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Why Strategy Matters While a PriceWaterhouseCoopers report makes it clear that executives are not just investing in innovation for the fun of it, tomorrow’s winners understand that innovation is uniquely tied to the company’s sustainability over the long term. This is one of the core reasons United Way of North Central Florida recently hosted our Annual Leadership Reception at the Innovation Hub at UF. What better place to hold an event all about innovation than at the Hub? Here, tomorrow’s companies are being seeded to lead our regional economy into a new era. These companies are building a Gainesville that doesn’t yet exist. If we are to survive, we must innovate and know that our future is limited only by our imagination.


Instead of going the way of Blockbuster or TiVo, we innovated by becoming an Impact United Way–investing in local programs producing quantifiable, verifiable and measurable results that improve the lives of our community members every day.


The Speed of Innovation


hink about the shrinking life span of nearly…everything! The greatest inventions of the 80s and 90s didn’t survive the millennium, including former favorites like Blockbuster, TiVo and Blackberry. What did these companies have in common? Their failure to adapt to change in a day of lightning- fast innovation. It’s a theme that affects everyone, including United Way. In the 1980s—often referred to by long-time United Way insiders as the industry’s “heyday”—United Way was flush with cash. Workplace campaigns were huge and in many communities, the famous “red thermometer” reminded the public of the amount of money being raised for worthy causes. United Way cut large checks to organizations doing good work and donors felt good about making a contribution. Charitable giving in the current landscape is a whole new game. Today, donors are inundated with giving options—from putting shoes on children to saving the oceans to feeding those without a stable home. Technology has made charitable giving more accessible and instantaneous. Add to that, the changing American workforce and the fact that many people work from their homes for companies in other countries and

you have the recipe for real disruption in the industry. Here, at United Way of North Central Florida, we saw that change coming. That’s why a decade ago we turned our funding model upside down and innovated! We became an Impact United Way and began investing in local programs that produce quantifiable, verifiable and measurable results that improve the lives of people in our community every day. Our portfolio is the donor’s portfolio and we invest donor money with purpose, accountability and clarity of mission. Our Community Investment Council has selected 34 programs that demonstrate the highest transparency and efficiency in funded programming United Way has ever had. Every funded program is vetted, local and leveraged by the agency operating them and is able to pull an average return on investment of $3 for every $1 donated! That change has helped us turn the curve in key indicators that demonstrate longterm, sustainable improvements to the health, education and financial stability of people in North Central Florida and continues to serve as a guidepost as we evolve to an even more efficient and effective organization. 

Innovation at United Way is a multifaceted endeavor. According to a June 2017 report published by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a global survey of over 1,220 executives in 44 countries highlighted, among other things, the following: • Over 60 percent of companies view their employees as their most important partners for innovation. • Technology is no longer viewed as just a way to keep up with trends and competitors but as a key driver of innovation. •E  xecutives are also realizing that beyond technology, it is just as important to develop innovative business models. By Deborah V. Bowie President & CEO


MEET THE NEW UNITED WAY BOARD MEMBERS In July 2017, several new members joined our United Way of North Central Florida board. We asked them “What does innovation mean to you and how does it impact the future of United Way?”

JAIME BALDWIN, INFO TECH, INC. Innovation is opportunity to bring about change through new practices, technologies and inventive solutions. At its best, innovation provides a chance to help humankind and our world and it is our collective responsibility to ensure we move in that direction; helping each other, helping our planet. United Way is uniquely positioned to serve as a conduit for exactly that—creating and implementing innovative solutions that transform and improve lives.”


BOB PAGE, HARBOR COMMUNITY BANK Innovation in our society today is a way of keeping up with the expectations and desires of the newer generations. United Way embraces these changes to keep in touch with all community members so we can make each community as strong as possible.”

JEFF THIEMAN, CAMPUS USA CREDIT UNION Innovation is about creating, and then testing, an idea that could produce better results. In the business world, innovation is also about staying relevant during this time of accelerated change. What may have helped United Way be successful in the past could potentially be the cause of failure in the future. United Way will need to continually innovate, adapt and evolve to stay relevant and successful in the future.”

