Editor's note: United Way's Emerging Leaders had the pleasure of hearing from Angela Braly at their bi-monthly professional development lunch. Read on for Katie Hammer's recap of the event and summary of Angela's presentation.
Know who you are
This theory is simple. You have to know who you are, or everyone else will have the opportunity to tell you who you should be. For Angela, knowing who she is is reflected in three simple principles: First, do the right thing. Second, always do it for the customer. Finally, do it right the first time. Angela believes that these principles are of the utmost importance. The path that you should choose, the decisions to make, might not always be clear. However, if you know that you are acting in an effort to do the right thing, you can rest assured that you will end up at the right outcome.
Take the biggest risk that you can. Oftentimes, we stay in a seemingly secure spot, thinking that we are on the right track, knowing that we are comfortable. The reality is that you might be missing out on a great opportunity by playing it safe. Angela suggests that you find the biggest, messiest risk you can and go for it. For women, she talked about the “double bind” – how do you combat the perception that women are less likely to take risks? Angela says start small, put yourself out there a little more than you are comfortable doing. Push yourself to take small, calculated risks until you are ready to make the leap on a larger one.
For Angela, working as a waitress turned out to be a life-changing lesson. That job taught her what serving really meant and led her to hold service of others as a top priority as she progressed through her career. Her advice? Flip the pyramid. Serve those who work with you and for you. Make sure you are serving your boss and your customers. Providing those around you with what they need (skills, training and information) to serve others will ensure everyone’s success. Specifically, Angela says that she always begins the week with the intent to serve. Starting the week in that mindset ensures that she does the best job possible.
Angela then went on to answer a few of our questions:
When do you know that the risk is one to take?
When you are faced with making a decision regarding a risky situation, take stock. Are you trying to talk yourself out of it because it makes you uncomfortable? Is it because of fear? If so, work backwards. Assume that the risk will be worth it and make note of possible outcomes. Look honestly at any negatives. Then go with your gut.
For women, specifically, how do you balance being modest with being confident and talking up your skills?
Be aware of the “double bind.” Formerly called the glass ceiling, the double bind refers to the constant balance that women must keep. You can’t be too aggressive; you can’t be too modest. It’s a constant battle. Angela suggests that it’s not always about the large battles, but often about facing and effectively handling small challenges along the way. Women, be aware that you have a narrower walk to take, but always be yourself. Don’t worry too much about being too aggressive, too shy – just be genuine. Be who you are, be secure in your skills and go forward confident. When you are yourself, while remaining aware of bias, of any issues, you will enjoy your job and your career more.
How do you balance work and family?
It helps to have a great partner and, ultimately, you have to make choices. Acknowledge that there is no way to balance everything that you’ll want to do. Realize that every choice will have a consequence. Most importantly, make a commitment to “be here now.” When you are at work, be totally at work. When you are home, be totally at home. Everything is a trade-off, and everyone has
to find the balance that is best for them.
Have you had a mentor who has helped you in your career?
Yes! Having a mentor is crucial to learning new career lessons, getting advice and moving yourself forward. Angela credits her mentor with showing her how important philanthropy can be to your career and what you are remembered for. She encourages young professionals to think outside the box when it comes to finding a mentor. There won’t be one magical mentor in your life, and the most impactful relationships may not be with a person who is a formal mentor. Take the initiative to staff your own mentor team. Pick people whom you admire, even if you just admire them for their philanthropic service or the way they interact with their family. Realize that sponsors within your organization can also be very helpful. Bottom line, look around you for people with skills you want to strengthen and reach out. Odds are, they would love to help.
Want to check out our next Professional Advancement Series Session? Click here.
--Katie Hammer, senior manager, donor relations, United Way of Central Indiana
Child Care Quality bills advance in the General Assembly
This week was a busy week for bills that improve the quality of child care in Indiana. Three bills advanced in the General Assembly that would provide improvements to the quality of child care available for Indiana's working families. These bills would help ensure that children are in safe, healthy environments when they are dropped off by their parents with their child care provider.
SB 305 - Child Care Regulation - would require additional basic health and safety standards for child care providers that accept government dollars for their care, including requiring that a supervisory caregiver be at least 18 years old and requiring training in the recognition of child abuse. The bill passed out of the Senate Health and Provider Services Committee (9-0) and will now be considered by the full Senate. WRTV 6 covered the committee hearing.
SB 114 and HB 1494 - National criminal history checks for child care providers - These bills were passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee (9-0) and the House Family, Child and Human Affairs Committee (13-0) on Wednesday. The bills would require comprehensive National Criminal History Checks be conducted for employees of child care providers. (Currently, some providers only have to conduct a limited background check.)
