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!