United Way continues as positive force to make good things happen

Adam Payne • Board President UnitedWay of Sheboygan Cty.

This month the United Way of Sheboygan County Board of Directors will hold its annual meeting and elect new board members and officers.

The annual meeting also marks the end of my tenure as board president. I’m pleased to share the organization is in very good hands, for Kristi Jankowski, senior vice president of innovation at Sargento Foods, has served as the vice-president and is president-elect. In addition, Craig Yoder, foodservice product manager at Johnsonville Sausage, has agreed to join the executive committee and serve as vice-president, and Gina Covelli, community relations manager at Lakeland University, and Tom Brickley, vice president commercial lending at Commerce State Bank, will remain as secretary and treasurer, respectively.

The United Way Board of Directors is blessed with thoughtful and talented community leaders, and in addition to the officers I just mentioned, also includes:

• Steven Gozdziewski, Thermofisher Scientific.

• Barb Felde, retired Sheboygan Area School District.

• Betsy Alles, Sheboygan County Chamber of Commerce.

• David Bolland, Plymouth Foam.

• Carrie Dassow, Plymouth School District.

• Jackie Downs, Wilson Mutual Insurance Co.

• Tom Eggebrecht, Sheboygan County Health and Human Services Department.

• John Ehmann, Kohler Credit Union.

• Jim Gallimore, BMO Harris.

• Foua Hang, Lakeshore Technical College.

• Tom Heinrich, retired Heinrich Law Offices.

• Cindy Howley, Kohler Co.

• Jerry Jones, Merrill Lynch.

• Mike Lanser, Lakeshore Technical College.

• Matt O’Connor, Rockline Industries.

• Tom Stoelb, the Vollrath Co.

I am very thankful for the board’s leadership, community service and support. Working together, along with our talented United Way staff, we accomplished a lot the past year.

The Board hired a new executive director, Tom Malmstadt, and I am confident that under his leadership, United Way of Sheboygan County will continue to improve.

In addition to focusing more on community impact and supporting a number of key programs that our partner agencies provide, the past year we also made tremendous progress with the Sheboygan County Community Partnership for Children (CPC) and PATH (Providing Access to Healing). Welcome Baby took flight at Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Health Center and St. Nicholas Hospital, providing first-time parents a visit with a Family Resource Specialist to connect appropriate community resources to help support their new family.

The PATH program, which provides licensed therapists in the school setting, expanded into two additional school locations. Now in its second year, PATH includes Headstart and the Plymouth School District as well as continuing in the Random Lake School District and Etude School. United Way intends to expand this program into additional school districts for the 2017-18 year as well. This work is so important to help address mental illness and sadly, an increase in youth suicide, a very serious public health concern that significantly impact families and our community. The PATH program removes barriers to care including limited financial resources, lack of reliable transportation, language barriers and absence of parental support.

I’d also like to thank our two outstanding 2016 United Way Campaign Chairs, Todd and Karri Neils, of Bank First National and Sargento Foods, respectively. Todd and Karri brought such enthusiasm and vigor to this year’s campaign, and once again, the community responded and rallied around good causes and opportunities to help people in need. We are so fortunate to have so many caring, generous donors, and your support is making a real difference in people’s lives.

As my term as United Way Board President draws to a close, I want to say thank you to all involved. I am grateful for the opportunity to be surrounded by so many talented and caring people who strive to lift people up and help make good things happen. Thanks to a dedicated Board of Directors, talented and caring staff, and so many generous donors and volunteers, the United Way of Sheboygan County is a strong organization helping change lives for the better.

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