These are great developments! Now that these bills will be considered by the full House and Senate, please contact your legislator and let them know that you support these bills. As a reminder, United Way of Central Indiana advocates for the following:
- All child care providers that accept government vouchers for their care should meet basic common sense standards to ensure children are in a healthy and safe early learning environment.
- Policy changes are needed so all working families have access to quality care and so information about child care health and safety regulations is transparent and available to parents.
--Laura Smoots, Public policy director
Your gifts, Warren's story: United Way's income, health investments put young father and daughter on path to sounder future
"They modeled me into someone I had in me. I just didn't know how to bring it out."
That's how 20 something Warren Hawkins summed up the payoff of graduating from the Fatherhood Development Workshop, offered by Fathers and Families Center, a United Way agency. Their programs help young, low-income and expectant fathers become responsible and involved parents, wage earners and providers of support to their children.
Warren came to the center after learning that his girlfriend was pregnant. He was struggling to find a job due to past criminal convictions.
With the help of a job recruiter at Fathers and Families, Warren soon found a good job where he now provides second chances to others who struggle. He is in a position to help other young fathers, and has hired about 10 of the other Fathers and Families grads to help them provide for their families.
You can meet this impressive young man and his toddler daughter Lauryn, in this story produced by WXIN FOX 59. The scene of him helping his little girl brush her teeth to get ready for the day is one of those small, every day moments that spoke to me, showing more powerfully than any words, what this investment makes happen.
Anyone who contributes to United Way is a part of Warren's success. Last year, thanks to United Way givers, more than 13,400 people in Central Indiana received job readiness or job search assistance as part of United Way’s income focus, like Warren. And, more than 9,600 people participated in parenting education programs as part of United Way's health focus, also like Warren.
Since 2003, UWCI has invested more than $1.5 million in support of Fathers and Families Center’s efforts to improve the life chances of children by helping young fathers achieve self-sufficiency and become responsible, involved parents. This includes grants totaling $218,297 from United Way’s Capital Projects, Facilities Maintenance and Technology Funds. (These funds are contributed specifically for such needs.) The Center’s current Community Fund allocation is $125,804.
--Mary L. Kinney, Public/media relations director
Ellen K. Annala LIVES UNITED:
My 10 fondest memories from 23 years at United Way
With Ellen's retirement scheduled to begin March 31, we invited her to tell us about the most memorable experiences of her years of leadership at United Way. Don't confuse them for a list of greatest accomplishments. Instead, they are personal high points that came to mind as she enters the final weeks of her tenure, reflecting on more than two decades worth of moments.
1. Moving van cancelled! I was planning to move home to Arizona and asked United Way's then President, Dan MacDonald, to be a reference in my job search. Next thing I knew, Dan and board chair Andre Lacy hired me to implement the 1989 strategic plan to make United Way more accountable and strategic. The thought of making a greater community impact was more enticing to me than the desert!
2. Irsay, Peyton, the Super Bowl and Blue: Jim Irsay joined 1998 campaign chair Maribeth Smith for a winning season and has supported United Way ever since. I was as thrilled this year as I was the first time Jim presented me with a giant check representing $1 for every seat sold – first in the Hoosier Dome and now in Lucas Oil Stadium.
Bringing one of my nieces or nephews with me on the field created a life-long memory for them too.
In 2010, meeting Peyton Manning was one of our grand prize incentives for new and increasing campaign donors. I introduced Peyton to some of our contributors as Indy’s rock star. “No," he said. "You (the donors) are the rock stars!” Then he thanked and shook each person’s hand.
We also had a trip to the Super Bowl as a grand prize giving incentive. All three winners were from wonderfully supportive United Way companies, and didn’t even recall there was an incentive for giving more.
Finally, getting a big hug from Blue at our joint United Way/Colts season kick off was another standout memory for this Colts fan!
3. Kids need quality, the first steps: The day in 2011 when we recognized the first 24 child care ministries who achieved at least Level 1 in Paths to QUALITY is vivid. Ministers, center directors and a few care givers were our honorees. For some of the staff, the learning opportunities they received from us was the first training they ever had. I became emotional as I experienced their pride in transforming their work from basic care giving to care givers who understand their vital role in early learning.
4. A witness to good things for good people: Each year I get to award renewal grants to long-serving staff of human service organizations. With support from Lilly Endowment, we have helped 30-year employees of neighborhood centers, domestic violence shelters, and many others, explore their roots, take a road trip, swim with the dolphins, renew their marriages, escape with their grand children, learn a new skill (photography, music), and many more renewing experiences. It’s one of those “totally happy” ceremonies when good things happen to good people -- people we want to help avoid burnout so they will continue their service to a grateful community.
