Nancy’s Blog: February 2020

By |2021-05-28T16:09:45-07:00March 17th, 2020|Categories: Nancy's Blogs|

Nancy’s Blog: February 2020

Nancy stands in front of Red Cross event wallpaper

Feb 3: Many thanks to our community partner, Jose Cruz with San Diego Council on Literacy, for inviting me to participate in a brainstorming session with Dr. Robert Singer. The SDCOL is exploring ways to generate more support for their work and brought together several people to provide their thoughts and input. Many ideas were brought forward and it will be exciting to see how they bring the best ones to fruition!

Feb 4: We kicked off the inaugural Board Service Training program today in partnership with USD! With many thanks to Women United who donated a portion of the costs from their funds, we hosted 18 women in a two-day program. The participants are now certified as trained board leaders who are armed with best practices for board service. Next up is a matching workshop with board service participants and area nonprofits to find the best fit for both. This program will help build the capacity of nonprofits through even more effective board service!

Feb 5: United Way and the Labor Council have had a long standing partnership not only in San Diego County but across the country. Today, Jim Woods, VP Corporate Relations and I met with UWSD board member and Secretary of the Labor Council, Keith Maddox, along with United Way Worldwide Union partnership representative, Josh Cazares to talk about ways to strengthen our union partnerships here in San Diego County. We agreed connecting with and strengthening our partnerships with union leaders will be a step in the right direction.

Feb 6: I received an invitation to participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony at the Hawking STEAM Charter school in San Ysidro. Funded by the Turner-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund, the new facility has robotics to art classes and is based on Andre Agassi’s interest to promote charter schools that are out performing all other charter schools. I appreciated the time I had to talk with Andre about education and the disparities that exist within the system that impact students’ ability to succeed.

That afternoon we hosted an open house in our building so we could all meet each other. We recently did some renovations throughout the building and greeted new tenants. By walking around to each of the offices, we were able to meet our co-tenants, see their space and learn more about what they are doing!

Feb 7: I started the day wearing red for women’s heart day since heart disease is the number one killer of women! At the CEO breakfast hosted by Betsy Brennan, Downtown Partnership and Rip Rippetoe, San Diego Convention Center, we learned more about the Workforce Partnership + Childcare findings. A discussion about the need for affordable and accessible childcare in the downtown area was highlighted.

Feb 10: Jim Woods, VP Corporate Relations & I had lunch with Bill Stanczykiewicz of the Fund Raising School at the University of Indiana. He was in town for another meeting and always spends some time with a local nonprofit to learn about their work in fund-raising. We talked about the impact of the standard tax deductions across the country and how nonprofits are adjusting to the changes.

Feb 12: We are down to crunch time with a big proposal we are working on and United Way Worldwide calls a meeting in Atlanta! There are just those days in the life of a working professional when the choices are not fun ones! So off I head to Atlanta and thank goodness for amazing staff and partners who continued the work on the big proposal! On staff, many thanks to Ian Gordon, Chief Impact Officer & Shannon Gonzalez, COO as well as community partners Bridget Lambert & Kathryn Shade (NCRC) and Jessica Peter (211)! We couldn’t have done it without all of y’all!

Feb 13: Jim Woods (I don’t know if others attended) attended the 149th anniversary celebration of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce! The Chamber has been a long time partner of UWSD and CEO, Jerry Sanders is a former CEO of UWSD. Congratulations on your anniversary!

Feb 20: Continuing our Centennial celebrations we thank Drs. David & Marti Andrews for hosting our Love Your Community event at Santa Luz Country Club. February was focused on the 30’s and United Way continued its Community Chest fundraising efforts. That decade $2.1M was raised which is the equivalent of $38.3M today! Today we find ourselves needing to diversify the ways of giving back. The community chest now includes workplace giving, individual donors, grants, employee engagement through volunteering, and capacity building through board service training. Also celebrating 100 years is the NFL as well as the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote.

Feb 21: United Ways of CA published findings on the Real Cost of living throughout CA.

Currently the federal poverty guidelines are based on needs in the 60’s, primarily food and is limited in scope of living expenses. Many thanks to Henry Gascon for presenting these findings and to Sara Jacobs for introducing San Diego for Every Child. For a family of 2 adults, one pre-schooler, and one school aged child, they would need $91,675 annually to cover their real costs. The gap is estimated to be $42K between what they make and what they need. On behalf of San Diego Grantmakers & Carlos Medina and United Ways of CA, I moderated a panel with Roberto Alcantar, Chicano Federation; Sarah Bowles, JP Morgan Chase Foundation and Tony Teravainen USN (Ret.), Support The Enlisted Project.

Feb 26: I finally had a chance to catch up with Ray Ellis today. He has taken on more of a role with the Regional Taskforce on the Homeless and we talked about potential new board members as others rotate off. He also has some great insights as to the work I have been doing with United Way that I can’t wait to share with you!

Feb 27: I was honored to be asked to join the Emerging Leaders group at Raindrop to talk about my career path with them. Hosted by Danny Kim, moderator, we explored choices I made along the way, mistakes I learned from, and balancing career, single motherhood, and other interests. It is an interesting process to look back at how it has been unfolding and to dream about what the future still holds. Thanks also to Alli Temnick, UWSD and McKinna Dartez, chair of Emerging Leaders for their leadership with Emerging Leaders.

