United Way of Southwest Alabama / Uncategorized  / United Way Soars Past Goal Raises $5 Million in 2013 Campaign

United Way Soars Past Goal Raises $5 Million in 2013 Campaign

In front of an audience of roughly 300 community leaders, volunteers, supporters, and other community partners at the United Way of Southwest Alabama’s annual meeting and campaign celebration, David Trent, the 2013 Campaign Chairman and Site Director for Airbus Americas Engineering announced that the organization not only reached their goal for the 2013 annual fundraising campaign, but soared past it. “I am proud to share that during the 2013 campaign, individuals and businesses throughout southwest Alabama embraced our new community impact process. As support for our focus on the building blocks grew, so did our campaign. I am pleased to announce the 2013 campaign raised $5,003,272, a 5.2% increase over the previous year’s successful campaign.”

The goal for the United Way of Southwest Alabama’s (UWSWA) 2013 campaign was $4.8 million. This would have been a 1% increase over the successful 2012 campaign, which raised $4,755,963. That campaign achieved a 4.1% increase over the 2011’s campaign and was the first increase in more than nine years and our largest increase in 14 years.

“More importantly than the amount of money that is raised are the programs and services that these funds will be invested in that make the difference,” said Trent. “By focusing on our Community Building Blocks and investing in programs and services that make positive impacts, we truly can improve the lives of thousands of people throughout our community.”

“Our mission of improving lives is resonating with our donors,” stated Tina Blackmon, Vice President of Resource Development for UWSWA. “Whether we are presenting to a group of employees during a workplace campaign or talking to community leaders, the idea of helping our community as a whole and focusing on the building blocks has definitely aided in the increase we achieved in the 2013 campaign.”

The event, which was held at Via Health, Fitness and Enrichment Center in Mobile, not only celebrated a successful campaign, but also discussed other achievements and the many changes it made throughout the year.

“This past year, the organization has worked as a whole to be as efficient and effective as possible,” stated Allen Ladd, the 2013 Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Vice President at Thames Batre’. Ladd went on to discuss some of the major changes and activities of UWSWA in 2013, which included how UWSWA merged HandsOn South Alabama into the organization, began a strategic planning process which led to a restructuring of the staff, and most recently lowered the 2014 administration and fundraising rate to 9.95%, which is the lowest that rate has been for UWSWA in decades.

“We will persist in looking for ways to improve, and will continue our work and efforts in the areas of Education, Financial Stability, Health, and Essentials, that are improving lives in our community for the better,” continued Ladd.

Throughout the event, the top contributing companies were recognized, awards for campaign achievements were presented, and special recognitions were given.
Outstanding Small Business Award – Servis1st Bank
Outstanding Mid-Size Business Award – Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce
Outstanding Campaign Effort – Publix
Employee Campaign Coordinator of the Year – Lt. Kay Taylor, Mobile City Police Dept.
Loaned Executive of the Year – Jackie Orso, Regions

Sarah Damson and Austal were presented the top two awards, receiving the Outstanding Philanthropist award and the Spirit of the Gulf Coast award respectively. Mrs. Damson was honored for her many years of service to local nonprofits and as a valued United Way volunteer. She has been a former board chair, campaign chair, and is currently an emeritus Board of Trustee member. The Spirit of the Gulf Coast Award is the highest award the United Way of Southwest Alabama can give a company. This award is presented to the company that consistently demonstrates a strong workplace campaign, diversity and depth in their community service, and energetic, bold leadership in addressing community issues and needs. This company embodies the highest standards of civic engagement and community-based philanthropy. Along with hosting an annual golf event to benefit the United Way, Austal and its employees exemplified all of these attributes by supporting United Way initiatives, workplace campaigns, volunteer efforts, and volunteer leadership.

The United Way of Southwest Alabama also announced their 2014-15 Board of Trustees and elected the organization’s new board of trustees officers:
Chairman of the Board: David Trent, Airbus Americas Engineering
Vice Chair/Campaign Chair: Don Keeler, Austal
Treasurer: Mark Fillers, BBVA Compass Bank Secretary: Martha Peek, Mobile County Public School System

Joining the board of trustees are eight new community leaders:

Chad Blanton, Publix (2017)
Colby Cooper, City of Mobile, Mayor’s office (2017)
Dorothy Curry, Via Health, Fitness & Enrichment Center (2015)
Suzy Hardy, PNC Bank (2017)
Charles Hyland, Mobile Area Water and Sewer System (2017)
Rick Norris, Clarke-Washington Electric (2016)
Henry O’Connor III, Trustmark National Bank (2017)
Beth Thomas, Alabama Power (2017)

Rejoining the board of trustees for a second three-year term are:

Liz Freeman, Long’s Human Resource Services (2017)
Brian Jordan, Fusionpoint Media (2017)
Mike Marshall, (2017)

Alan H. Turner II, president and CEO of the United Way of Southwest Alabama, started off the event by encouraging all the attendees to follow UWSWA on Twitter (@UWSWA) and tweet about the event (#LiveUnited). He also thanked the various contributors to the campaign and offered an optimistic vision for the organization’s future.

“Over the past few years, we have worked hard to build a solid foundation for our organization and community,” stated Turner. “I am very pleased with the work that has been done, but understand we cannot stop now. We are poised to continue building strong partnerships and collaborations, to continue our work as an agent of change for southwest Alabama, and to continue to advance the common good and make a positive impact in the lives of our friends, families and neighbors.”