What a year to be the Executive Director of United Way of Enid & Northwest Oklahoma! We had a record number of campaign chairs, a record breaking campaign, and embarked on our first ever Impact Initiative: "United: Early Education. Strong Families. Bold Economy."
Sixteen months ago when I accepted the position of Executive Director for United Way, I literally showed up as a stranger on the front porch of Ken and Tina Helms—suitcase in hand. They embraced me like family and raised me for the next three months.
Those ninety days turned into more of a commitment than anyone could foresee as Ken Helms and the entire Enid Fire Department served as our 2013-14 Campaign Chairs and are now in our history books as our largest campaign ever! Congratulations to Ken, Chief Joe Jackson, Assistant Chief Bill Burkhart, and the other 80 firefighters who served us so well throughout the past year. Each of you is an absolute joy to work alongside. Never once did you say, "No;" you attended all events; and you always exceeded every expectation. Thank you!
To my Executive Committee: You, too, have become family. And I do not say that lightly. At every turn, you have been encouraging, supportive, insightful, and visionaries. Your leadership is unparalleled. Thank you for not only being all these things, but also for expressing your kindness to me with your words and deeds.
To Our Board of Directors: It is my great honor to work with each of you both in United Way and throughout the community. Your commitment to this great organization shows in your positive attitude, your support of our many endeavors and especially our new impact work.
To Stan & Gail Brownlee, Dr. Bob & Betty Shuttee, Dianne Juhnke, Cheri Ezzell, Dr. Wayne McMillin, Christine Smith, Shawn Hime, and the members of our new Tocqueville Society: Years from now, my thank you will ring shallow in light of the lasting legacy you are leaving on this community. I have no idea how to voice my appreciation to you for what you are making happen for the children and families who need it most in our community. I am in awe—not just of your generosity—but your commitment to make life better for all through your generous gifts of time, talent, and resources. You are not only impacting the lives we see today, but also those not yet born. What treasures you are!
To my/our Agency Directors: Thank you for the tremendous work you do every day in our community. You and your staff work tirelessly to provide the highest level of service possible, stretch your resources beyond imagination, all while treating your clients with the utmost dignity. You are extraordinarily gifted and make fundraising for you... fun! Our Director's support group is a highlight for me as I watch you collaborate, assist, and reach out to one another without fear of competition. We recently tabulated the numbers you turned in—more than 499,000 acts of service were reported through our sixteen partner agencies and our Venture Grant recipients! A million thanks for your unprecedented efforts!
To each of our donors, thank you. YOU ARE UNITED WAY. Every day I realize that every good thing that happens through our organization is possible because of YOU! No gift is too small to make a difference, and every donor is a hero.
Last, but certainly not least, I thank God for the opportunity to be in Enid, America. This past year has been extraordinary and I look forward to an electrifying 2014-15 campaign!
The University of Oklahoma recently featured an article on our own Executive Director, Pamela Ballard, and how her education equipped her to lead the United Way of Enid & NW Oklahoma.
Read the full story here: http://clsblog.ou.edu/degree-change-cls-difference/