I ended the day with an interview with ABC10 news on Read Across America week that starts March 2. Celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday & our Centennial we know how important it is for children to have books and to read. A child that doesn’t reach 3rd grade reading proficiency by the end of 3rd grade is 4 times more likely not to graduate on time.

Feb 29: What a great experience to attend the Langston Hughes Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods of Jazz performance by Dr. Ron McCurdy! I was so impressed with his ability to recite the 800 word poem, while also playing the trumpet at times, leading the jazz ensemble and singing. Learning – it is a lifelong experience!

Nancy’s Blog: January 2020

By |2021-05-28T16:08:54-07:00February 24th, 2020|Categories: Nancy's Blogs|

Nancy’s Blog: January 2020

Nancy stands in front of Red Cross event wallpaper

January felt like a blur, packed with events, meetings, and lots of planning for our upcoming Centennial Celebration on 10/10/20. Along with the ongoing Census 2020 work and the important efforts of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Coalition, I’ve been appreciating the longtime collaboration we’ve enjoyed with our community partners, including 2-1-1. A resource and information hub, 2-1-1 has long been key to United Way’s success. You’ll be hearing more about other essential partners we’ve “grown up with” and “how we met” as we continue to host monthly events leading up to October’s Gala. Our celebration will also honor those groups and individuals who were instrumental in helping us improve lives across the region for 100 years.


Jan 6: We have been awarded a contract through United Ways of California to conduct a landscape survey of San Diego County with regards to kinship caregiving. As a result, I have hired Raquel Pfeifer as our project manager to conduct this survey. Kinship caregiving refers to those kids who are being cared for by relatives or by people who are close family friends or “fictive kin.” The Y is doing a lot of work in this area, as is the County Health & Human Services. I’m looking forward to where this exploration might lead us, especially as it relates to how well these kids succeed on the learning and education pathway.

Jan 8: I caught up with Rob Atterbury to learn more about ConnectEd and the work he is doing across the state. Focusing and connecting kids to their strengths early in their education may help them achieve better outcomes later along the education pathway. I’m really curious how this and the R.I.A.S.E.C. work will impact children and young adults!

As a board member for 2-1-1 San Diego, we are deep into the work of determining our strategic direction. I’m looking forward to our celebration on Feb 11 (2/11)! Led by CEO John Ohanian and consultant Paul Van Dolah, we are in good hands!

Jan 9: It is always a pleasure to capture some time with Cindy Marten, Superintendent of SDUSD! Today our conversation helped me shape the language we can use to work together to achieve common goals and to have a perspective of what’s working in order to impact what needs to be bolstered and supported.

Deep into our work leading the coalition on Census 2020, Michele Silverthorn, Shannon Gonzalez, and I met with Sonya Logman from Governor Newsom’s office and Connie Hernandez, Census 2020. Of course, we talked about how we are managing to get the work done knowing we don’t have enough money to do it all, but we also talked about lessons learned. Better coordination of information is always helpful, as is having a clear idea of how to communicate findings that are different from the original assumptions. For example, census tracts with the hard-to-count populations were identified from the 2010 census; however, some of those populations have moved since then!

Jan 10: Lunch with Claire Groebner is something I look forward to when it is on my calendar! Her work at Olivewood Gardens is taking off as they celebrate their 10th anniversary. Check out their events and learn more about healthy eating, garden growing, and everything in-between. Food insecurity is a problem in San Diego when 1 out of 5 people don’t know where their next meal is coming from. But even if you have access to food, ensuring you are eating the right foods is critical to your long-term health.

Jan 11: Congratulations to a longtime friend and colleague, John Fanestil, who’s taking on the Executive Director role with Via International and is excited about expanding their programs. Today many of us gathered in Barrio Logan to welcome him on board.

Jan 13: This morning I stopped by to welcome our spring interns who will be working with schools to address chronic absenteeism. Building connections and trust with the students, their families, and their teachers is critical to addressing the underlying reasons why a child misses school. Many thanks to Impact Manager Nina Ghatan for leading this effort for UWSD.

Jan 14: Last year I created the Kearny Mesa Nonprofit CEO breakfast group when I recognized the number of nonprofits in this area! This morning we met at 2-1-1, hosted by John Ohanian. Sharing highlights and challenges as well as discussing community topics helps build connections among us in many ways!

Jan 15: Many thanks to San Diego Grantmakers and Megan Thomas for hosting a panel to talk about Census 2020. I was honored to join Rebekah Hook-Held, San Diego LGBT Center; Herminia Ledesma, Vista Community Clinic; and Diana Ross, Mid-City CAN, as we talked about how philanthropy can support the work of the census.

Jan 16: It’s here! Today we held the kick-off event for our Centennial year! Many thanks to the staff who helped put this together, especially Alicia Quinn and Leigh Harris – although there were many others on the event committee! We highlighted the past and honored those who helped build the foundation on which we stand to move into the next century. The best part was seeing people talk with people they worked with in the past but hadn’t seen in the years since. Past CEOs, past board members, past staff, and longtime supporters joined us at the San Diego History Center!

Jan 17: 35th annual MLK Human Dignitary Awards were held at the Town & Country Resort Hotel this morning. Hundreds of people were in attendance as we all celebrated the legacy of Martin Luther King and recognized those who have upheld his values through their work.

