Monday, November 20, 2017

‘Ultimately, I want to empower other women’

Enterprising People Business Radio Talk presents
A BUSINESS CONVERSATION WITH MARY MITCHELL & BRANDY WILLIAMS

BY KIMBERLY BAILEY-TUREAUD

BRANDY WILLIAMS AND MARY MITCHELL

As mother-and-daughter business partners, Mary Mitchell and Brandy Williams own Busy Bee Behavioral Health, located in North Las Vegas. Las Vegas Black Image Magazine recently conducted an exclusive interview with the pair to explore their mission to improve mental health wellness for families in Nevada.

How did you come up with the name for your behavioral health business?
Mitchell: We came up with the name, Busy Bee, because we are always busy. And when my granddaughter was born, she was really plump like a little bee.
What is the primary focus of your business?
Mitchell: We are a behavioral treatment facility, focusing on children and adults who have mental issues. We wanted to assist in the area that we both have experience in. I personally have overcome the illness of depression, which I have had most of my life. When I recovered from the depression, I told my daughter that depression is a sickness and it should be talked about. I explained everything, to all of my children, what I was going through. I made a conscious decision to seek help years ago, and I got better. That is what inspired us to get into the business of behavioral health.
Williams: I initially wanted to be a pediatric nurse, and I pursued that while attending Community College High School. I found that my heart is so big that I needed to make a switch on career concentration. My mom was pushing me to go into medical billing and coding, because I was great at numbers. I carried a 4.0 grade point average in school, and upon graduating I interned at a medical billing company and was soon hired on as a full-time employee. I was dealing with billing for gastrology and pediatrics, and working with some very large numbers. I was often complimented for the way I kept my numbers organized, and was promoted to holding three job titles that included billing manager, office manager and certified director of human resources. After working in all aspects of behavioral health, I encouraged my mother to put the wealth of our knowledge together and go into the business for ourselves.
Mitchell: As a single mother I was never in a position where I could take a breather after working two and three jobs to take care of my children. I was always going and going, and it was never enough financially. I was working with the school district initially in early childhood development as a teacher’s aide, and I remember seeing so many of our African-American children coming to school without their hair done or needing lotion on their skin. I would bring all types of supplies to help make our children look presentable before they went to the classroom. One day, the school district put out a notice that they needed welders and I said, “I can do that,” because I remembered watching my uncle who was a blacksmith back in Texas when I was growing up. So once they told me that they needed welders, I knew I could do it and also receive more money for my family. I went to welding school and got the job with the school district as the first black female supervisor in welding in the state. Then I became the first black female adjunct to teach applied technology in Henderson. It just has been a lot of kudos, and I just kept going far in my career. After my children got older, I worked on the Alaska Pipeline. Now, I am so happy to have this business with my daughter that we both are so passionate about.
Is your business the first of its type in Nevada?
Williams: No, actually here in Las Vegas there are over 938 behavioral health agencies. There are a lot of agencies, but not a lot that offer the services that we do. Other agencies offer services to adults and children, but services are limited. We are unique because we have heart in all that we do. When it comes to the families, we assist in strengthening the entire unit. We have our certified psychiatrist meet with both the parents and the child. Parents can leave their children at our facility and the psychiatrist will meet them at their home for treatment. We conduct after-school tutoring for children and we also will transport children to their extracurricular activities after school. Currently, we are trying to get another van to help us with transporting the children and picking some of them up.
Would your company also be considered a daycare business?
Williams: No, we are a “day treatment” business, open 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, soon to accept most insurance plans.
How many children do you have enrolled?
Williams: We have 20 children registered, and those numbers increase in the summertime when school is out for the summer months. But we have the capacity to hold 40 children at this facility in North Las Vegas.
What are the words of motivation you and your mother share to sustain your business?
Williams: We can do this!
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