The management field can sometimes get a bad reputation when it comes to how people view positions in this career path. However, Beverly S. Billy puts her management skills into a non-profit organization, Annie’s Legacy, which stems from her own past. Beverly’s mother, Annie Bunch, found difficulty leaving an abusive marriage because of a lack of life skills that would enable her to be self-reliant. However, with the help of friends, Bunch was able to learn to drive, find a job, set up a bank account and successfully leave an abusive situation.

Beverly S. Billy, founder and executive director, Annie’s Legacy (photo courtesy of Beverly S. Billy)

Beverly S. Billy, founder and executive director, Annie’s Legacy (photo courtesy of Beverly S. Billy)

Beverly S. Billy turned this troubled past into a bright future for other women suffering from domestic violence. Bunch’s legacy provides a nine-month, one-on-one mentoring program for women on Chicago’s South Side. The program helps with budgeting, employment, personal assistance, confidence and personal well-being. When asked about the program and her role in management, Billy provided some great insight that can be useful for others looking for a non-profit perspective in a career in management.

What is your background in management? 

“I am founder and executive director of Annie’s Legacy and have been at the helm for over six years. Prior to this position, I worked at Northwestern Memorial Hospital for 25 years. I also worked at the University of Chicago Medical Center for six years. Looking for win-win outcomes for patients, family and the medical center taught me how to negotiate in positive ways, problem solve at a much higher level and multitask, all significant skills needed in the non-profit sector. My last four years working at UCMC were spent as manager of volunteer services, which afforded me the opportunity to guide more than 700 volunteers.”

What is your educational background? 

“I have a B.A. in human development, with a minor in organizational development, and an M.S. in non-profit management. I completed coursework in inner city studies and training and development at the graduate level. I also completed training and received certificates in hospital patient and family advocacy, volunteer management and domestic violence advocacy.”

How has education helped in achieving your current position and with your overall success?

“My undergraduate training prepared me to understand and relate to people of all backgrounds, circumstances and challenges. As manager of volunteers, I interviewed, trained and placed over 500 new volunteers during my tenure. In addition, my retention record with existing volunteers was high due to my skills as a people-developer. It was because of my passion to help women survivors of domestic abuse that I started a non-profit. It was important for me to get the proper education and training so that I could offer quality services to the women we help. Getting my M.S. in non-profit management was one of my proudest moments. It has prepared me well for understanding every aspect of the non-profit business. It provides credibility to my organization and positions me to be the best person to lead the organization to success.”

Sara Lugardo is a professional writer out of Chicago, Illinois. She has a Bachelor’s in Communication and is currently working on her Master’s. Her work can be found on