Jan 18: More celebrations— this time to celebrate the New Year. The Karen Organization held their celebration at Horace Mann Elementary School. Both formal and informal ceremonies were held in recognition of the New Year and included a delicious lunch. The second celebration was the Chinese New Year at SDCCU Stadium parking lot. Dragon dances, performances, traditional ceremonial displays, and lots of food helped to kick off the Year of the Rat!

Jan 21: It’s always fun to learn about the dreams different organizations have to impact our community in a positive way. Listening to the dreams of Dreams for Change gives me hope that fewer people will have food insecurity and new revenue streams can be created. Stay tuned for Teresa Smith, CEO, and Kelly Spoon, Development & Fundraising, for future announcements that will help address the needs of the food insecure and small business!

I also met with Ramla Sahid, PANA; Nao Kabashima, Karen Organization; and Amina Sheikh Mohamed, UCSD, to talk about their efforts to strengthen their work in the community. We also had a chance to talk about partnerships within the Southeast San Diego Promise Zone and the important work happening there.

Jan 22: Our annual board retreat focused on our role as a transformational leader in our community. Clarifying what this means while staying focused on the Education and Learning Pathway, as well as Family Stability, will unfold in the coming weeks. What an exciting time for United Way and for me! Recently, I saw a graph from the National Center for Education Statistics showing that improvements in third grade reading levels and eighth grade math have only slightly improved since 2003. San Diego Unified School District, when compared to other large cities, is doing better than most. However, within the statistics, it shows that Latino children fall well behind their White counterparts and that those eligible for school lunch programs fall significantly behind those who are not eligible. The gap between the two groups has not changed significantly since 2003!

I also spent some time at Partnerships with Industry and CEO Rich Israel. It was good to see their impact on workforce development with their special needs clients. Changing regulations will require them to have less in-house opportunities and more worksite placements thus impacting those who are more successful at their site.

I continue to be as involved as possible with the San Diego Impact Investors Network committee of San Diego Grantmakers. Today we were discussing how we can incorporate the opportunity to launch the ImPower Initiative in San Diego County. This will be some exciting work ahead in addition to the Women’s Empowerment Loan Fund.

For a few months, I’ve tried attend the Early Childhood Mental Health Leaders collaborative meeting. I was excited to join the group with some stellar leaders participating from our community! Many thanks to Dr. Pradeep Gidwani and Dr. Jeff Rowe for convening this group to discuss how we can ensure that children in our community have the best opportunities to have a healthy start, including a healthy mental health start. The group has published position papers to ensure children’s interests are at the forefront in a variety of situations. I look forward to continuing to participate in this discussion.

One of our longest running collaborative groups is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Coalition. Since 2003, United Way, in partnership with the County Health & Human Services and the IRS, has convened 20+ partners throughout the county to provide free tax assistance. 2-1-1 is an integral partner in assisting interested clients in finding convenient locations for these services. Last year, we assisted over 33,000 people. We were able to bring back over $47M in federal and state refunds, of which, $15M was attributed to EITC! Our goal is to exceed those numbers this year! This morning, we held a press conference at 2-1-1 announcing the launch of the service for this tax season.

I ended the day at SAY San Diego exploring the possibility of creating a group of nonprofit leaders to address policy issues impacting our ability to provide effective and efficient services as well those policies that impact our business models. Many thanks to SAY San Diego CEO Nancy Hornberger for bringing this group together. We look forward to continued discussions and adding more interested leaders to the group. If you are interested in getting in on the ground floor with this group, contact Nancy at SAY San Diego.

Jan 24: United Way of San Diego County and National Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC) have decided to partner to submit a coordinated and collaborative proposal to San Diego County Health & Human Services for their latest Live Well proposal in the Southeast San Diego Promise Zone. I am so excited to be working in partnership with NCRC and the other 35 partners to create a proposal that works in alignment with the existing Promise Zone. Our partnership meeting this morning clarified our roles and responsibilities. Thanks, Bridget Lambert and Kathryn Shade, NCRC, for your leadership and partnership! And I couldn’t do this without UWSD’s Ian Gordon, Chief Impact Officer!

In the afternoon, I moderated a panel discussion on employee volunteer engagement and board service at the USD Governance Symposium. Many thanks to my panel participants, Jacob Richards, California Bank & Trust; Reid Carr, Red Door Interactive; Alicia Quinn, VP New Business Strategies, UWSD; Christina Hastings, Zovio and Women United Chair; and Pedro Villegas, SDG&E. Each of the panelists presented information about how their organization supports volunteerism and board service. UWSD talked about our new board service certification partnership with USD to support capacity building for our nonprofit community as well as our Corporate Social Responsibility efforts to link employee/individual volunteerism with our community’s needs.

I ended my day celebrating the 5-year anniversary of Zero8Hundred. United Way was one of the initial supporters of this effort when the idea was sparked by Representative Scott Peters as a way to assist veterans as they transitioned out of the military into civilian life and jobs. Their success over the last 5 years is impressive! Congratulations to their first CEO, Sean Mahoney, and their current CEO, Stephanie Kiesel.

Jan 27: Building professional colleagues is an important part of developing as a leader. I’m grateful for the camaraderie I have with Anne McEnany, Sarah Lyman, Christy Wilson, Mark Stuart, Debbie McKeon, and Beth Sirull. Dinner tonight was great as we talked about the one word that described how we were feeling. That sparked more conversation!

