A New Year: Q&A with Our CEO

January 03, 2018 | United Way Team

We sat down with our President and CEO, Tim Stiles, to chat about his first year leading UWECI and plans for United Way's future.

Share a few of United Way’s major accomplishments from 2017.

The Better Business Bureau recognized us for our business practices. Being only one of two nonprofits in the state to get that award, I think this speaks to how we operate.

Another accomplishment was getting spark*5 together and ready to implement. We are now gearing up for our capacity campaign and that continues to be a work in progress, but an accomplishment nonetheless.

We also had opportunities to hire new staff members and develop our leadership team. Our new staff members have been great additions to United Way.

What was your biggest learning experience during the last year?

My biggest learning experience was how to lead a team in culture change. We looked at the challenges we face at United Way with the changing workforce and workplace campaign. It takes a completely different type of culture to approach these challenges and to lead a team in that culture change meant I had to do a lot of learning.

Do you have a favorite memory from your first year as CEO?

One of my personal favorites was receiving recognition from United Way Worldwide for 30 years of service. United Way has been part of my life for a long time—it seems like those years flew by!

I think another favorite memory, not necessarily tied to one moment, is that the staff has been very supportive of me. I feel very comfortable in approaching any member of this team, and I believe they feel comfortable approaching me. And the fact that we can joke and have fun is proof we are able to work together through thick and thin. I like that kind of environment.

What are you looking forward to in the next year at United Way?

Innovation. We are an organization that has been around for more than 100 years now, and you do not last that long unless you evolve and change to meet the needs of your community. How we are going to raise money in the community for our workplace campaign is going to reflect that, and some of the strategies we are going to implement will be different from what we have done in the past.

Where would you like to see UWECI a year from now?

A year from now, we want to have spark*5 fully funded for the five-year pilot phase. Next, we will implement some new campaign strategies that generate positive results. Finally, we will have a cohesive, cross-functional, and innovative culture that operates better and more effectively as a team.