Our Board Rocks!

They Learn, Weigh in and Participate

By Angie Matthiessen, Executive Director

As I reflect on the year and my relationship with the United Way of Charlotte County (UWCC) Board of Directors over the years, I am filled with appreciation and gratitude for the outstanding individuals in our community who have served in this capacity for UWCC. Each member, past and present, has brought a unique perspective and invaluable guidance to our work.

Despite their demanding schedules, these influential members of our community each take the time and energy to learn, weigh in, and participate actively. Their involvement is not an easy process, but it is a testament to their profound belief in our work.

Like many boards and executives in recent years, our Board of Directors adapted to virtual Zoom meetings. While I certainly appreciate this time saving tool, there is nothing quite like meeting in person. Our UWCC Board of Directors meet monthly, allowing us to keep them apprised of our work in the community and enabling them to contribute invaluable insights and guidance.

May is usually a time of transition for us. We bid farewell to some long-time members, such as Julie Price and Elizabeth Sides, whose presence and contributions will be missed tremendously.

The appreciation I feel for each board member over the past seven years cannot be overstated. Each interaction has been a learning experience, all of them have had a unique and profound impact on me, positively influencing my leadership skills and ongoing professional development.

This past year has challenged us with focusing on our strategic priorities and activating a results-mindset. By doing some tough foundational work, we have established a pathway to serve our community for years to come. Every step of the way, I was fortunate to have the support of our outgoing Board Chair, Fred Cort.

Fred is an exceptional listener, but he also asks tough questions. In fact, his questions often cause me to pause and deeply consider the decisions we make and the “why” behind the action. He understands the work that we do and wholeheartedly supports ALICE, those whom we serve very intentionally. Fred’s compassion for those struggling in Charlotte County is evident in all he does.

As Fred turned over the gavel at our May meeting, we say thank you! Thank you for being a leader who is not afraid to challenge the status quo and for pushing both the UWCC Board and staff to excel. An area he has always championed is making sure the UWCC staff and team are cared for, and this has meant so much to me and aligns with our United at Work purpose as well.

           Kristin Cardona

The gavel now belongs to UWCC Board Chair Kristin Cardona of Edward Jones. Kristin moved to Charlotte County nine years ago and soon after was connected with UWCC. Kristin is well-known in the community and has great vision, which she will undoubtedly bring to her new role. She has been on the board for seven years and has been an active participant in the growth of the organization.

Kristin shared, “As Chair of the board, I look forward to partnering with Angie, the team, and the Board of Directors as we seek new ways to serve our community. We have a phenomenal team and sharp focus moving forward into this year. I hope to support each of our key verticals: United at Work, Ageless Engagement, and Family Empowerment as we bridge the gap, helping to connect people and organizations in our community who want to help individuals and families in need. These three verticals allow UWCC to serve folks along the continuum of our community from birth and beyond retirement. I especially appreciate that we can serve those folks in our community who are working and thus may not qualify for traditional types of assistance but may need a little extra assistance to get through a challenging time.”

Join our volunteer board members, change lives. Volunteering: the gift you give yourself and others. Extend kindness, volunteer with us. Find ways to get involved, please visit: unitedwayccfl.org/ourboardrocks.

For more information about United Way of Charlotte County’s mission:  Mobilizing the power of our community to break the cycle of poverty, please contact Angie Matthiessen, Executive Director. She can be reached at director@unitedwayccfl.org.