After being laid off from her job in Florida, Susan moved back to Indiana to be close to family. Though she had post-secondary education, employers said she lacked experience and current computer skills. Despite her tireless efforts, Susan was jobless for a year. She began to doubt she would ever find a job.
After exhausting the resources of family and friends, Susan soon had no choice but to go to a homeless shelter. At the Wheeler Center for Women and Children, she learned about Training, Inc. Susan felt the program was exactly what she needed to help her brush up on computer and business skills and present herself more effectively to potential employers.
Susan arrived at Training, Inc. with little self-confidence. As she progressed through the agency's 12-week Career Track program, her skills and self-confidence improved. The first four weeks focused on job readiness, basic computer skills, applications, interviewing, career assessment, goal setting, critical thinking and other life skills.
The second segment was office skills with intensive training in the Microsoft Office Suite of programs. The more knowledge Suan absorbed, the more confident she became. Susan began to realize that her future held a variety of career opportunities.
During her internship in the business office of a local manufacturer, Susan seized the opportunity to show off her skills and get her foot in the door. Immediately after the 3-week internship, Susan happily accepted the company’s offer of a permanent position as a shipping and receiving coordinator with a starting salary of $10 an hour and full benefits.
Susan's confidence in her skills has blossomed, and she now has the tools to impress any employer.
--Peggy Frame, executive director, Training, Inc.
Editor's note: Since 1993, UWCI has invested more than $1.6 million in Training Inc.'s mission to help low-income, unemployed and underemployed people like Susan develop the job and life skills they need to obtain long-term employment and become self-sufficient. The agency’s current Community Fund allocation is $67,777.
Boone County United Way supporters recently celebrated a successful 2011 campaign that raised $254,125 or three percent over goal. Photographed at the Boone Meadow Elementary School in Zionsville are “Company that Cares” award winners (left to right in front row): Martha Farley, Zionsville Community Schools; Stephanie Abbott, North Park Community Credit Union; Yvonne Baird, The Farmers Bank; Jane Taylor, Mental Health America Boone County; and, Mary Rueff, Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Library.
And in the back row are: Jay Randle, Western Boone School Corporation; Marsha Haws, Hendrickson Trailer Suspension Systems; Chuck Conwell, Haynes International Midwest Distribution Center; Angie Veatch, Lebanon Area Boys & Girls Club; The Honorable Huck Lewis, mayor, for the city of Lebanon employees; and, Marc Applegate, Boone County employees.
--Christie Snyder, Boone County Area Director, United Way of Central Indiana
Have you heard about United Way's Emerging Leaders? These young professionals age 40 and under help serve the community and give back to kids and families in need. They also get the opportunity to connect and build relationships with other influential professionals and leaders in the community.
United Way has added a new event series for Emerging Leaders that begins in May - partnering with teacher, mentor and 30-year business leader Doug Braly to present an empowering professional development series. The series of speakers is designed to advance business and community leadership. It's a great opportunity led by some of Central Indiana's most prominent leaders. The speakers will cover a variety of topics and provide insight on gaining credibility at work, the value of continuous learning and strategies on how to become more influential.
The kick-off speaker for the Emerging Leaders Professional Advancement Series is Jack Barber on May 17. He's served as the PGA Gold Professional at Meridian Hills Country Club for the past 27 years. He was named the National PGA Golf Professional of the Year in 2009, and was a 2011 inductee into both the Indiana Golf Hall of Fame and the PGA National Golf Professional Hall of Fame. It's a great opportunity for Emerging Leaders, and we thank you for your continuous support to United Way.
For more information on Emerging Leaders and the Emerging Leaders Professional Advancement Series, please contact Katie Hammer at 317.921.1357 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
–Katie Rethlake, communications intern, United Way of Central Indiana
Editor's note: In April, United Way's Emerging Leaders had the pleasure of hearing from Scott Wise at their quarterly leadership event. Read on for Katie Hammer's recap of the event and summary of Scott's presentation.
Where can you get good beer, juicy burgers, and the ever-popular dill chips? If the first place that comes to mind is Scotty’s Brewhouse, you guessed right. Scott Wise, the philanthropist, president, and CEO of a Pots and Pans Production (you may know him as the owner of Scotty's Brewhouse, Thr3e Wisemen and Scotty's Burger Joint), was our guest speaker at the April Happy Hour. This local grew up in Indiana and created his restaurant with three basic fundamentals: beer, wings and sports. We’re on board with that! Add his hand-crafted beer, and there is no wonder why Scotty’s Brewhouse is the talk of the town.
At a young age, Scott realized that everyone had something special about them, and his gift was being part of an amazing family. Growing up, he was not sure what he wanted to do in life, like most of us, and he was trying to fill the shoes that his parents had laid out for him. In college, he worked as a dish washer and fry cook at the local Applebee’s in Muncie and also bartended at Dill Street (a local bar). After college, he took a job at Oshmen Sporting Goods in Texas, writing copy for advertisements. Realizing that he did not like his job in Texas, he decided to stop running from home and head back to Muncie, Indiana. With motivation and drive, the 22 year-old decided to open up his first restaurant in 1996 and called it Scotty’s.
