Venishea Butler

Posted in Staff Spotlight

Venishea Butler
Venishea Butler

August 7, 2022


Venishea Butler


Director of Budgeting and Analysis

How long have you worked at Georgetown?

35 years

What led you to your position here at GUMC?

In 2004, I applied for the budget analyst position at GUMC. I was working on the main campus as the director of finance and administration in the Center for Minority Educational Affairs (CMEA). I loved my job and our mission at CMEA, but I wanted to utilize more of my educational training in accounting. Some discouraged me from making that move, but I believed it was the best move for me, and I was right. I have gained exposure to aspects of finance that I never would have experienced in my old position. In 2013, I was promoted into my current position as director of budgeting and analysis.

In your role, how do you interact with the GUMC community?

I work closely with the GUMC fiscal officers and department administrators to develop annual budgets and financial plans, monitor actual results and explain budget variances. My team and I provide operational support to the GUMC community, including providing guidance related to financial policies and procedures; training and guidance for processing financial transactions in GMS; and Adaptive and year-end operational support.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

There are so many things I enjoy about my job, but the most important aspect is working alongside a group of colleagues that are committed and dedicated to ensure GUMC accomplishes its goals by meeting its financial target. I am honored to be amongst this group of professionals. They are the best of the best!

What is a skill you have that might surprise people?

I have always loved ballroom dancing. As a child, I would watch dancing competitions when they aired on TV. The glittery outfits and long flowing gowns were captivating to me. For our 30th wedding anniversary, my husband took me to a dance studio to learn to Hand Dance, which is the DC version of the Swing in ballroom dancing. I love the art of it. Two people, who may not know one another, can dance in unscripted unison, without saying a word, based on the gestures and signals from the lead partner’s hand. It’s amazing!

What did you learn about yourself as a professional during the pandemic?

In the beginning it was difficult. There were so many questions that we could not answer because there was no historical reference, but we had to develop various plans and options based on those questions. It was a very challenging and demanding time. There were many days when we were working long workdays as well as the weekends, but what I learned about myself was that I am able to push through difficult times and remain focused without losing faith. It also taught me to make sure that I maintain a healthy work-life balance and manage expectations.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Currently, I’m taking piano lessons and I plan to take an art class. I love to read — fiction, biographies, self-help — it doesn’t matter. My favorite pastime is working out — strength training, boxing, HIIT, biking — I love it all. I truly believe exercise is the mythical fountain of youth.

What is your greatest achievement (personal or professional)?

My mom is the best all-around cook ever! Her desserts were and still are absolutely mouthwatering. The family’s favorite dessert is her sweet potato pie. She only makes it during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Over the years, I have been trying to replicate her amazing pie. She gave me the recipe, but because she does not use measuring tools, it was hard to get the exact measurements. During the pandemic, I had time to perfect my pie. My youngest son and grandson were my testers. Last Christmas, my pies exhibited all the attributes associated with my Mom’s pies (smell, texture, look, firm but flaky crust). My testers were pleased, but I couldn’t tell if they were just giving their approval out of sympathy. A couple weeks ago, my grandson asked me if I could make him a sweet potato pie now — he didn’t want to wait until the holidays. Finally, I had the validation I needed.

What is the best lesson you have learned from working at GUMC?

I’ve learned that being in a support role, supporting the wonderful work being done at GUMC — cancer research at Georgetown Lombardi, the education and training of future physicians, nurses and other health care professionals in the School of Medicine, School of Nursing and School of Health, and the basic science and translational biomedical research done in Biomedical Research and Graduate Education — brings me great satisfaction. I am proud to say that I work at GUMC.