With another season of United Way of Central Florida’s Loaned Executive Program coming to a close, we held a thank you lunch in honor of Whitney Bell, Thomas Costello, Estefania Mendoza, Jennifer Northway, Emily Plank, Kristie Rovira and Lauren Winkle.
Our LEs do a lot of important work that keeps UWCF operating smoothly while learning the true scope of the organization and why it’s important to the community.
Here is what some of those LEs had to say at that lunch:
I have been a coordinator for three years at the store level with United Way. So when I came here I thought I knew pretty much everything. I thought it would be so easy because I had done it for so long. But my first two weeks here I was like “I don’t know anything, what is going on?” Reading pals, I’d never heard of that. All the stuff with 2-1-1, I’d never heard about it. I just knew “Education, Income, Health, Safety Net; Tri-County Area.” After about a month, I finally got into it and it was an eye-opening experience.
This has been the most humbling experience of my life. I really wanted to do the Loaned Executive program because I wanted to pull myself out of my comfort zone and do something new. And I was scared to death. The first couple of days, I didn’t know if I was going to make it. But I’ve learned so much. Presenting at the agencies and just going to visit them and listening to their stories has really opened my eyes and let me see just who United Way helps.
Up until 2009, I was the executive director of the American Red Cross right here in Polk and Highlands counties. When you retire, you normally move away but in this case I didn’t because my wife has an amazing job. So United Way reached out to me, which is the other family I have. They’ve allowed me for the last seven years to do exactly what I like to do. It lets me keep my fingers in the community to know what’s going on. For the last seven years, it’s been a great experience and I recommend it to anybody in the community who’d like to come out and do it.
This was an awesome experience. As I started getting into it and seeing all the areas we cover, I was blown away. I didn’t have any idea that we covered all these accounts. We did presentations and, along the way, you form your own speech and get to know United Way and how many people we help. I’ll be honest; I did not know what United Way was. I did not know we touched so many people and I did not know everybody’s funds goes right into helping the neighborhoods. I was able to learn that the children are being helped and put into our schools. It’s so empowering to start something like this and finish it with such a broad outlook on how we help the community.
Apr 27/18 07:00 AM - 09:00 AM UWCF Highlands County Division Annual Meeting- Sebring Civic Center-Breakfast 7:30am
May 15/18 05:30 PM - 08:30 PM 2018 Annual Meeting-RP Funding Center- Reception 5:30pm - Dinner 6:30pm - Program 7:00pm
May 17/18 09:00 AM - 11:00 AM Infant Massage at Family Fundamentals
May 17/18 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM Board of Directors Meetings
Jun 13/18 08:30 AM - 10:30 AM Community Impact Cabinet, meets quarterly