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Motivating, Encouraging, and Compelling: BU Alumna Brenda Workman Inspires Positive Change

by | May 10, 2023

Photo by Katelyn Workman Photography.

“I believe that our lives are orchestrated by God, and when I look back, I know that God orchestrated all the things that were happening at Bluefield University while I was working there. He prepared me for what I’m doing now,” alumna Brenda Workman said.

Workman is a locally and nationally acclaimed motivational speaker and licensed Food for Life instructor. She was featured on the TODAY website and The Exam Room podcast by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. As the owner of Brenda Workman Speaks, she is fulfilling her life’s mission of “motivating, encouraging, and compelling people to make positive change.”

Her mission statement originated from a conversation she had with BU psychology professor Dr. Bob Boozer approximately 12 years ago. “I said to him, ‘I feel like I’m not quite doing what I was created to do. I feel a restlessness in my spirit, and I’m not sure if this is what I’m supposed to be doing. I feel like there’s something else out there, but I don’t know what it is,’” Workman shared.

He recommended a book that guided her through developing her mission statement. “When I met again with Dr. Boozer, he said, ‘What did you find out?’ and I told him what I feel like I was created to do,” Workman explained. “He said, ‘Who are you going to motivate, encourage, and compel?’ and I said, ‘I don’t really know. I kind of feel like it might be women, but I’m not sure.’ He said, ‘How are you going to motivate and encourage and compel people?’ and I said, ‘I feel like I’m going to be speaking. I’m going to be doing some type of speaking to these people.’”

Workman served Bluefield University for 16 years before resigning in August 2022 to focus more on Brenda Workman Speaks. During that time, she taught academic success courses, recruited students to online degree programs, and managed regional partnerships for the institution. Motivating students to excel academically, encouraging people to continue their education, and compelling organizations to partner with the university prepared her to manage her business, she said.

“It was a God thing. He was preparing me. There’s no question about it,” Workman added. “I am in a very sweet spot right now. It feels so good to get up in the morning and know that I’m doing exactly what I feel that it was meant for me to do and to love what I do.”

She founded Brenda Workman Speaks three years ago to inspire people to live intentionally. “I love that topic,” Workman explained, “because I think life is short and we all need to be living intentionally.”

Around that time, however, Workman’s health issues were concerning her and her doctor. After switching to a plant-based diet as her physician recommended, Workman lost 60 pounds and no longer needed medication for her cholesterol and blood pressure.

“People started noticing my health transformation, and then, they started hiring me to come speak to their staff on eating healthy,” Workman shared.

Brenda Workman Speaks now offers cooking demonstrations, presentations on plant-based eating, and a membership that provides access to recipes, challenges, and support for plant-based dieting. Workman hosts Wellness Weekends for Women and has an event at Canann Valley State Park scheduled for later this year. A day event at Glades Springs Resort in May will be open to men and women. Additionally, she teaches classes locally at Craft Memorial Library and Bluefield Union Mission.

“If I could help just one person live a little longer or have a better quality of life, then it’s worth doing even the small things,” she said.

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