Today, Brandy Milazzo is partner in the corporate practice group in the Charlotte office of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP, but not that very long ago, she was a Girl Scout Brownie in the then small, rural town of Hickory. She was an only child and her parents had divorced when she was 15 months old, so her sister Girl Scouts became her siblings.
“We were sisters in a lot of ways,” she says. “We had a great time together and went places together, and sometimes we fought like sisters, too.”
She loved the friendship and fellowship – and, she says, she loved the trips. “We would all pile into a van,” she says. “The money we made selling Girl Scout cookies sent us to Myrtle Beach, Dollywood and Williamsburg, places that I might not have gotten to as a girl with a single mom working hard to make ends meet.”
She discovered she loved being outdoors and fondly remembers camping out and cooking over an open fire in her leaders’ backyards. “I know I had opportunities as a Girl Scout I never would have had as an individual girl.”
Brandy also remembers that she always wanted to be a lawyer. In 8th grade, she gave a book report on a book about Sandra Day O’Connor, and she was in awe. “That book just cemented what I already knew,” she says. “Maybe I watched too much Matlock on TV, but I knew then and there I wanted to be a lawyer because they always seemed to be able to help people and accomplish amazing things. After reading that book, I saw that women lawyers could change the world too – not just male lawyers.
“In 11th grade, our high school had an exchange student from Finland with whom I became very good friends, and that friendship inspired me to work to combine my love of law, business and diverse peoples and cultures. In college, I told my advisor that I decided I was going to be the first female Secretary of State – and then found out that Madelyn Albright had stolen my dream job!”
After high school, Brandy attended Campbell University as a four-year Presidential Scholar and earned her degree summa cum laude in political science with a minor in French. She then went to the University of South Carolina where she earned a joint J.D (cum laude) and Master in International Business Studies. She went on to study for and pass both the South Carolina Bar and the North Carolina State Bar within the next eight months.
Currently, Brandy works in business and international law, assisting clients globally with a diverse range of corporate issues, including supply-chain and outsourcing transactions, mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital transactions. She has also worked hard to support her community and along the way discovered that she had a passion for helping younger women. Brandy has served on the board of directors of Hornets’ Nest, Girl Scouts Council in Charlotte since 2005, and just stepped down as its president. She was awarded the Girl Scouts Thanks Badge, an award that recognizes exceptional service that benefits the total council or the entire Girl Scouts movement.
In 2006, Campbell University honored her with its Distinguished Government Alumni Award, and in 2011, the Charlotte Business Journal named her one of their People on the Move. Brandy and her husband, Mark, have a son, Meier, now three.
“I want to give back,” Brandy says, “even in a small way. I feel it is very important. I have been blessed by being touched by so many great people in my life; I only hope I can provide the same for others, at least one other person. Not that I have not had my bumps along the way, but I only overcame them due to the family and friends in my life.”← Judge Rebecca Knight Patsy Brison →