the Executive Director of Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry Inc. (WARM), JC organizes volunteers and raises funds to complete safety-related urgent home repairs and accessibility upgrades for low-income homeowners in Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties. The organization depends on donations, grants and fundraising to sustain their mission.
As of May 2018, WARM has helped repair 1,074 homes in the 21 years it has been in operation – but the number of people they have touched exceeds that significantly.
Even before becoming the Executive Director in 2009, Lyle volunteered with WARM while she worked in the for-profit housing sector, including apartment leasing and subdivision design. In addition to her full-time work, Lyle was appointed to the Wilmington Planning Commission in March and graduated from Cameron School of Business’ Professional M.B.A. program in May.
Lyle said she saw the benefits of the M.B.A. curriculum right away.
“While I was in the program, people would ask me, ‘So, what are you going to do with your M.B.A. degree?’ To which I would reply, ‘I’m already doing it!’,” she said.
Lyle says the faculty in the Professional M.B.A. program make the experience more meaningful by frequently allowing students to choose their own topics for research and assignments. She was able to walk away with completed projects that directly benefited WARM on several occasions over the two years she was involved. She says that each professor is committed to ensuring that every person gets what they need out of the degree.
Lyle’s future with WARM is optimistic – she is working to bring the organization’s technology to the next level, making it easier for people to request assistance, volunteer and donate. In addition, Lyle is looking to start a social enterprise through WARM.
“Like most non-profits, we are dependent on policy decisions and the goodwill of others,” she said. “I’d like us to be in control of our destiny a bit more, keeping us sustainable over time.”
To learn more about Cameron’s graduate programs, please visit https://csb.uncw.edu/Grad/index.html
Robert T. Burrus, Jr., Ph.D., is the dean of the Cameron School of Business at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, named in June 2015. Burrus joined the UNCW faculty in 1998. Prior to his current position, Burrus was interim dean, associate dean of undergraduate studies and the chair of the department of economics and finance. Burrus earned a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in economics from the University of Virginia and a bachelor’s degree in mathematical economics from Wake Forest University. The Cameron School of Business has approximately 60 full-time faculty members and 20 administrative and staff members. The AACSB-accredited business school currently enrolls approximately 2,000 undergraduate students in three degree programs and 200 graduate students in four degree programs. The school also houses the prestigious Cameron Executive Network, a group of more than 200 retired and practicing executives that provide one-on-one mentoring for Cameron students. To learn more about the Cameron School of Business, please visit http://csb.uncw.edu/. Questions and comments can be sent to [email protected].