Volunteer Spotlight Chris Naxera

February 19, 2016 | United Way Team

Learn about our volunteer spotlight, Chris Naxera!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where do you work? What do you do for fun?
I have been married for almost 17 years, and have two children. I recently started working at Trapeze Software Group, and my husband, John, works at Van Meter. We spend our free time at gymnastics meets watching our daughter, Hanna, and at motocross races watching our son, Alex.

I have also been on a committee for Special Olympics for 12 years. The committee holds a fundraising silent auction at the Kernels games. Game night is a family event for us. The entire family also helps with United Way events, like United Way’s 100-year birthday party at Brucemore.

What is something unique that people don’t know about you?

My family had a drag car, and I spent several summers at drag races as part of the family team. When I met my husband, I helped with his race team at Hawkeye Downs for a couple summers. We enjoy going to Nascar races and learning about motocross racing.

What are your favorite activities in the community?

  • Fourth of July celebrations
  • Riding bikes with my kids
  • Racing at Hawkeye Downs
  • Theatre Cedar Rapids

What is some of the best parenting and/or leadership advice you have received?

I have received two pieces of advice, and both could be parenting and leadership. First, always hold to your word and walk the talk. The only things we truly own are our honesty and integrity. Secondly, everyone makes mistakes; own your mistakes and learn from them. Some of the best lessons in life come from mistakes.

What are you most passionate about?

I’m very passionate about teaching my kids to pay it forward and help others. My husband and I have gotten them involved with fundraising and volunteering. They also donate their clothing and shoes to a foster family so they can experience making a difference in someone’s life.

Why is volunteering so important to you?

Nothing makes you feel as good about yourself as doing something to help others. Volunteering is also a way for me to get my kids involved in the community and teach them the importance of paying it forward.

How did you decide to get involved with United Way?

When I started at Cargill, Inc. several years ago, I handed out United Way campaign cards, but I wanted to do more than just hand them out. I worked with United Way representatives to get a real campaign going and grow the contributions made to United Way. I also got to know the staff and see what a difference United Way makes in the community.

Why did you join the Quarton Committee?

I joined Quarton because volunteering is so important to the community and makes a difference in people’s lives. I also feel that being on the committee allows me to thank lots of volunteers for all that they do.