Learn more about UWECI’s Senior Manager of VITA & 2-1-1, Cliff Ehlinger, as he reaches the home plate of retirement.
United Way of East Central Iowa’s (UWECI) Senior Manager of VITA & 2-1-1, Cliff Ehlinger, started his first week of true retirement today. We were able to throw him a Cubs-themed going away party to honor his five years of commitment to UWECI and our community.
Cliff grew up in Chicago, where he went on to attend college, play semi-pro baseball, and earn both his master’s and doctorate degrees. His career has touched the lives of many; whether it was as a 7th grade social studies teacher, during his 34 years at Grant Wood AEA, filling numerous positions related to education, or overseeing the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program at UWECI. His experiences span far and wide—as a well-known, well-liked guy dedicated to making a difference in education, he was recruited for many positions across the U.S.—and this isn’t his first time retiring. This time, he claims, it’s for real.
“We’re going to do whatever Betty wants to do,” said Cliff with a smirk. Betty, Cliff’s wife, is a LAP-AID volunteer at the UWECI office. “I’m going to golf some, we’ll do some traveling, and work on the house. We’re going to spend some of the winter in Florida and Georgia, but we’re just going to do whatever we want!”
His most fond memories at UWECI are from working with the VITA volunteers.
“[Working with the volunteers] is like nothing I’ve ever been around. They’re not getting paid, they enjoy working with each other, they seem to have fun, and they love helping people,” said Cliff.
In his time over-seeing the VITA program, nearly 10,000 people in our community saved more than $16.7 million while filing taxes! The volunteers and clients aren’t the only ones he’s impacted during his time at UWECI, though.
“I will miss Cliff’s calm, cool, and collected attitude toward everything,” said UWECI Jones County Volunteer Center Coordinator, Amy Keltner. “He’s brilliant, has some great lifetime experiences, and is always supportive. He’s truly going to be missed.”
“I like how he says he doesn’t like socializing, yet he charms and connects with individuals at a deeper level than most,” said UWECI Senior Manager of Volunteer Engagement, Sue Driscoll. “Everyone loves to be around him.”
Cliff will truly be missed by every member of the UWECI family, but we wish him the best in retirement.
“I’ll continue to be close to the people here and stop in from time-to-time,” said Cliff. We’ll hold you to it, Cliff!