Learn more about UWECI’s new President and CEO in her spotlight blog!
At the beginning of February, United Way of East Central Iowa (UWECI) welcomed Kristin Roberts as the new President and CEO of the organization. Get to know more about Kristin through her responses below!
Tell us about where you’re from, where you grew up, etc.
I grew up in Waterloo until I was 10 years old when we moved to Denver, Iowa: the mile-wide, not the mile-high. My entire family went to Wartburg College: my parents, my older sister, and I (U-Rah-Rah!) The secret many don’t know about me now is that I spent the first six years of my working career in television news, both in news and sports. During that time, I met my husband, Mark, who’s originally from Cedar Rapids. I never expected to live in Cedar Rapids the rest of my life, but now wouldn’t want it any other way. Mark and I have two tow-headed boys who are eight and four years old and keep us very busy!
What would you say is your motto or a quote you like to live by?
I recently heard, “Lay down what’s good and find what’s best.” From a personal standpoint, I’m that person who has a hard time sitting still, is always looking to check something off the list, or is just moving. I never have trouble finding something to do. But that doesn’t mean everything I’m doing is good. And even if what I’m doing is good, is it what’s best? Additionally, it’s something I’ll be keeping in the back of my mind as I start here at United Way. We do a lot of good things. There is no doubt about that in my mind. It’s tackling the tough question of, “Are they what’s best?” that we’ll be looking at in the near and distant future.
Why did you want to work for United Way? What are you most excited for in your new role at United Way?
My faith is important to me, but I will never be the one on the corner telling you about it. Instead, my goal is to show that love and peace through my actions and service to others. Do I fail some days? You bet. But it’s what drives me each day. I’m thrilled to be a part of United Way of East Central Iowa. I’m now a part of the organization that has, perhaps, the greatest reach with our awesome non-profits and generous businesses and supporters in Cedar Rapids and Eastern Iowa. Our community is one of commitment and generosity, and to be at the core of that is beyond exciting.
What is something on your bucket list that you haven’t had a chance to complete yet?
I love to travel and want to see the world. Anywhere, anytime. For some reason, jumping out of an airplane at some point in my life seems like fun.
What do you know now that you wish you had known earlier in your career?
Those you lead have immense power, more than you the leader. The idea of servant leadership has always been engrained in me, but the theory of followership is something that really intrigues me. You can be a great leader, but that doesn’t mean anything if your people don’t want to follow you. It’s not an excuse, though. It still resides in you, the leader, to be successful with your team, your goals and your organization. You must be willing to learn the leadership skills that will serve them the best.
Where is your favorite place in the world?
My perfect “getaway spot” is a 5:30 a.m. run on a snowy winter day. The peacefulness, tranquility and beauty are unmatched. Once I warm up, I want to be anywhere my two sons and husband are.
Build the perfect sandwich… go!
Wheat-berry bread, dill spread, turkey, bacon, tomato, and lettuce. But, honestly, I love almost all deli sandwiches. Can’t go wrong!
Do you have any pets? Tell us about them!
We have Gus, a 12-year-old Boston Terrier who truly is the BEST dog in the world. His only mean streak is he will try to lick you to death when he first meets you. Otherwise, he has the best happy-go-lucky personality, doesn’t bark, and loves you unconditionally.