PASTOR GERARD DUNCAN, PRAYERS BY FAITH MINISTRIES Innovation means empowerment. It is the ability of an individual or group to defy convention and expand the boundaries of achievement. It is the capacity to create against convention. Innovation enables individuals to demolish barriers and soar beyond pedestrian expectations. It is the demonstrated result of intellectual aspiration; it is the essence of the human spirit.”

MONICA PEREZ-MCMILLEN, LAW OFFICES OF MONICA MCMILLEN, P.A. Innovation drives us to think strategically. Innovation is a timeless concept that requires an engaged mind and a passion to improve the world around us. The foundation of United Way has been built on the hearts of innovative men and women who tirelessly sought ways to help others. That same fervor exists today at United Way. I am excited to partner with United Way in strategically improving and supporting the North Central Florida community.”

KELLY SHAER, JAMES MOORE According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of innovation is the introduction of something new. To me, innovation means developing a new idea that adds value, whether big or small. By encouraging a culture of innovation, United Way can continue to increase its impact and add value to our community in the ways it is needed most."

DOLLARS & SENSE Making online giving easy and accessible—different ways to make a charitable donation to the community in which you live, work and play.


ur world changes every day. One day, we walk to places, the next we zip by in cars. Yesterday, we wrote letters to friends; today, we text them updates. The same goes for donations. In the past, the main way United Way received donations was through workplace campaign pledges, usually initiated when someone from United Way visited your office and asked you to give. But now, it’s not as simple as that. The times have shown that we need to change and to innovate. At United Way of North Central Florida, we got that message loud and clear! In our quest to make online giving easier, more accessible and responsive to the ever-changing needs of our donors, we offer several different ways to make a charitable donation to the community you live, work and play in.


Through AmazonSmile, “you can support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you.” Just like regular Amazon, with AmazonSmile 5 percent of the purchase price from eligible AmazonSmile purchases is donated back to your favorite charity. All you have to do is go to, choose United Way of North Central Florida as your charity of choice and continue on shopping!


Other easy ways to donate to United Way of North Central Florida is during giving days, such as Giving Tuesday and The Amazing Give. Here’s how they work: Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving. It is usually celebrated the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. This year’s Giving Tuesday will be held November 28. Although it seems far away now, Giving Tuesday will be here before you know it! Help us spread the word on social media, give your time to local charities or donate to United Way.

The Amazing Give is an online day of giving hosted by the Community Foundation of North Central Florida. This year was only the second year for the program, but they have already benefited nearly 80 local nonprofits that are dedicated to building a stronger community. Join us for the next Amazing Give in the spring of 2018!


Even though our world changes quickly, one thing that is constant is the need for donations. Donations are accepted 24/7 on our website,, just click the donate tab. As technology continues and grows, have comfort in knowing United Way of North Central Florida has different and easy ways to donate. That’s how you innovate! 




mall businesses play a critical role in maintaining a thriving local economy. They are no less important to the success of United Way, as we endeavor to improve lives through our work in health, education and financial stability. To read the full interviews with Brinn Strange of Barre Forte, Chris Dyer of Conference Catalysts and Kurt Morauer of Targeted Training Solutions, visit To sign up for our e-newsletter, please visit To become a Small Business Partner, please contact Chris Wells at 

We enjoy knowing that our contributions are going directly to help local families and individuals in need. Being a part of this community of givers allows us to meet other influential local leaders and altruistic business-minded individuals as we work together to help our community grow and thrive.”

Small Business Partners are an important, growing family of donors who are vital to helping us meet the needs of our community.

We have an intimate understanding of what it means to receive support through all of our personal and professional endeavors, and we feel strongly that we must do our part to support those in need, in our community, in whatever manner we are able.” –Chris Dyer, Conference Catalysts

–Brinn Strange, Barre Forte

Our citizens, particularly our youth, want to succeed in life. United Way’s Community Investment Fund provides the funding that give those people a new opportunity to try again. The CIF allows small business owners, such as myself, the opportunity to make my contribution go further to assist this effort.” –Kurt Morauer, Targeted Training Solutions Tech, Inc.




