Member Name: Bonnie Duncan
Member Segment: United Way Retiree
Member Quote: After 25 years at United Way of Hunterdon County I was looking forward to retirement last year. Some folks may have a detailed plan of what that next step in their life journey would be – I was not one of those folks. I knew I needed to take some time to decompress. I wanted to spend some time on self-care while spending more time with friends and family While that was the initial plan, it wasn’t long before I knew I wasn’t done and that I needed a plan to see how I could still put some of my skills to work in a different way.
Our United Way was a lifelong supporter of the United Way Retirees Association, and I was intrigued by the rebranding and launch of United Way NEXT Switching to an individual membership was easy and there were so many opportunities to get involved and still stay connected to the United Way system. Over the past year I have been able to pick and choose the work I want to be engaged in. I’ve attended webinars and networking meetings. I joined the Engage and Exchange Work Group to see how we can partner, collaborate, and coordinate with UWW and others. The collective knowledge of skills amongst my colleagues is inspiring. Through UW NEXT, I got certified as an Interim Executive Director with the Third Sector Company and attended their first annual conference.
Joining UW NEXT was the best thing for me. I’m not ready to hang up on all my past work. This allows me to stay connected and stay active, but at my own pace. Lifelong learning only makes us better and there is so much still left to do. I encourage everyone to check out UW NEXT and see where you fit in – I guarantee there is a place for you.
Member Name: Rochelle Zeidman
Member Segment: United Way Alumni
Member Quote: UW NEXT provides a unique value proposition - connecting committed current and former talented leaders for strategy and advice to serve local United Way communities through learning opportunities and mentorships. I value and am inspired by their knowledge and passion to create a more equitable world where all people thrive, and every community is a resilient one, with family-sustaining jobs, good schools and a healthy environment for all. My United Way journey included serving as Director of U.S. and International Giving at UWW, collaborating with local United Ways. Through that experience, I was humbled to see the commitment of the Tocqueville Society, Women’s Leadership members, and the incredible people who believe in the UW mission in communities across the U.S. and around the world. As a member of UW NEXT, I have been continuously impressed by this dedicated army of talent and compassion leveraging their abilities to solve tough problems and have lasting impact.
Shemagne O’Keefe Mullin
Member Segment: Current United Way Staff
I have been of service in the greater Milwaukee nonprofit world for over 30 years. I have had the privilege to work with a number of our largest institutions including a stint at United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County about 20 years ago. For the last four UW campaigns I like to say I came back “home” to United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County as a seasonal Campaign Coordinator. I fell in love all over again with the mission, connecting with fabulous Ambassadors and corporate partners and of course, the outstanding volunteers and extraordinary Team. Like many organizations, our United Way has had many Planned Giving starts and stops. This past spring the first full time Planned Giving role was created, and I was thrilled to be hired. I did not have any Planned Giving experience and was now charged with building a new program focused on connecting with people in a personal way to create opportunities for ensuring an organization they have trusted for over 100 years and the community they love is sustained for another 100 years and always!
Top priority was training, and my first call was to the wonderful Evelyn Morgner at UWW. She connected me to a wealth of information and training opportunities at United Way Worldwide. Her first referral was to Carole Peters at United Way NEXT. Carole and I hit it off so quickly and she became a wonderful resource and excellent support! She also connected me to her esteemed volunteer faculty including Bob Ferriday former CFO at United Way Greater Milwaukee when I was here 20 years ago! What a delight to reconnect with Bob! Bob and another faculty member with Milwaukee connections Monica Estabrooke have become trusted mentors. So grateful for their support! Carole and United Way NEXT were an incredible resource as we began our Planned Giving journey. In partnership with United Way NEXT, we have embarked on a Planned Giving Study/Readiness Assessment led by esteemed faculty Janet Clarkson Davis and Ed John. Together, we will capture valuable donor and key constituent input and feedback to shape an effective and sustainable planned giving program and overall case for giving. United Way NEXT expertise and support is integral and invaluable as we launch our program and integrate planned giving into all of work. It is an honor to be part of a team paving the way for other United Ways to build planned giving programs that last. Thank you Carole, Janet, Ed, Bob, Monica and everyone involved in United Way NEXT! Your wisdom, passion and experience are deeply appreciated!
Member Segment: United Way Retiree
I am a graduate of UCONN 1974 and Quinnipiac Law School 1981. I was a practicing Attorney in the 1980’s. I started my United Way career on March 18, 1978. There was an advertised position for a Campaign Associate in our local paper, a position funded by the Federal Government under the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA). Funding ended in September, 1978 and the Board of United Way of Milford voted to fund the position. I have been there ever since, at least until June 30, 2022 when I retired after 44 years. It is highly unusual for a person to stay in one community for that long. I took over as Executive Director in January, 1986 when my predecessor retired. I never had any desire to move. Milford is a wonderful coastal community in Connecticut. I really enjoyed my United Way career and am proud to be a member of NEXT where I am able to renew old acquaintances and hopefully have a continuing impact on the United Way movement in years to come.
Member Segment: Local United Way
My United Way journey started in August 1987. What was originally meant to be something to do until I figured out what I really wanted to do, became my vocation. Four United Way communities and 36 years later, I can't think of anything else I would rather do than to be a part of making change in my community. Over the course of my time with United Way, I’ve often been asked the question - what makes you want to stay? My response is always the same - first, I stay because I am committed to doing everything I can along with my team and community to ensure that everyone has access to opportunities to thrive. Second, the magic of United Way is our ability to bring together all sectors to tackle the issues that we all care about. Lastly, I believe in the power of our collective humanity.
The beauty of being a part of this movement for so long is that I have had an opportunity to know so many great United Way professionals that have provided me support and mentorship over the years. It’s wonderful to stay connected with many of them by becoming a part of United Way NEXT. Our Local United Way joined 10 years ago and as a new CEO, I was pleased to know that I would be able to have access to a wide range of resources as I navigated my new role. I continue to find value in the support that United Way NEXT can provide, and I always encourage other United Ways to use it as a resource.
United Way NEXT’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
United Way NEXT harnesses the passion and experience of current and former United Way professionals for the betterment of each other, the United Way network, and our communities. In achieving this purpose, we aim to create member experiences that enhance a sense of value and belonging by:
Board approved – 9/11/2023