Get To Know Our New Board Members
Katie was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. Katie has a Bachelors of Science in Accounting and Bachelors of Arts in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She relocated to Florida to attend law school and moved to Charlotte County following her graduation from Barry University School of Law in 2007.
Katie has been a licensed attorney for the past 13 years and is currently a partner at the Wallace Law Firm practicing in the areas of Family Law and Criminal Defense.
She and her husband of 10 years, Dennis, are raising two four-legged children, Stella and Penny. She loves spending time with her family, traveling, and is an enthusiastic sports fan, especially of the Clemson Tigers, Tampa Bay Rays and the Buccaneers.
She was introduced to United Way of Charlotte County (UWCC) through her participation in Leadership Charlotte 2019 (Go Green!) “I was so impressed with all of the good work the United Way does to break the cycle of poverty in our community.” She has been an active volunteer with the Community Impact Panels, Inaugural Campaign Cabinet, Women United and various UWCC projects ever since.
Now as a UWCC board member, she is grateful to have the opportunity to continue to give back to the community where she lives and works. “Serving the ALICE population is important to help develop financial stability and have access to quality education and healthcare. Everyone at some point in their life has or will need the help of others in their community. We can all go farther together.”
It started out with one of the bank's directors asking me to chair a division of an annual campaign-an offer I could not refuse. My experience was that we were actually "friend raising" not fund raising and if you had friends the funds would follow if you could present the need. It was not about an annual campaign but a long term effort to build friends and therefore a capacity to meet needs both now and in the future. We were trying to tell the United Way story and the community need story to raise friends but we began to raise some money for that and future annual campaigns. I learned things about the community I might never have known-not just about the needs of people and the work that agencies were doing-although that was always a significant part of the experience-but also about what is possible when a community comes together and focuses on solving the issues before it. To contribute to that growth of the community was reason enough to be involved and to stay involved eventually working in various Board roles to help staff and volunteers to achieve the best result we could in meeting needs and in recognizing those who made it happen.
From my perspective, the United Way has always been in the role of helping the community help itself. It offers a means for those who want to help to apply their time and talent-and, yes, sometimes their monetary gifts-in a very efficient and effective way. I know it works and I know when the place I call home is working to lift those most in need, all of us will be better off.
I have two sons, six grandchildren, five rescued family members: two dogs and three cats. I'm married to Carol Ryan who, before retirement, worked in banking and for an international not for profit focused on family and reproductive health issues. This led to our travel and work in Turkey, Thailand, Cambodia, The Philippines, Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Bolivia, and Russia. We share most interests above and Carol would add running- mostly 5k's but also several marathons and a triathlon in the past. A lot of running for Carol means I'm doing a lot of bike riding to keep her company.