August was all about partnerships—new, existing, and prospective! San Diego is home to so many companies and individuals who are interested in advancing social impact. We all agree that we’re stronger together, and UWSD is uniquely positioned to align with partners and leverage resources to achieve our shared goals: transforming the lives of children, young adults, and families in our community.
United Way Worldwide is launching a new product in partnership with Salesforce. Jim Woods, VP Corporate Relations, Alicia Quinn, VP New Business Strategies, UWSD board member Ka’eo Griffin, UPS, and I went up to Orange County to learn more about it. I’m excited to explore this opportunity more not only with UWW but also with our community. Stay tuned!
I had lunch with Andrea Yoder Clark as she transitions into a new role with a new company. Andrea also works with USD and we may be able to collaborate with her students this coming school year. They will be exploring projects—which include data analysis—that will inform current decision-making needs.
Thanks to Tom Pellette, Solar Turbines President & Senior VP of Caterpillar, for spending some time on the phone to talk about our campaign with Solar Turbines. I also had the chance to welcome him back to San Diego and congratulate him on his new role with Solar Turbines. We talked about strengthening our workplace campaign and our mutual love for Texas!
In the afternoon, Ian Gordon, Chief Impact Officer, and I met with the coalition that is talking about creating a master plan for child and youth development. Even in the early stages of meeting, it is clear that it would serve our community well to coordinate the many efforts already in place to create a community that encourages and supports children and youth to thrive and prosper in San Diego County. We will continue to grow this group so that all organizations serving children and youth see their work represented in it. The ultimate goal is to ensure that the youth voice is a part of this development early on and throughout each phase. If you would like more information, contact Ian Gordon at or Sean Elo at .
A successful meeting with CEO Kevin Graney and his staff at NASSCO included Jim Woods, VP of Corporate Relations, and me as we talked about their workplace campaign and increasing its success. Moving the coordination to the HR and Communications team will strengthen our connection. We also talked about a tour of the site for our Emerging Leaders group. If you want to find out more about how we are leveraging resources, consider joining Emerging Leaders or Women United! Contact Jim Woods at .
Steve O’Kane and Victor Bloomberg presented on the work of their Executive Consulting business – Bloomberg & O’Kane – and how they’re achieving sustainable results. They bring a lot of experience to this work and can show where their efforts have generated substantial results. I look forward to seeing how their business grows and develops!
What a fun day this morning to attend the annual Police Day at Jeremy Henwood Park. Kids from several different organizations come out to the field and learned about the canine unit, police work, SWAT team, and forensics. The fire department even brought out a fire truck for the kids to investigate! After they visited all the stops, they came back to get “Book Bucks,” which lets them get books to read at home! Thanks to SDPD and SDFD for supporting this effort. They brought a positive image to the kids around law enforcement and the important role the police and fire departments play in our community!
That evening I went to the retirement party for Charo Tilaro. Nick Macchione, Director of San Diego County Health and Human Services, said goodbye to his long-time assistant tonight at an awesome reception and dinner event. If you ever had to schedule a meeting with Nick, you had to go through Charo – and she was extraordinary! She will be missed by all, but it is a well-deserved retirement as well.
Ian Gordon and I met with Connie Matsui this morning to get feedback and advice from her about the master plan for children and youth. She continues her interest in this area as she leaves her interim CEO role with the San Diego Foundation. She brings a wealth of information and a highly respected perspective on this topic. We appreciate her time and thoughts on how best to proceed as we look to align community goals and leverage resources and expertise!
Later that morning, Jim Woods and I met with Aditi Salvi, Tiffany Yarling, and Sondra Riehart at Solar Turbines. We were welcoming Aditi into her new role at Solar Turbines as VP of Human Resources. Solar Turbines has some fun events planned as they launch their workplace campaign, especially the pie-eating contest. I hope I get to see this one! Solar Turbines has been a longtime partner with United Way, and we appreciate their support throughout the year!
I stopped by the open house for Project Chop this afternoon as they opened their community garden produce and other vendors to the public. Fresh produce and yummy food along with other vendors were presented and produced by refugees and new immigrants to San Diego County. Food insecurity is a primary concern when we talk about family stability in many parts of our county. This is just one way communities are addressing the problem.