Jan 29: As we celebrate our Centennial anniversary, it is so much fun learning about our past! This morning, I met with a former VP of Development, Bette Hoffman, and longtime supporter and community volunteer, Linda Katz. I learned about some of our past successes and activities to recognize longtime donors. Bette is a wealth of knowledge and a real joy to talk with.

For lunch at Mister A’s, John Ohanian and I met with Jim Mulvaney, whose family has been supporters of United Way for decades, particularly through the efforts of Jim Mulvaney, Sr. He was chair of the board of our United Way, the national board, and the international board. In fact, he is attributed as having turned around the international effort! Thanks, Jim, for your family support and for the chocolate chip cookies…

Jan 30: Catching up with Elly Brown and the San Diego Food System Alliance was informative as I learned about the breadth of their work: cultivating a healthy, sustainable, and just food system in San Diego County with over 150 groups.

I was honored to be recognized as one of the top 500 leaders in San Diego County by the San Diego Business Journal, which hosted a cocktail reception for all who were recognized. The difference with this honor is that winners are not nominated; they’re selected by the newspaper. What a tremendous honor and quite a surprise!

Nancy’s Blog: December 2019

By |2021-05-27T09:56:39-07:00January 28th, 2020|Categories: Nancy's Blogs|

Nancy’s Blog: December 2019

Nancy stands in front of Red Cross event wallpaper

Dec 2

I had lunch with Dr. Marti Andrews today who has offered to host an evening of chocolate and wine pairing in February in celebration of our Centennial Year! We were finalizing the details over healthy salads so I hope you will be able to join us in one of the many celebrations throughout the year in 2020!

Dec 3

Congratulations to Alpha Project and Kitchens for Good for their Bank of America Neighborhood Builders grant! These grants also come with leadership development and technical assistance from the bank throughout the year. The breakfast also highlighted Bank of America’s broader commitment to giving back to communities across the country.

Dec 4

It has been a while, but it was good to catch up with Cea Ishikawa, Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, at lunch today. It is great to learn of the exponential growth of Planned Parenthood but not so great to hear about the continued challenges they face with federal funding.

I definitely felt the holiday season as I joined the Union delegates’ appreciation dinner tonight. Our longtime partnership with the unions through our Unions United program is an essential part of ensuring family stability. Through this program, we are able to provide food, rent and mortgage assistance, and utility bill support – not only to union members, but also to other San Diego County residents.

Dec 5

Socks Packaged as Gifts with Card

I spent some time this afternoon with Mel Katz, co-owner of Manpower, to talk about his ideas on innovation in education for San Diego County. Mel is an incredible thought leader and offered some great insights into what could be done to improve learning and education pathways for our county’s children.

Our office also celebrated the holidays with a party at Ten Barrel Brewing. The Employee Committee, and internal committee to support organizational morale, put together a wonderful celebration of each employee as well as games, like trivia. We all left with a pair of funny socks to make us smile throughout the year!

Dec 7

I stopped by HomeStart’s Boutique Thrift Store to celebrate the holiday season. Their Bright Futures candles smell wonderful and I bought several as gifts. The candles, made by HomeStart residents, are part of a special social enterprise for the organization’s women.

Dec 8

Each year, the San Diego Center for Children holds their annual Wacky Wonderland celebration for kids. I try to stop by, donate some toys, and check out the activities. Not even a light rain could stop the Wacky Wonderland train and the funny costume contest. Yummy food and games add to the festive and fun celebration!

Dec 9

I started my day with a meeting with Ed Hidalgo to talk about his program in the Cajon Valley School District. Have you heard of RIASEC? This refers to a theory of careers and vocational choice based on personality types. Many parents might say, “Oh, my son loves to draw and color,” or “My child loves to take things apart and put them back together,” but then we encourage our children to go into a field where they will earn more money. The two may or may not be connected! So, what is RIASEC? R = Realistic; I = Investigative; A = Artistic; S = Social; E = Enterprising; and C = Conventional. This was a fascinating discussion about what is working and what isn’t working in our overall education system.

Children Play with Fake Snow

It isn’t just the holiday season, it’s the season of giving back and going to holiday parties! Of course, it isn’t all about celebration: Our county’s enduring issues around supporting San Diego’s children were also top of mind this month. Whether learning about Early Childhood Education or how education impacts childhood literacy or delivering gifts to kids before Christmas, I was constantly reminded of United Way’s opportunities to align partners, leverage resources, and transform lives…not just during the holidays, but all year round.

In the afternoon, I headed over to the Strengthening Families presentation with Dr. Daniel Webster, who was presenting data on the San Diego County Child Welfare system, including the areas where we’re making progress and the areas where the trend is showing some decline. As United Way examines which children are succeeding in learning and education milestones, this data will be an important overlay in understanding how the larger environment impacts children and young adults.

Dec 10

I participated in a webinar presenting the key factors in success in Collective Impact, a term that can be lingo to some and overdone for others. United Way is a collective impact organization, and we talk about it in terms of working in partnership with others to align goals and leverage resources. Our particular interest is in resolving inequities so we can transform the lives of children, young adults, and families. There are five key elements to collective impact success, but setting common goals and building trust are key factors for that success.

In the evening, I supported Jose Cruz, Executive Director of San Diego Council on Literacy at his event honoring inductees to their Hall of Fame. One of the inductees is a longtime professional colleague – Paula Cordeiro. Congratulations, Jose, on the event and to Paula for the recognition! We are also looking at how we can partner in 2020 as we celebrate our Centennial and Read Across America/Dr. Seuss’s birthday in March.

