Tell us about yourself.
Born in Birmingham, Alabama, I’ve been in Indiana since childhood, although I still claim my southern roots. Growing up in very modest surroundings, we had a Christ-centered life where I continuously saw, especially through my dad, the meaning of service – first service to church then service to my fellow human beings.
A modest extravert, I’m creative, intuitive and a prolific writer although I’ve never written a book…yet! As an art and English major in college, I appreciate art in the world. Simple things like the formation of clouds against an unusual sky. I apply my love of art to decorating and the art of communicating with others. And that usually equals diplomacy, compassion, collaboration and empathy.
What are you passionate about?
Serving. Service comes in many forms. I choose to serve in ways where I believe, without a doubt, it ultimately benefits someone else. Giving my time is an important aspect, however, for me being able to ‘give’ the benefits of my professional career and training is especially rewarding. Having a strategy woven with accountability is very appealing to me. My passion to serve has to matter. At the end of the day, if one person benefits from my involvement as a servant to an organization, then life just gets better by some measure, whether large or small.
When and how did you first become involved with United Way?
A really long time ago…over thirty I think. I was asked to be a Torchbearer for United Way by my employer. After the training and experiences going to different companies telling the United Way story, I was hooked. Ultimately I was asked to join the Board as a result of being recommended by a dear friend who had been a Board member for many years and am honored to have chaired a variety of committees.
UWCI is a complex organization, with a variety of moving parts involving countless individuals, both staff and volunteers and its impact on lives in Central Indiana is immense. Being a volunteer affords one the opportunity to learn, not just about the community, but to be exposed to the complexities of solving significant community issues that impact us all. Being a volunteer affords one the benefit of gaining wisdom and the transfer of knowledge from veteran volunteers who happen to also be high-level leaders in their organizations and/or businesses.
The greatest treasure I received and am still benefitting from is the continuous learning about this community, its needs, and the evolution of UWCI as a key convener of people and organizations to help ensure individuals are ready to learn, earn and lead safe and healthy lives.
Why do you choose support United Way’s mission?
UWCI is focused. I prefer my volunteer time be used in organized, focused, intentional environments. UWCI’s four priorities and community goals align perfectly with those preferences. The accountability-based operation of UWCI ensures the best possible use of donor dollars to those aligned organizations that are charged with executing those priorities.
To be affiliated as a volunteer for an organization whose impact is quantified on every level of work is amazing. From personal experiences with agency reviews, agency tours, the Community Impact & Engagement Committees, the Executive Committee and more, I “get” UWCI because it understands how to get problems solved.
For me, it’s not about “me”, it’s about giving to others and I believe United Way is the best possible way to serve broadly.
When did you become involved with Diversity Leadership Circle?
I’ve been a donor at the DLC level for many years going back to when it was called the Minority Key Club. Donating to UWCI at any level is important overall, but it’s especially gratifying to identify with a particular segment of donors whose contributions are not only notable, but also provide an additional means of having a voice as a volunteer.
What interested you most about Diversity Leadership Circle?
First and foremost, I’m interested in being a donor with time, talent and treasure. Having the history of its beginning (Minority Key Club) makes it all the more is special. I’m grateful for the wisdom of the Key Club’s founders Bill Mays, Faye Williams and Dr. Frank Lloyd, for providing a means for individuals from diverse backgrounds to be engaged as donors.
Equally, I believe it’s important that all donors be aware of UWCI’s diverse donor base.
What is your favorite memory or event with Diversity Leadership Circle?
Two things: 1. Chairing DLC as it began on a strategic-accountability and 2. The Minority Volunteer Recognition Breakfast which ceased a few years ago. The breakfast allowed the community to witness significant volunteerism from a diverse group of individuals within our community.
Click here to submit a Diversity Leadership Circle interest form. You will be contacted by the staff manager directly.