5. A 'Yikes!' toast: Only three of us (board chair Jerry Bepko, Vice president of resource development Jim Smith and I) knew about the $50 million grant proposal we titled “Yikes” before we submitted it to Lilly Endowment in my first year as president. The day Clay Robbins called me to say it was awarded, I called Jerry. He wanted to celebrate with us, but was already hosting a reception at his home that evening. He invited Jim and me to his home and we hid in his library while he and Jean visited with their guests, occasionally excusing themselves to bring us snacks before joining us for a champagne toast. (The fund uses investment earnings to pay a share of the fundraising and administrative costs of the campaign each year.)
6. An investment 'ah-ha': Even before I was on United Way's payroll, Dan had me coming to meetings to complete the agency facility maintenance and capital study report. Years later, the Agency Capital Fund was launched. Since then, the initial $60 million grant has more than doubled to $127.5 million to support more than 125 agency projects with a dozen more planned. Early in my career, I didn’t see the power of such investments in our urban neighborhoods. But after seeing the improvements first in the Southeast Community Center and then in Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center, I realized the impact that new facilities had on those neighborhoods in dire need. Later, I also came to appreciate the importance of quality physical environments for both employees and clients. Yes, even people in need and those who serve them deserve to be in a decent, quality facility.
7. ‘Sari, sari' night: Thanks to Rupal, Amit, and Ninad Thanawala, I dressed in a sari with all of our other staff and volunteers, celebrating the Oscars with our Emerging Leaders group when the theme was Bollywood. What a great celebration of Indian culture, United Way's education programs, givers under 40, oh yes, and the Oscar winners!
8. Launching First Wednesdays: I had learned what Atlanta did to grow their Tocqueville Society and make it more meaningful, so talked with campaign chair Bud Melton and board chair Katie Betley about trying it. Bud enlisted Tony Smith as the first Tocqueville chair, and we started First Wednesday luncheons with a loyal group of 8-10, mostly board members. We were a small enough group that we had lunch in the bar area of Agio. It took us a couple years to grow into the dining room. Regular attendees included Mickey Maurer (owner of the IBJ) and Barbara Henry (publisher of the Indianapolis Star). Even with a monthly speaker, one of the fun highlights that kept people coming back each month was listening to Mickey and Barbara spar.
9. Launching Emerging Leaders: After years of hearing that many young people didn’t see the value of collective impact or thought United Way (125 years old) was an outdated concept, I was worried about how we could more effectively engage young people. At the Jazz Kitchen we kicked off a new leadership giving society aimed at the under 40 crowd. I told staff I’d be happy if we had 50 attend. We had more than 120 attend, and nearly 80 signed up as members. Lots of the early members were sons, daughters, nieces and nephews of long-term donors. Today the group numbers more than 1,000 and collectively gives $1.7 million, in addition to their volunteer and social gatherings.
10. People: I’ve worked with the best people in Central Indiana -- people, who though armed with few resources, are daily creating miracles for children, seniors and families.
I've worked with donors who care so deeply about their community they want to have the greatest impact possible with their dollars -- some who increase their pledges in our toughest recessionary years because they know others are unable to.
I've worked with volunteers who know that it is more than dollars but also time that is needed to give a child or adult a helping hand to achieve their potential.
I've worked with funding partners who have a history of working together in Central Indiana -- better than any place in the country to make things happen, like the Community Economic Relief Fund that put an extra $11.6 million to work when the recession hit us the hardest.
I've worked with all the unsung heroes who don’t get public attention, but work endless hours to improve and make their neighborhoods safer.
I've worked with board members and leadership who are so committed to our work that they want to assure we are the most strategic, transparent and impactful organization in Central Indiana.
I've worked with United Way's staff who somehow balance family and work while constantly going the second and third mile because they are so committed to our mission of helping people learn more, earn more and lead safe and healthy lives.
All of my board chairs -- Mickey Maurer, Jerry Bepko, Katie Betley, Mike Alley, Maribeth Smith, John Neighbours, David Resnick, Vince Caponi, and Sam Odle -- were tremendous leaders who gave me and United Way sound counsel and many hours because of their love of United Way and their community.
--Ellen K. Annala, President and CEO
A huge thank you to United Way of Central Indiana and the Indianapolis Colts for sending us to Super Bowl 47 in New Orleans! It was truly a once in a lifetime experience, from the chartered flights, to the hotel right on Bourbon Street, to our seats 20 rows from the field! We also got to see famous New Orleans landmarks like Pat O’Brien’s, Mother’s Restaurant, and the House of Blues. Our favorite part of the trip, aside from the game, was all of the live music. Thanks again for the unforgettable experience and for all that you do for the great state of Indiana!
-- Brian & Maggie Summers
Editor’s note: Brian Summers, a member of Emmis Communication’s sales team, won tickets to the big game as part of an Indianapolis Colts incentive for giving to the 2012 United Way annual campaign.
