12:10 To the Top: Benne Brewer

  • Benne Brewer

Cultivating relationships and building lines of communication within the community, Benne Brewer, director of strategic partnerships for Hilliary Communications, is often seen at community events and helping with various fundraisers.

As director of strategic partnerships, Brewer tracks and supports business partnerships and oversees the sales and marketing department. He also serves as the point of contact for national chains, large enterprises and tribal governments and manages the Community Connect facilities to bring broadband internet access to otherwise underserved communities according to USDA guidelines.

Brewer attributes his genuine interest in supporting the community to his late parents, Carl Wayne and Charlotte Brewer. “Mom and Dad always taught me to be proud of our community and promote it the best as I can,” said Brewer.

After 20 years of service to his country, his father retired from the Army at Fort Sill in 1984. Growing up, his mother owned and operated a small cleaning business in the Elgin area.

In addition to his ability to work with members of the community, Brewer’s real-life work experience makes him a key figure for his current position in the growing telecommunications company. His diverse career path includes hands-on entry- level positions that led to managerial experience in media, logistics as well as promotional sectors.

Brewer recalls working for The Lawton Constitution’s circulation department while he was a student at Elgin High School. “When I first started, I did door-to-door subscriptions, then moved to the lead for that team and later district manager. I really learned a lot during the 10 years I was there,” he said earnestly.

While at the Constitution, he regularly volunteered for Oklahoma Blood Institute, he said. When a part-time position opened up, he was offered the job and later moved into delivering lifesaving donations and later an administrative support position.

“I was a blood donor and started volunteering for OBI,” he said. “Whether it was blood drives, packaging T-shirts, or things like that, I was excited to help out. “Around 2001, OBI offered me a part-time job calling donors to come in and donate. Then, as component management technician, I got involved with storage and distribution, delivering blood to hospitals throughout southwest Oklahoma and north Texas as well as the processing lab in Oklahoma City.

“Knowing someone may be waiting on your delivery to save their life, it’s really rewarding, but can also weigh heavy on your heart.”

Brewer also served as administrative coordinator until 2010 when he began a career with Fort Sill Apache Casino. Starting as a marketing coordinator for the casino, his position quickly developed into marketing management as he ensured the casino’s “promotional items were up-to-date, mailers were going out on time, scheduled meetings, oversaw graphic design” among others, he said.

As a second job, Brewer became a board operator on-air personality primarily for Lawton-based KLAW 101 FM, a country music station under the Town Square Media umbrella.

“That was really a lot of fun,” he said. “Doing on-air remotes and meeting people, setting up booths, and helping nonprofits. I always volunteered to do the public service announcements and I really enjoyed helping people who are helping others.”

While helping expand the Hilliary Communications footprint, Brewer also finds ways to support the younger members of the communities. Serving on the CASA board, Brewer helps raise funds used to directly help children get into a hopefully better situation.

“My main goal is to help the kids who are struggling or in bad situations,” he said. “That’s why I support CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and served as president for the J. Roy Dunning Children’s Shelter (providing temporary emergency foster care and caring for temporarily displaced children). A lot of the board members

for J. Roy Dunning are on the CASA board now.

“I would also like to help nonprofits reach their goals, so they are able to provide for more families in need.”

Brewer is a graduate of Leadership Lawton Class XXVIIII. He serves on the boards for Walters Chamber of Commerce and Elgin Community Library and is a member of Tri-City Lions Club, Lawton AMBUCS, and Arts for All.

He also serves as the current vice president for the Elgin Chamber of Commerce and enjoys networking with business owners and seeing community growth as more people and businesses move into the area.

“Right now, there is a big push for Elgin Square (the new shopping center currently under construction), and with Elgin’s proximity to both Lawton and Fort Sill, we’re looking at more opportunities to move into the area,” he said.

Brewer would like to see more opportunities for southwestern Oklahomans in regard to tier 1 employment. “We have the capability to bring industry to southwest Oklahoma as well as help the established companies grow,” said Brewer.