USDA Rural Development is a government agency committed to the future of rural communities and its role is to increase rural residents' economic opportunities and improve their quality of life. Rural Development forges partnerships with rural communities, funding projects that bring housing, community facilities, utilities and other services. It also provides technical assistance and financial backing for rural businesses and cooperatives to create quality jobs in rural areas. Rural Development promotes the President's Energy Policy and, ultimately, the nation's energy security by engaging the entrepreneurial spirit of rural American in the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements. It works with low-income individuals, state, local and Indian tribal governments, as well as private and non-profit organizations and user-owned cooperatives.
Mrs. Wilder is a devoted member of the Mercy Seat Baptist Church of St. Louis where Rev. Dr. James Brown, Sr. is the pastor. She devotes and volunteers her time to teaching computer classes to the community through the church's educational program. Ms. Wilder received her Associate Degree in Computer Science from Forest Park Community College in 1983. She served as President of the Equal Opportunity Advisory Committee (EEOAC) for St. Louis Rural Development. While serving on this committee, Mrs. Wilder was the President of the Black Employment Program Council, representing the agency on the St. Louis Federal Executive Board. Mrs. Wilder is a member, since 1984, of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 3354 (AFGE Local 3354) and the Executive Vice President. AFGE Local 3354 is the sole representative for the USDA Rural Development and Farm Service Agency bargaining unit employees, representing approximately 700 employees in St. Louis, Oklahoma and Kansas. The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union representing 600,000 federal and D.C. government workers nationwide and overseas, representing workers in virtually all functions of government at every federal agency. Mrs. Wilder is a lifetime member of the National Blacks in Government (BIG) Organization. BIG was founded in 1975 and incorporated as a non-profit organization under the District of Columbia jurisdiction in 1976. BIG serves as a national response to the need for African-Americans in public service to organize around issues of mutual concern and use their collective strength to confront workplace and community issues. Divided into 11 regions, Mrs. Wilder is the President of the BIG Region VII Council, overseeing seven chapters in St. Louis, Kansas City, Nebraska and Iowa. BIG's goals are to promote equity in all aspects of American life, excellence in public service and opportunity for all Americans.
Mrs. Wilder attributes her success to her perseverance and persistence. She thanks her parents and grandmother for stability throughout her life, teaching her the importance of love and respect. She also attributes her success to her husband, Johnny L. Wilder, who has supported her throughout their 24 years of marriage. She now supports him as he completes his second tour in Iraq. In the near future, Mrs. Wilder sees herself as a Branch Chief for USDA Rural Development. Her career goal is to reach the senior executive level of government employment. Last year, she completed the BIG Darlene Young Leadership Academy Program partnered with the USDA Graduate School. According to Mrs. Wilder, "This program taught me the true meaning of dedication, leadership and excellence in all aspects of life."