Nancy and two women smile at an event

Dec 11

Today was about learning what’s happening in our community in the Early Childhood Learning space. This collaborative/working group is a part of San Diego Grantmakers, where we learn about each other’s work and strategize on how we can act together for positive impact.

We also connected with the Mulvaney family, longtime supporters of United Way, to talk about a blanket and towel drive for the homeless. We will partner with them and Father Joe’s Villages to distribute the items in the early part of 2020. The homeless need blankets and towels and other essentials all year round!

Dec 12

I had a chance to sit down and talk more with Elizabeth Berg, Executive Director, Wave Academy, to learn more about her professional career and the organization’s goals. It’s always exciting when you start with an organization (regardless of size) and begin to see the potential for even greater growth. Being at that cusp is exciting and frightening, but oh so rewarding when you succeed!

More holiday celebrations with Sid Voorakkara at his office downtown this evening. Great to see Sid, his wife Erin Spiewak, Nancy Jamison, Mark Dillon, Jennifer James, and Gil Cabrera! Happy Holidays to you all!

Dec 13

As we get closer and closer to all the events in our Centennial celebration, it was great to get insights from Linda Katz this morning. She is a wealth of information and an advisor extraordinaire!

Dec 16

I stopped by to celebrate the season with the American Red Cross this evening. It was my first time to the newly renovated Presidio Museum—a beautiful venue with a gorgeous view. Congratulations to Sean Mahoney, CEO, for a nice event and the ability to learn about the wide range of services provided by the American Red Cross.

Dec 17

In my quest to learn more about innovation in education, I met with Peter Zahn this morning. His work with Clairemont High School, redesigning how children learn by selecting a pillar of interest when they enter high school, is promising! The Moxie Foundation is clearly interested in learning by doing, and experiences are built into the curriculum as well.

Dec 18

I stopped by IBEW 569 to see how all the toys donated to the Holiday Toy & Food Drive (Unions United) are sorted and categorized! What an endeavor by awesome volunteers. All the toys will be distributed Friday morning, December 20, to over 650 families as well as a full holiday dinner with turkey and all the fixings!

Dec 20

Our long-lasting partnership with the Labor Council is highlighted with the annual Holiday Toy & Food Distribution. Early this morning, we all gathered at SDCCU Stadium to hand out everything you need for a full holiday meal and age-appropriate toys for the kids. Many thanks to Keith Maddox, Executive Secretary Treasurer of San Diego & Imperial Counties Labor Council and United Way San Diego board member, for Labor Union coordination and leadership as well as to Feeding San Diego!

Although it may be the holiday season for the remainder of the month, it doesn’t seem to slow down anymore! I hope you all were able to enjoy the time, maybe with family, maybe with friends, or maybe even the down time… See you in 2020!

Nancy’s Blog: November 2019

By |2021-05-28T16:10:47-07:00January 10th, 2020|Categories: Nancy's Blogs|

Nancy’s Blog: November 2019

UWSD CEO Nancy Stands With a Group of Employees Holding Build-a-Bears

Many Thanks…during the month of November, I felt gratitude everywhere: from the volunteers to CEOs, from our community partners to my staff—they all help orchestrate efforts on behalf of San Diego’s children, young adults, and families every day of the year. I especially want to thank all the longtime supporters of United Way, present and past, who we’ll honor month by month as we begin our Centennial Celebration in 2020. So much to be thankful for as we look forward to a new decade!

Nov 1:

As we enter into the season for giving thanks and celebrating the year, I attended the MAAC Soiree to kick it all off. MAAC works in many areas including economic development, education, health and well-being, housing, advocacy, and leadership development. These programs are interconnected to help families enhance their own lives through lifestyle changes. Congratulations Arnulfo Manriquez, CEO, for a wonderful, fun, and educational event.

Nov 3 & 4:

As Chair of the Planning Committee for National Philanthropy Day, this was a busy two days! I’m thankful for the many volunteers who gave up a Sunday afternoon to help set up. On Monday, it was an honor to recognize the awardees who give so much back to our community in terms of their time, talents, and/or treasures. The honorees were:

Outstanding Philanthropists – Bob & Marion Wilson

Outstanding Development Professional – Todd Kaprielian

Outstanding Philanthropic Business – Frank Motors

Outstanding Organizational Volunteers – Michael & Lisa Peckham

Outstanding Fundraising Volunteer – Jack Raymond

Outstanding Youth/Student Volunteer – Noun Abdelaziz

Outstanding Grant Making Organization – Foundation for Development Disabilities

And a special thank you to Sempra Energy as our presenting sponsor and keynote speaker, Dennis V. Arriola, Executive VP & Group President, Sempra Energy

Nov 5:

Rick Gentry has led the San Diego Housing Commission since September 2008. Today, the Housing Commission is considered a model public housing agency in the nation, and tonight, they celebrated their 40th anniversary! Working closely with the City of San Diego and the Regional Taskforce for the Homeless, the Housing Commission sets the stage for providing housing assistance to thousands of San Diego households.

Nov 7:

We held our traditional Meet & Greet for new employee, Jake Montgomery. Within the first week of joining United Way, we create a time to meet all together (as many as can join) to welcome the new employee, find out more about them, and answer questions the new employee might have about the organization. Welcome to Jake, who joins our IT department!