I initially became a United Way donor due to my company’s workplace campaign, but it wasn’t until I started volunteering through United Way that I saw first-hand how so many people were impacted through the Community Investment Fund. My time on the Community Investment Council allowed me to understand how well the donations were managed, and when I learned that the agency partners were able to leverage

FAREWELL AND THANK YOU! Farewell and thank you to Kay Ayers of AvMed and Kenneth Kurdziel of James Moore & Company. Kay was our Past Board Chair and has been a board member since 2011. Kenneth was our Finance Chair and has been a board member since 2010. Thank you both for continuing to #LIVEUNITED.

United Way dollars for additional grants, I became passionate about increasing my donations because I knew that every dollar donated brought a multiplied dollar amount back into our community. While I did not ‘grow up’ in Gainesville, this town has become my home more than any other place that I have lived. I can’t expect to enjoy the benefits of living in a great community if I myself won’t do my part to help make it better and stronger.” –Cat Ferris, Nationwide, United Way Donor, ReadingPal and Affinity Group Volunteer

upcoming events SMALL BUSINESS SPEAKER BREAKFAST July 14, 2017, 7:30 am Nationwide Café Conference Room

EMPLOYEE CAMPAIGN COORDINATOR BREAKFAST & TRAINING July 27, 2017, 8:30 am Nationwide Café Conference Room

UNITED WAY EXPRESS BUS TOUR October 18, 2017, 9:00 am

WOMEN UNITED LUNCHEON November 8, 2017, 11:00 am

CEO & COMMUNITY LEADER BREAKFAST Infinite Energy Co-CEO Rich Blase gave some inspiring words at the annual CEO & Community Leader Breakfast. Please visit www.facebook. com/unitedwayncfl to see more photos from the event. Special thank you to our amazing event sponsors BBI Construction Management, Center­S tate Bank and Florida Food Service! This event couldn’t have been possi­ble without your support!

NONPROFIT ORG. US POSTAGE PAID PERMIT # 375 GAINESVILLE, FL 6031 NW 1st Place Gainesville, FL 32607-2025 (352) 331-2800



Deborah V. Bowie, President & CEO Rhonda Johnson, Director of Operations Mary Broadfoot, Board Liaison & Human Capital Associate


Norinda Rosario Yancey, Director of Community Impact Rahkiah Brown, ReadingPals Coordinator Jason Giancarlo, VITA Coordinator


Dana Clayton, VP Resource Development Chris Wells, Director, Small Business Partners Chad McGinnis, Database Manager Lauri Schiffbauer, Workplace Campaign Manager


Amy Azoulay, Director of Communications Angela Chan, Communications Specialist


Executive Committee Nick Banks, Front Street, Chair Jenna White, Enterprise Holdings, Vice Chair Scott Thomas, Infinite Energy, Finance Chair Dr. Ed Bonahue, Santa Fe College, Member-At-Large Dennis Gies, Community Volunteer, Ex-Officio Melanie Ross, UF Health, Member-At-Large Board Members Tracy Bachmann, Waymaker Communications Jaime Baldwin, Info Tech, Inc. Pastor Gerard Duncan, Prayers by Faith Ministries Bill Gair, University of Florida Jackie Johnson, Alachua County Public Schools Lt. Brandon Kutner, Alachua County Sheriff’s Office Shaney Livingston, Alachua County Library District Kevin Monroe, Cox Communications Greg Moraski, Nationwide Arpita Oselimo, Reggae Shack Café Bob Page, Harbor Community Bank Lisa Patton, Publix Monica Perez-McMillen, Law Offices of Monica McMillen, P.A. Brad Pollitt, UF Health Todd Powell, Weyerhaeuser John Power, Alachua County Tax Collector Doug Ray, Gainesville Sun/Ocala Star Banner Kelly Shaer, James Moore Dr. Patricia Snyder, University of Florida Jeff Thieman, Campus USA Credit Union John Varela, RTI Surgical


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United Way 2nd Quarter Newsletter