Wow, what a week! I came to the United Way Community Leaders Conference to learn, share and grow with those that we fight alongside each day - fighting for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. But I also came with another purpose, to celebrate 30 years of service given to United Way by our teammates, Beth Terry, Chief Transformation Officer [retired] and Gail Dixon, Accounts Payable Coordinator.
During our time together this week, I had the opportunity to witness many of my colleagues share their feelings and memories with Beth and Gail. It was clear that both of these ladies hold a special place in our hearts. I have to admit, it was humbling to witness the love and respect each of these ladies garner from our team.
Beth's leadership fingerprints are all over United Way. Her journey has had a profound impact on our organization locally and on the national level. Many in the United Way network will recall that Beth was one of the architects of the movement to shift to program outcomes, an effort that influenced United Ways across U.S. However, Beth's latest work as our Chief Transformation Officer and the leadership she provided as we moved to a new business model has placed us on a pathway to greater relevance, stronger reputation, and operational excellence. You cannot imagine the pride I feel when listening to keynote speakers this week cite our challenges as a network and offer solutions while thinking, “we have a plan to address those challenges and enact local solutions”. Beth's leadership and skills helped get us there!
And, Gail, such a quiet force! Often described as one of the most pleasant members of our team and someone you can turn to when you need anything, she represents the essence of our United Way. She shows up, every day, and does her job. And, she does it well! We place a great deal of stress and pressure on our finance team. And, as a member of that team, Gail has carried her fair share of that load, and, always with a smile. In non-profit organizations, transparency and accountability are paramount. To deliver on that promise, we have to have the best team possible. For 30 years, Gail has been just that, the best!
Today, we celebrate these two remarkable women and their contributions to our United Way and our network as a whole. I am humbled to call them both friends!
Beth Terry (left) and Gail Dixon (right) join me for a photo
President & CEO, United Way of Southeast Louisiana
P.S. Thanks to our staff in the office for taking time to join the celebration!