Nov 8:

Many thanks to Lisette Islas at MAAC for the invitation to join them at the Southwestern College Jaguar Awards. It’s always inspiring to hear the stories of those whose path to success includes pitfalls that would overwhelm many. So often, at some point in their stories they must dig deep within and decide they are going to do everything in their power to overcome the challenges. When they succeed, it is a heartwarming story. Not to take away from that success, but at United Way, we work to ensure a smooth educational pathway to help young people learn to succeed and learn to earn.

Nov 13:

Wow – what a day! I attended the Business Women of the Year luncheon hosted by San Diego Business Journal at the Hilton Bayfront. What a surprise when I heard my name called as one of the honorees! It was definitely an honor and one that truly humbles me.

Nov 14:

San Diego Grantmakers, led by CEO Debbie McKeon, brought an interesting initiative to San Diego called ImPower, focusing on place-based impact investing and the resources available, especially in the federal government. ImPower will be hosted in conjunction with the San Diego Impact Investors Network and Director of Impact Investments, Robert Foster.

As we prepare for our Centennial Year in 2020, we are recording some of our longtime supporters. Today we recorded Grant Benning, who used to run our Loaned Executives program. What a hoot to recall with him how he brought the community leaders together to run a fundraising campaign! Look for snippets of these conversations throughout 2020…

This evening, I joined a table hosted by Nancy Jamison (new Mid-City CAN board member) and Mark Dillon at the Mid-City CAN gala. Congratulations to Diana Ross, Executive Director, for a wonderful first annual event! Mid-City Community Advocacy Network works within City Heights to collaborate, advocate, and organize its citizens to create the community they envision. The teams are focused on Food Justice, Improving Transportation, Peace Promotion, and Youth Council.

Nov 15:

Each year, our Women United affinity group invites UWSD staff to their annual investment meeting to learn about upcoming or ongoing projects they may be interested in funding. This year, staff presented three ideas: Seed funding to support social and emotional learning; Match funding to support family stability; and board service training. After a week of online voting, the results were in: 40% each to the first two options and 20% to board service training. We are so thankful for Women United’s support of UWSD!

One of the many fun things we get to do at United Way is to distribute 1,200 Build-A-Bears donated by the Build-A-Bear Foundation! Today I joined staff from UPS, board member Tony Russell, and UWSD staff to distribute bears to the kids at Rady’s Alexa’s PLAYC (Playful Learning Academy for Young Children). What a joy to see the smiles on the faces of these little ones! Bringing a little joy and calm to their busy days also helps them learn.

That afternoon, I attended the luncheon hosted by Anahid Brakke, Executive Director of the San Diego Hunger Coalition. As they strive for a Hunger Free San Diego, it was interesting to learn about food insecurity and how changes in federal funding would have a devastating impact on the distribution of food throughout San Diego County. One in 5 kids don’t always have enough to eat in our county. And in case you think it is primarily the homeless who need food, 55% of adults experiencing food insecurity are employed and 43% are working full-time! That’s why United Way, through our Unions United, is helping to distribute food to those who are food insecure.

That evening, I went to the Wave Academy gala hosted by Executive Director Elizabeth Berg. I learned so much about how wave therapy is helping veterans diagnosed with PTS. They have discovered the profound and positive impact it has on military personnel, and the client story we heard was emotional. Congratulations to Elizabeth and her staff for their amazing work!

Nov 16:

Saturday night with the Black Chamber of Commerce was an exciting time! It was my great fortune to be a part of the Honorary Committee supporting Dr. Constance Carroll who received a Lifetime Leadership award. As Chancellor of the San Diego Community College District since 2004, Dr. Carroll has overseen the transformation of the second largest community college district in California to include unprecedented student success, the launch of the Promise Program, and extensive new construction activity.

Nov 18:

By now you’ve probably heard of our work in partnership with the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation in the Advancing San Diego project. The other partners include the City of San Diego, the San Diego & Imperial Counties Community College Association (SDICCCA), and the San Diego Workforce Partnership. Today we had a partner meeting to provide updates on our progress to date. Congratulations to UWSD’s James McConchie, Manager of Data & Evaluation, for his presentation on the structure of the evaluation process that was approved by the national evaluator.

Nov 19:

UWSD runs an annual employee giving campaign much like our other workplace giving programs. Each year I take those who have given at the $1,000 leadership or greater to lunch to thank them for their support of our work. Many, many thanks to all those who are leadership gift donors!

I also met with Jerry Sanders, CEO, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and Allison Phillips, Director of Communications, to provide an update on United Way. We also talked about how we can partner in 2020 in celebration of our Centennial Year!

As we end the month of November with the Thanksgiving holiday, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. At our annual potluck, we shared stories about a memorable Thanksgiving, and I was reminded that not everyone around the world celebrates this holiday. Many staff talked about their first Thanksgivings in the U.S., and the common theme was how welcoming and family-like our setting seemed. I definitely give thanks for my family and all my friends who also feel like family.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nancy’s Blog: October 2019

By |2021-05-28T16:14:54-07:00November 26th, 2019|Categories: Nancy's Blogs|

Nancy’s Blog: October 2019

Nancy standing with a group of people from Wawanesa

It was a busy month! Between campaign season kickoffs and visits from United Ways of California and United Way Worldwide, October was a whirlwind of many ways to unite the way! On top of that, as Planning Committee Chair for National Philanthropy Day—you’ll hear about that next month—I was amazed to learn of all the great efforts going on to give back to our community. This is another reason why we align partners and leverage shared resources to transform lives. In the season of giving thanks, giving back feels good!