The first restaurant was hand-created by Scott. He cleaned, drafted the menu, was the cook, waited on tables and bartended all at the same time. As the only employee of the restaurant, he had to prepare food and cook pasta in his parent’s kitchen at night just to keep up with business the next day. Soon, he decided to hire his sister and now-wife to help out with the workload, and built a new building with the help of his dad. The quick success of his first restaurant led him to open a second restaurant at age 25 - Lucy Lucy in Muncie. Within the first few years of the second store being open, the recession hit and hit hard. The business was in a downward spiral and he wasn’t sure how he was going to pay rent and utilities or meet payroll. During those three years of business, he lost over a million dollars and eventually had to close Lucy Lucy. He actually just paid off the last payment from Lucy Lucy a few years ago. After closing the doors at Lucy Lucy he took the materials from the store and trusted his college roommate (now the COO of the company) with opening another Scotty’s in Bloomington. It was a huge hit in the IU college town.
Scott’s "breaking the mold" business theory is a now a guideline for the success of his other businesses. With his small executive team of 15 people, he has branched out to new business concepts like the organically-focused Lakehouse, the Burger Joint in Columbus, and his brewery Thr3e Wisemen. Thr3e Wisemen is now tripling their brewing capacity and should have the beer in all Scotty’s locations in June. And if you find yourself not able to make it into one of these restaurants, don’t worry! Scotty’s is now offering beer delivery within a certain mile radius. Genius!
At the end of Scott’s inspiring presentation the crowd asked some great questions about success, standing out, and social media. Here are some of our favorites:
Q: What do you base your success on?
A: The people. Scotty’s first priority is not the customer but his employees. His goals are driven by them and “just ok” customer service is not ok with him. Also, Scott is detailed oriented about the tables, flowers, towels, trash...everything else has to be perfect. He said that he understands that things are not always going to be perfect but if he continues to yell, it shows that he cares.
Q: What makes you different?
A: Scott invests in his people by holding many company events and offering awesome incentive programs. For example, Scott threw the first pitch at a Cubs game, and he took 45 managers and their spouses with him for an expense-paid retreat. Also, he believes that if you invest in your people it will make the company stronger. He has an open door financial policy with employees so that anyone can see the books anytime. Some of the perks and rewards that he offers his employees are: health care allowances, hand-written thank you notes, scholarship programs, cell phones, birthday cards, gift cards and paid dry cleaning. Five year employees receive a watch, and 10-year employees get a trip for two to New York City.
Q: What is your view on social media?
A: Social media helped Scott survive the recession, because he had to cut marketing expenses. He uses social media to listen to the customers. He said that the growth of company had started to water down the brand’s personality, and with social media he was now able to virtually touch each table. When someone asks him a question on Facebook or Twitter, he personally addresses their question. This helps to extend the brand and is used for their customer relationship processes.
What great words of wisdom! Thanks again, Scott! We can’t wait for the first event of our new Professional Development series, featuring PGA Golf Professional Jack Barber. Keep an eye on our calendar and make sure to register!
--Katie Hammer, senior manager of donor relations and Emerging Leaders program manager, United Way
On Tax Day, April 15, some businesses come up with customer freebies and other "refunds" to soften the blow of paying taxes.
Why not offer something to really benefit the whole community?
That's the thinking that led to this check presentation (May 2, 2012) to United Way of Central Indiana by Simons Bitzer & Associates PC, an Indianapolis CPA and strategic business planning firm.
For the second year in a row, the firm celebrated the end of tax season by fulfilling a pledge to contribute $50 to United Way for every new customer as a thank you for their business.
Accepting this year's gift from Raegan Potter, business development and marketing specialist, are Shannon Cochran (left) and Kim Donahue (right) from United Way.
Cochran said the company's creative idea to support United Way's mission is a good example of how size doesn't matter when it comes to joining the LIVE UNITED movement. Though it has just 15 employees, the company not only gives financially, their staff also volunteers their expertise.
Donahue, director of United Way's Nonprofit Training Center, said that Barb Bitzer has helped a number of United Way agencies analyze their business processes and operations to identify opportunities for efficiencies and to improve cash flow. And, she has volunteered to teach financial workshops for United Way's Leadership United participants.
--Mary Kinney, public/media relations director, United Way of Central Indiana
Each month, we'll post updates about United Way and our agencies. There's (nearly) always something going on!
United Way news
- Kristopher Posthuma is a new youth engagement and education specialist for the Connected by 25 Program.
- Lori Stewart is no longer with the human resources department.
- Congratulations to the Barbara B. Jordan YMCA in Martinsville for celebrating its 50th anniversary on May 4!
- Robert Kizer is the new CEO of Starfish Initiative.