On Thursday the House Education Committee heard testimony on House Bill 1004 which would establish a pilot pre-K scholarship program for low-income children in five Indiana counties. The bill would also require that such scholarships be used in programs that meet level three or four of the state's Paths to QUALITY program.
Ted Maple, United Way of Central Indiana's (UWCI) director of education, testified in support of House Bill 1004. United Way supports voluntary public pre-K programs that are evidence-based, use age-appropriate curriculum and are provided via a
mixed delivery system that includes high quality providers whether they are located in existing child cares or schools. Stay tuned for future updates and advocacy actions you can take as the bill advances.
UWCI also voiced support for HouseBill 1011. The bill would allow counties to conduct a voter referendum to opt to dedicate funding for mass transit, and ultimately result in additional transportation options for individuals and families that United Way serves.
United Way's Hamilton County Director Joan Isaac testified in support of House Bill 1011 when it was heard in the House Roads and Transportation Committee January 23. United Way's past community assessments have shown that access to reliable transportation is a basic requirement for economic self-sufficiency. You can find out more about the mass transit plan here.
House Bill 1011 was passed by the Roads and Transportation Committee and is next scheduled to be heard in the House Ways and Means Committee - likely next week. Here is a link to the HouseWays and Means Committee. If you live in one of these
legislator's districts, please let them know that you -- a constituent -- support House Bill 1011.
United Way of Central Indiana’s board adopted a resolution in support of additional transit funding in July 2012.
--Laura Smoots, director, public policy, United Way of Central
Why and how United Way is filling the training gap for professionals helping the homeless and near homeless
If you’ve ever gone to a conference or workshop where you meet and network with peers in your profession, you know how rejuvenating it can be -- not to mention a boost to your productivity and effectiveness. But when the recession hit, many nonprofits were forced to cut such opportunities from their budgets.
For case managers who work with Central Indiana’s homeless and near homeless neighbors, eliminating their professional development is not just demoralizing. United Way of Central Indiana thinks it may even be a road block to helping people who’ve hit rock bottom become productive citizens and get housed again.
That is the thinking behind an innovative new institute that United Way has created for case managers who are on the front lines helping people literally turn their lives around, according to Christie Gillespie, director of agency services. "Case managers must have the best possible knowledge, practices and resources at their disposal to succeed at such a complex and stressful job," she explained.
The institute offers training one or two times a month from January through June. The classes will: better prepare case managers to work with diverse populations; prevent burnout; and offer more techniques to help people "reconnect with work, community and relationships so they can become productive and housed again," Gillespie said.
The backgrounds, experience and education of case managers varies widely, said Gillespie, so participants themselves are an enormous resource about effective ways of overcoming homelessness." But it turns out that case manager are somewhat isolated, and the exchange of expertise was not happening, she added. "We believe they can benefit from training much like what we provide to community leaders so they'll better connect with others and avoid burnout"
The emphasis on case management will also help better position our city to compete for federal funding as well as complement the local Blueprint to End Homelessness plan.
The 16 case managers receiving six-month intense training through United Way of Central Indiana to help people who are either homeless or nearly homeless include: (front, left to right) Linda Kassis, Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center; Joanna Sutherland, Outreach Inc.; Shawnna Rice, Wheeler Mission Ministries Center; Mechelle Burnett, The Bethlehem House; and Nicole DeYoung. And in the back row from left are: Sheryl Twitty, Community Alliance of the Far Eastside (CAFÉ); James Logan, Homeless Initiative Program; Nicole Tobin, Horizon House; Amber Berry, Homeless Initiative Program; Jarred Nelson, Wheeler Mission Ministries; Al Teaters, Outreach Inc.; Nicholas Calvert, Forest Manor Multi-Service Center; Brian Andree, HVAF of Indiana Inc.; Jessica Tomlinson, Holy Family Services of Catholic Charities Indianapolis; Michael Johnson, PACE Inc, (Public Advocates in Community Re-Entry); and, Arnetta Scruggs, Stopover. Inc.
--Mary L. Kinney, Public/media relations director
If you bought one of the Sunrise Cookbooks this year to benefit United Christmas Service, you may have wondered how it helped. Today’s check presentation of $58,900 to the program amounted to a lot of cookbooks. But more importantly, the project helped 25,561 people in Central Indiana celebrate the holidays who otherwise would not have been able to. Throughout the life of the Marsh partnership with WTHR Channel 13 and United Way, cookbook sales have cumulatively raised $673,900!
Oh! And if you missed buying cookbook during the holidays, no worries! WTHR is going to have some available at its upcoming Health and Fitness Expo April 27-28!
-Mary L. Kinney, Public/media relations director