United Way of Greater Union County Board Retreat Introduces Enterprise-Wide Strategy

Rooted in leadership, this year’s United Way of Greater Union County (UWGUC) Board Retreat was a meeting of great minds.  Board Chair, Alison Yablonowitz, welcomed Board Members on, October 28, at Ikea in Elizabeth, New Jersey, to its conference room, where the retreat was held.  UWGUC Board Members provided an engaging mix of ideas that continue to elevate the importance of United Way as a “game changer” in the communities it is honored to serve.  Yablonowitz, a partner at Ernst & Young LLP in their Assurance Practice, set the stage for an insightful discussion on the organization’s strategic direction and future course of action.

Overall, United Way has solicited great leadership from its board members, whose compassion for strengthening families, by investing in communities, has rendered positive outcomes locally in Union County, and North and South Plainfield and in 1,800 communities worldwide.  Moreover, the retreat proved to be an opportunity to focus on United Way Worldwide newly released “Enterprise-Wide Strategy,” and the unique components of this powerful brand, from its influence on policy and driving public engagement to corralling diverse community leaders and stakeholders.

Kelli M. Kreps, Director, U.S. Network Engagement from United Way Worldwide, presented the new Enterprise-Wide Strategy that now sets the stage for a bold approach to mobilizing communities. 

As an organization, United Way envisions a world where all individuals and families achieve their human potential through education, income stability, and healthy lives.  The United Way mission is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good.

The Board members, exchanged ideas through a workshop on “Implementing Board Governance Best Practices,” that were designed to strengthen the board.  Highly engaged Board members recognized that UWGUC is in a unique position to mobilize communities – people, business owners, government officials, organizations, and families, from all across the county – and can bring passion, expertise, and resources needed to get things done.

“We will continue to focus on providing opportunities for all Union County residents.  We believe and have seen first hand, that mobilizing the caring power of communities does advance the common good for all our families,” states former Board Chairman, Woody Erhardt, who also presented a historical perspective and overview of UWGUC accomplishments.  In addition, the retreat was an opportunity to recognize the great guidance and leadership of Erhardt who received an award for his four years of service as Board Chair.

The new Enterprise-Wide strategy is beneficial in delivering measurable and positive outcomes, while also imbuing hope that revitalizes communities. It has allowed UWGUC to see the common challenges and opportunities faced by communities of concern in Union County and in South and North Plainfield.  It is a sharing of networks and best practices that can be valuable in confronting these challenges.

“We’re doing exciting things at United Way that are making a difference in our communities.  More importantly, collaborations offer greater quality and efficiency in developing solutions. This is what it means to Live United,” said Yablonowitz.  She continues, “We have a strong board, a committed set of partners and an excellent staff that supports our efforts to significantly change the circumstances of families in need.  We are prepared for the challenges ahead and we look forward to the coming year.”