Oct 1

This is our campaign season and the day started with one of our newest campaign partners – Wawanesa! Last year, they entered the charts in the top 25! Wawanesa staff – Chris Henn, President of US Operations; John Erickson, VP of Product Management; and Laura Gropen, Communications Manager (current campaign coordinator) – all gave inspiring talks about giving back and the Wawanesa commitment to United Way. Leo Morales, Marketing Manager, the previous coordinator, received many thanks for launching such a successful campaign last year. Carlee Chatman, UWSD Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, talked about United Way’s work and how we align with partners across the County. I added additional words of encouragement and support for the leaders who will be encouraging their staff to participate.

At lunch, I caught up with Veronica de la Rosa, Executive VP of Operations at San Ysidro Health. Everyone has so much going on, but I am hopeful we can find an intersection between their work in the community and our work around Education and Family Stability. What ideas do you have?

Oct 2

Did you know several nonprofit organizations are located in the Kearny Mesa area? We have formed a group called the Kearny Mesa Nonprofit District, and about every other month we get together to share our work, updates, and topics of the day. This morning, we met at SAY San Diego and were hosted by CEO Nancy Gannon Hornberger. We also had a chance to visit their new workplace daycare center! This great idea will meet a huge need for working families. I wish it were so easy to set that up and provide such an amazing option for people at work and in the community.

Oct 3

Many thanks to UWSD board member, Dr. David Andrews, President of Sanford College of Education at National University, for hosting our board orientation today. We are welcoming Carol Kim, Director of Community Engagement, Political Director, San Diego Building & Construction Trades Council; Allie Matthews, Director of Commercial & Finance, GKN Aerospace Engine Systems; Kisha Borden, President, San Diego Education Association; and Naila Chowdhury, Director, Social Impact & Innovation, University of California, San Diego.

I also had a chance to meet up with Dr. Kathleen Lang, VP Regional Operations, California Health & Wellness. I first started working with Kathleen while partnering in Imperial County. Due to company changes and growth, she is also covering San Diego County. This is another opportunity to see how health and education can partner!

What a fun event tonight with Guild Mortgage! Many thanks to Amber Ewell, UWSD Finance committee member, for the invitation to attend their annual fundraising gala. They started out the day with a golf tournament and ended with a silent auction and dinner. All of the proceeds will go to three charities – Home Start, Monarch School, and Urban Corps. One lucky table was drawn to receive a steak and lobster dinner in lieu of the dinner everyone else received. There was also a fundraising drive to pick out your dessert—our dessert runner did a great job!

Oct 7

For some time, a small group of CEOs have been gathering for dinner to learn about each other and to talk about our successes and challenges. Tonight, we met at Stone Brewing in Liberty Station and were hosted by Mark Stuart, San Diego Foundation, and Debbie McKeon, San Diego Grantmakers. Great discussion about how we might be able to share information in the future! The awesome company also included Christy Wilson, Rancho Santa Fe Foundation, and Anne McEnany, International Community Foundation.

Oct 8

It was also great to catch up with Linda Katz this morning. Linda is always full of ideas, great feedback and awesome connections! Thanks, Linda, for your friendship and your mentorship!

Oct 9

I was connecting with Laura Roos, Moss Adams, LLC, about the work of United Way. We talked about possible skills-based volunteering with their staff and our financial stability work. This could be a great partnership!

Oct 10

Thanks Stephen Russell, CEO, San Diego Housing Federation, for the invitation to introduce the keynote speaker and fellow United Way colleague, Chris Ko, today. Chris has done amazing work on homelessness and housing with the United Way of Greater Los Angeles! Stephen, who is also doing great work, is focused on an upcoming ballot initiative to provide housing for the homeless. Check out the San Diego Housing Federation website for more information about this initiative.

people standing in front of alaska airlines sign

Oh, how rewarding it is to align goals and leverage resources! Today, Alicia Quinn, VP of New Business Strategies; Mitch Medrano, Corporate Social Responsibility Coordinator; Carlee Chatman, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager; and I brought together employees from Alaska Airlines and Barrio Logan College Institute (BLCI) to prepare the new administration building for occupancy, and to start the students out with books and notes of encouragement. BLCI will be moving into a new space that needed to be painted so they will have a fresh start at their new location! In addition, the students will receive new books to start the New Year. Shaunta Hyde, Alaska Airlines’ Managing Director, Community Relations, spearheaded the effort, and it was an impressive day of service!

Nancy and woman stand in front of airport sign

Oct 11-12

Not many people can say they ran on the runway – legally – at San Diego International Airport. The San Diego Regional Airport Authority held a fundraising event for Authority and Airline staff for United Way. Jim Woods, VP of Corporate Relations, and I were able to be a part of the activities. Why was this a two-day event? We arrived at 11:45 p.m. on the 11th, but the last plane didn’t land until midnight. We got out on the tarmac/runway close to 12:30 a.m.! How fun it was to do this one-in-a-lifetime run – and to do it for United Way made it all that much better…

Oct 12

Jim Woods and I attended the annual Celebration Under the Dome, a great event raising money for the Library Foundation. For United Way, libraries and access to books are critical to a student’s success. Reading, and being read to, provides the building blocks for learning well beyond childhood. As we work to build a smoother learning and education pathway for our children and young adults, reading is an important piece of that pathway. So, too, is supporting the family that might not have many books in the house and libraries can fill that need.

