Milton E. Potter, a second-term Senator in the 34th Legislature, was born on the island of Tortola, and is a proud product of the U.S. Virgin Islands Public School System from kindergarten through grade 12. He is a graduate of Florida A&M University where he obtained a bachelorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s degree in Criminal Justice and a masterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s degree in School Psychology.
Milton and his seven siblings grew up on the island of St. Thomas where they were raised with three fundamental tenets: Ã¢â‚¬Å“education is the great equalizer;Ã¢â‚¬Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“family is the bedrock of the community;Ã¢â‚¬Â and Ã¢â‚¬Å“a good name is a prized possession that must be nurtured and cherished.Ã¢â‚¬Â In the early years, despite struggling to make ends meet, his parents, Margaret, a salesclerk and Cecil, a Port Authority firefighter, further expanded their already large family by adopting a daughter who was in need of love and support. The tireless work ethic of his parents and their unwavering commitment to serving others contributed to MiltonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s decision to pursue a lifelong career in public service, culminating in his decision to run for a seat in the Virgin Islands Legislature.
Early in his career, Milton served as a School Psychologist and Counselor at Florida State University in Tallahassee Florida. Upon returning home, he worked as Project Counselor for the Upward Bound Program at the University of the Virgin Islands, serving as an advisor, counselor, and mentor to high school youth. In the late 1990s, he made a career shift to the field of human resources, and rose to the pinnacle of the HR field, to include HR Director at the Virgin Islands Port Authority (VIPA) and Director of Personnel for the Government of the Virgin Islands. Milton is a Senior Certified Professional with the Society for Human Resources Management. He is also a trained mediator. His diligence, calm demeanor, and commitment to fairness, support his swift ascension in these people-oriented fields.
During his five-year stint as HR Director at VIPA, Milton was responsible for agency-wide recruitment and retention and managed the AuthorityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s human capital. He was charged with interpreting and implementing local and federal employment laws, managing employee grievances and all contract negotiations with unionized workers.
As Director of Personnel for the Government of the Virgin Islands, Milton managed a $43,000,000 budget, a staff of 42 direct-reports and 80 agency personnel officers disbursed throughout government. He oversaw the modernization of the recruitment process through the implementation of the NEOGOV applicant tracking system, which has been a game changer in the manner in which government employees are recruited, reducing hiring time tremendously.
As an elected member of the 34th legislature and a first-term Senator, Milton effectively chaired the complex Committee on Rules & Judiciary and was also appointed to lead the LegislatureÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Committee on Ethical Conduct. He is the author of significant legislative measures and is committed to further improving the quality of life for all Virgin Islanders in the 35th Legislature.
Dedicated to civic engagement, Milton volunteers as a member of the St. Thomas Federal Credit Union Governing Board of Directors, where he has served as President and Treasurer for this $85,000,000, nationally recognized, homegrown financial institution. He is a former part-time professor at the University of the Virgin Islands, and worked at the Family Resource Center where he taught conflict resolution skills to men who were charged with domestic violence. Milton is a proud member of Wadada I Ya Cultural Fraternity. His family currently worships at the Assembly of Yahweh on St. Thomas.
Achievements and accolades notwithstanding, his most significant accomplishment to date is persuading his beautiful wife of 22 years, the former Paulette Venzen, to marry him. The couple has two sons, Dakarai, a recent graduate of Duquesne University, and Jayvyn, a sophomore at Gannon University in Erie Pennsylvania. Faith, family, and community mean everything to him. In his spare time, Milton enjoys traveling with his family and finding new things to explore in the most beautiful place on earth, the USVI.