Vilma D. Leake is currently a Democrat elected to her third term on the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners, representing the citizens of District 2, which is located in Southwestern Mecklenburg County. Commissioner Leake’s 2012 election, consisted of 82% of the votes, winning her current term. A motivational speaker, Leake began her career in public service when she was elected to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education in 1997, where she served for 11 years, including as vice chair of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) Policy Committee.
Commissioner Leake was first elected to the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners in 2008. She currently serves on the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners Public Education Steering Committee and the National Association of Counties (NACo) National Board of Large Urban Counties Caucus Steering Committee. Commissioner Leake felt there was a need to create a platform for small business owners to meet, collaborate and network bi-monthly; from this vision came the Small Business Consortium Group, founded by Commissioner Leake in 2011, this group started with five attendees and has grown to 100.
Commissioner Leake is an active member and leader in numerous local, state and national organizations. She has been active with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Order of the Eastern Star, Black Political Caucus of Phi Lambda Theta, North Carolina Association of Educators, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Association of Educators, Business and Professional Women, Charlotte Juvenile Services Board, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Charlotte Mecklenburg Executive Human Relations Board, Board of Directors of the National Council of Negro Women, and Jack and Jill of America, Inc.
For her service, Commissioner Leake has received numerous community service awards and recognitions, recently among them are the 2013 Legends Award in recognition of “Valuable Contributions” made to the Charlotte Community, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Education Association- “The Maya Angelou/Elizabeth Ross Dargan—Lifetime Achievement Award.”, The Broad Institute “Broad Fellows” Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Award and a Lifetime member of the, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) . During her tenure, teaching at Independence High School, she founded Project Motivation Inspiration, this successful initiative encouraged males and females to stay in school.
Commissioner Leake’s humanitarian service and church involvement includes being an active dedicated member of the historic Little Rock A.M.E. Zion Church, she formerly gave her time to the young people as a Sunday School teacher, and a former choir member, singing the praises of God.
Among several awards, Commissioner Leake has received the Paul Leroy Robeson Award from the A.M.E. Zion National Church and the Outstanding Leadership Award from the A.M.E. Zion Local Church. She actively participated on the Women’s Home and Overseas Missionary Society of the A.M.E. Zion Church; and was the founder of the Vilma D. Leake “Walk-a-Mile for Second Mile”, an outreach program that promoted good health and provided monetary funding for overseas and home missions.
She has traveled overseas to Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Stockholm, Sweden and Singapore. A library in Nigeria is named in her honor. For seven consecutive years, she traveled to South Africa donating books, clothes and computers to build a church under the leadership of the late Bishop Rochester in Petersburg, South Africa.
Commissioner Leake has completed all course work for her doctorate at the University of San Francisco. She earned her Master’s degree in Education from the University of Buffalo in New York and graduated from Livingstone College with a Bachelor’s of Art degree in Education. She also received her principalship certification from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Commissioner Leake is the widow of Bishop George J. Leake and the mother of Yolanda Leake and the late D.J. Leake. Her constant theme is, “it’s all about the people.” She says, “My philosophy is to reach out and touch somebody’s hand and make this world a better place if you can.”