Oct 14

United Ways of California staff were in town today for a meeting of the Statewide Associations within United Way. I had the opportunity to have lunch with CEO Pete Manzo, along with Henry Gascon and Nalleli Sandoval from UWCA, to talk about the census, kinship caregivers, United Way Worldwide, and the upcoming statewide meeting.

Oct 15

San Diego Grantmakers has launched a new program on Leading Equity. I am honored to have been selected to participate! Today was our first day and we started off learning about the history of San Diego County (and beyond) with Dr. Stan Rodriguez, Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel. We also talked about some of the historical stories that impact our community today – such as Enforcing the Border, Japanese Incarceration, and Redlining. What a powerful way to start the conversation!

Oct 16

I attended the Early Childhood Funders meeting chaired by Judy McDonald today. Facilitated and housed at San Diego Grantmakers, we received an update on the work that Price Philanthropies is doing through Sakara Tear, Program Officer. Their project is two-fold: first, to work with 30 caregivers to pilot an activity box that will help strengthen the education of the children under their care; second, to explore how to provide financial literacy education to caregivers so they can create successful caregiving businesses. David Lynn, Mission Driven Finance, gave an update on some of their findings: most want caregiving near or in their workplace, and there are workplace challenges in making the facility changes necessary to provide licensed childcare.

Oct 17

Urban Corps of San Diego celebrated their 30th anniversary tonight with food, drinks, music, and fire dancers! Urban Corps works with young adults, ages 18-26, to provide paid job training, support services, and an opportunity to earn a high school diploma. Youth success is one of our core areas to ensure youth are on a college or career pathway after high school.

Oct 18

Every year, USD releases the annual report on the State of Nonprofits. The report provides fascinating data about the role of nonprofits in the community and the economic impact they provide. Trends are examined and challenges revealed through data and one-on-one conversations. What stood out to me this year was the need for capacity building, strong collaboration, and leadership development.

Oct 22

As Planning Committee chair for National Philanthropy Day this year, I was excited to be a part of the VIP Reception at Sempra Energy to learn more about our honorees. We are so thankful for all that Sempra Energy does for our community and appreciate their generosity for the reception and this year’s National Philanthropy Day celebration! I hope you will join us on November 4 to learn more about this year’s honorees.

Oct 23

Our Women United group is so awesome! Tonight at Women Who Wine, attendees brought diapers for the children at Home Start. Laura Mustari-Baese provided an overview of their work with parenting and pregnant teens. We are always looking for ways to align partner goals with our ability to leverage resources to achieve those goals. I stopped by to say hi and give many thanks to all who attended. We even had visitors from other events who stopped by to learn more about what we were doing!

Oct 25

United Way has a seat on the San Diego Workforce Partnership Policy Board, and today I had the opportunity to fill in for our UW board representative, Jacob Richards. My first time sitting in the seat at the Council Chambers! Exciting information was released about the job vacancies in highest demand. I also learned about RIASEC, a theory of six personality types (Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional) that focuses on career and vocational choice. A person is often more than one type but knowing which are strongest helps that person determine where they will work best. It was great to hear from David Blustein and Ed Hidalgo and the work in the Cajon Valley School District.

Many thanks to Scott Suckow, American Liver Foundation, for reconnecting me to Kay Dendy, OraSure. Kay worked at the national office for Planned Parenthood when I was working at the affiliate level. It was great to catch up!

Oct 26

I stopped by the Youth Development Master Plan workshop to hear the report outs from the working groups. It is critically important to hear from youth who are living in environments that will/could be impacted by any Master Plan to create a better/stronger future for them. Assembly member Todd Gloria was also there. Great job by the youth brought together by Sean Elo and his team at Youth Will.

Oct 27

This evening was the first time I’ve met with several other United Way CEOs around the state. Organized by Pete Manzo, United Ways of California, we had a great discussion about changes within United Way Worldwide and the mutual agreement with UWW and United Way of the Bay Area, as well as many non-work related topics.

Oct 28-29

I participated in the statewide meeting of CA United Ways in Burbank. We were honored to hear directly from the UWUS CEO, Suzanne McCormick, about where she wants to go with our work by creating the Modern United Way! We are also talking about work we are doing statewide around kinship caregiving and connections with 2-1-1.

Oct 30

The second seminar of the Leading Equity work with San Diego Grantmakers took me out to the Sycuan Cultural Center, Kumeyaay Community College, and the Red Tail Grill. Did you know that the Kumeyaay lands cover much of Southern California and into Baja? As a result, it seems odd to them that they must go through the border crossing that divides their land. The fires in Valle de Guadalupe are currently threatening the homes of people they know.

Oct 31

The Airport Authority is one of our stellar corporate partners every year! Today, they took their leadership gift donors to Kitchens for Good to learn about their work providing culinary skills/training for hard-to-hire individuals and placing them in kitchens around the county. In addition, Kitchens for Good repurposes produce into edible, yummy food and distributes meals to sites around the county. I also presented our thanks from United Way for their leadership gifts and talked about how we put that money to work to transform lives of children, young adults, and families.

We also held our annual Halloween bake-off in the building with United Way and all of our tenants. Corporate Social Responsibility Coordinator Mitch Medrano won the bake-off contest for his cheesecake ghost bites, and the costume contest winner was Senior Impact Manager Rachel Liber who came as Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball”!

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