United Way Worldwide hosted the Equity Summit in New Orleans over three days. It was an incredible time spent diving deep into the issues of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. Denise Barreto, Relationships Matter, was the keynote speaker who stood out the most to me. Denise challenged us to understand our own story and how it impacts our view of the world down to our view of our work. I’m excited to bring this to United Way internally and externally.
Many thanks to United Way of San Diego County board member Jacob Richards, California Bank & Trust, for the invitation to attend the San Ysidro Health Center’s 50th anniversary gala. This was a great opportunity to celebrate all they have done to provide services to the community, especially those in the South Bay Area.
It was good to catch up with Cara Dessert, CEO of the LGBT Center, this morning to hear more about what she is doing to learn from the community as they plan for the future. UWSD is working with The Center in our work on outreach and education for Census 2020.
Dr. Rodney Hood is an amazing resource in our community and especially in the Diamond District. I met with him to talk about our work as the administrator of the Census 2020 work and how it will impact the Diamond District. His insights were very helpful, and I’m hopeful we will find ways to work together in the future.
As are many of you, we are also meeting with members of the Board of Supervisors. Our meeting with Supervisor Gaspar and Christi Knight was informative and will shape our work in the future.
It was great to build on the camaraderie generated from an evening collaboration between Women United, Emerging Leaders, and their guests as we enjoyed an opening reception at The LOT and a screening of No Small Matter. The film showcases how very young children across the country are missing out on opportunities because of low teacher pay, two-parent working families, and funding access. It will break your heart to see the disparity that a lack of access creates.
I was honored to be invited to a community feedback session, hosted by SDG&E, on the utility’s various efforts to educate the public on how to reduce costs, deploy more energy sustainable products, and participate in available funding programs.
Ian Gordon, Chief Impact Officer, and I met with Supervisor Gaspar and Supervisor Cox this afternoon as we continue to learn about their areas of interest and to update them on UWSD’s work.
That evening, Ian and I joined other philanthropists at the Leichtag Foundation HIVE for a summer social event hosted by San Diego Grantmakers. Many thanks to Javier Guerrero, Executive Director, Coastal Roots Farms, for the tour and information. This farm helps to address family stability through farmers markets and food distribution.
Whoa, at the last minute we were invited to meet with the Board Chair of United Way America, Neeraj Mehta! It was great to hear about the direction towards a Modern United Way. We were also able to give him a birds-eye view of life as a local United Way and interactions with the national office. Little did we know Neeraj also has family in San Diego!
We also filmed a press conference about the EITC results with Meg Storer, 2-1-1 San Diego; Omar Passons, County HHSA; Ramon Garcia, IRS; and Teresa Smith, Dreams for Change. Our EITC Coalition was able to bring back $47M in federal and state refunds this year, including $15M in EITC funds! Look for the press conference coming soon.
That night I joined many others in a goodbye tribute to Kevin Malone, former Executive Director of San Diego Organizing Project, as he enters his retirement phase of life.
It is always special to catch up with some of our community leaders, and Verna Tabor-Griffin, CEO, Center for Community Solutions, is one of those people! I met with Verna to learn more about what they are doing and how children in domestic violence situations are coping in school. We talked about how the stress and fear combined with leaving to live elsewhere can impact their ability to learn in school. I’m always looking ways we can partner in the future, so opportunities with the Center for Community Solutions will hopefully develop soon.
A bit bittersweet—and a lot of encouragement—when I met today with the new Executive Director at Alliance Healthcare Foundation. Welcome to Sarah Lyman! We talked about the various ways innovation is represented in our community and where she could connect from that perspective. Sarah has some interesting ideas of working in new and different areas in the future. We wish you the best in this awesome work!
Later, Ian Gordon and I met with Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and his Director of Communications, James Canning, to update them on our work. In these meetings, we are also updating the information we have on our Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) partnership and how it has impacted his district.
What a fun wrap-up to the Solar Turbines workplace partnership! Raffle items, gift baskets, and a pie-eating contest were all part of the festivities – Oh, I forgot the ice cream food truck onsite as well! There was a tie in the pie-eating contest, so the tie-breaker was an executive leader who felt the weight of the pies to determine the lighter one was the winner! Thank you, Solar Turbines, for being such an amazing (and fun!) community partner and giving back to the community.
Many thanks to the guests at our table for tonight’s Labor Council Annual Celebration: Stephen Chin, Maria Torres, Ruby Featherly, Brian Lovell, andSal Giametta. UWSD is proud to support the Labor Council and we are grateful for the partnership with Unions United.