United Way celebration shares details for strategic top priorities and success of fundraising campaign

Shannon Brown reads the poignant letter from Stacey Stewart to outgoing chairwoman Martha Perine Beard.

New Chairman Shannon Brown reads a congratulatory letter from United Way of America President Stacey D. Stewart to outgoing Chairman of the Board, Martha Perine Beard.

United Way of the Mid-South shared its strategic priorities for impacting local education, financial stability and health last week at its Campaign Celebration and Annual Meeting luncheon at The Peabody in Memphis, TN.

The focus on priorities took center stage as part of the strategic transformation the organization has been making since early in 2013.

In a presentation led by immediate past-chairman Martha Perine Beard, United Way unveiled its special priorities within the three focus areas of education, financial stability and health.

United Way of the Mid-South Special Priorities
Kindergarten Readiness
Third Grade Reading
College / Career Readiness
Financial Stability:
Family Sustaining Employment
Health & Community Safety:
Healthy Eating
Active Living
Domestic Violence Prevention

Martha Perine Beard

Martha Perine-Beard

Perine Beard shared details of how United Way conducted a year-long information and opinion gathering exercise from key constituents and local citizens, while simultaneously bringing leaders from business, nonprofits, government and other sectors together to provide guidance and input into the priority-forming process.

The priority results were presented by local leaders in each of United Way’s three overall areas of focus: Education (Mark Sturgis, Strive Mid-South and Seeding Success Partnership), Financial Stability (Eric Robertson, Community Lift) and Health (Debra Bartelli, Healthy Memphis Common Table).

Bruce Hopkins

Bruce Hopkins

United Way of the Mid-South’s 2012/2013 General Campaign Chairman Bruce Hopkins (president of the West Tennessee region for First Tennessee Bank) was thanked for his leadership, hard work and expertise to raise funds across the eight-county metro area in 2013-14.

The fundraising drive continues for several weeks as some organizations are still wrapping up campaign efforts this spring, but Hopkins was able to recognize the top 20 overall organizations and reveal this year’s grand total of more than $23 million. Top campaign givers included FedEx with $4.6 million; International Paper Company, $1.4 million; and the Combined Federal Campaign, $1.4 million.

Mike Womack, Senior Vice President of Human Resources for AutoZone and a member of the United Way Campaign Cabinet and Board of Directors, showcased the organizations with top increases and top participation during last year’s campaign. (Note: Slideshow files highlighting Bruce Hopkins’ report on the top 20 organizations and Mike Womack’s presentations for the top participation and top increases will be shared here at the United Way News Center later this week.)

Chairman of the Board Shannon Brown

Chairman of the Board Shannon Brown

The new United Way Chairman of the Board of Directors,  Shannon Brown (senior vice president, chief human resources and diversity officer at FedEx Express) started his service as Chairman with a touching tribute to outgoing chair, Martha Perine Beard (Memphis regional executive for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in Memphis).

Perine Beard has a long history with United Way and has provided strong leadership in a variety of positions throughout her service with the Board. She will continue serving the Board and our community as Chairman of the Nominating Committee. She was also presented with a bouquet of flowers and a personal letter from from United Way Worldwide’s President of United Way of America, Stacey D. Stewart. (Note: A copy of Stewart’s letter will be shared here at the United Way News Center later this week.)

PamMcKelvySlide2The event closed with a special guest speaker, Pam McKelvy, veteran broadcast anchor who has worked for both WREG News Channel 3 and Action News 5 WMC-TV. McKelvy’s brave fight against breast cancer has expanded her understanding of the importance of helping others and giving to support our community. She spoke about how her struggle has changed the way she sees the world and the importance of keeping God first. Many were moved by her very poignant story and McKelvy stayed after the meeting to talk one-on-one with attendees who wanted to wish her well and share their appreciation for her remarks. G. Bradley Wanzer Jr. Award For Excellence

Early in the meeting, United Way President Bryce Haugsdahl presented the chosen agency for the G. Bradley Wanzer, Jr., Award for Excellence to Binghampton Development Corporation. Robert Montague, executive director for the agency received the award and expressed his appreciation for the honor, promising the audience that the $25,000 stipend will be put to good use for our community. Read more about the Wanzer Award

Bill Logue, president and CEO of Fedex Freight, gave the United Way Board Nominating Report which saluted Board members who had completed their terms of service and welcomed new and returning Board members who will help lead United Way in the future. More details about the Board of Directors will be shared in coming days on the United Way News Center.

After the revelation of the campaign total, the volunteer who is leading the charge to raise resources for United Way in 2014-15 was announced. United Way’s new General Campaign Chairman is Charlie Maxwell, Chief Financial Officer at Morgan Keegan, which was acquired by Raymond James. Maxwell announced his hopes for a strong campaign next year, and joked that given the impressive performance by Bruce Hopkins, “maybe we should start collecting right now.” Maxwell has served on the Board as a member of the Investments committee and Finance committee in the past.

(Numerous members of the United Way Communications department contributed to this article)
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