United Way of the Coastal Empire had lots to celebrate in its 76th Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon. Over 350 people were in attendance as United Way reflected on the great achievements the organization accomplished through the support and contributions of generous individuals, companies and organizations. During the event, United Way also honored three outstanding individuals for their spirit of giving, advocating and volunteering for the Coastal Empire community.
Outgoing Board Chair Jeff Kole, president of Kole Management Company, proudly shared the work United Way has done throughout the past year. He expressed gratitude to volunteers for their dedicated service to the community through United Way. Some highlights of United Way’s achievements include: Exceeded 2013 campaign goal, raised over $8,900,000. Invested in 104 programs across 59 non-profit organizations in Bryan, Chatham, Effingham and Liberty counties Mobilized more than 9,500 volunteers, which gave over 58,000 hours of service through United Way HandsOn Savannah
As a volunteer driven organization, United Way of the Coastal Empire is thankful for all of its volunteers. During the celebration, President and CEO Gregg Schroeder honored three outstanding individuals for their excellence in giving, advocating and volunteering for United Way of the Coastal Empire. Introduced in 2012, the Spirit of Community Awards is United Way of the Coastal Empire’s highest honor, recognizing an individual, company or organization for exceptional philanthropic commitment to the United Way and the community. The 2014 Spirit of Community Awards were awarded to: 1. Mr. Robert S. Jepson for his spirit of giving 2. Ms. Linda J. Evans for her spirit of advocating 3. Mr. Craig Harney for his spirit of volunteering
The business portion of the Annual Meeting continued with the election of eight community leaders to serve on the Board of Directors, as well as its slate of executive committee members for 2014.
The 2014 board executive committee is: Board Chair: Michael Traynor, Savannah Morning News; Board Vice Chair: Pratt Summers, Colonial Group; Immediate Past Board Chair: Jeff Kole, Kole Management Company; Corporate Secretary: Frank Macgill, HunterMaclean; Treasurer And Finance Chair: Cindy Robinett, Seacrest Partners; Campaign Chair: Jenny Gentry, Wells Fargo; Marketing Chair: Deb Thompson, WSAV-TV; Community Investments Chair: Steve Pound, St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System At Large Members: Dr. Cheryl Dozier, Savannah State University; Cliff Pyron, Georgia Ports Authority; Trip Tollison, Savannah Economic Development Authority; Dr. Malik Watkins, University of Georgia
Jeff Kole concluded his portion of the program by bestowing the role of United Way’s Chairman of the Board to Michael Traynor, publisher of the Savannah Morning News. Traynor has been involved with United Way of the Coastal Empire for a number of years and recently served as Campaign Chair in 2010.
The meeting ended with the introduction of the 2014 Campaign Chair, Jenny Gentry, market president for Wells Fargo. The upcoming fall campaign will showcase Gentry and the United Way volunteers who will help raise funds during the 2014 campaign.
United Way of the Coastal Empire thanks community volunteers – Dr. Cheryl Dozier of Savannah State University, Tessa Morris of Savannah VOICE Festival, Dan Flaxer of WSAVTV– who helped during the event.
For more information about United Way of the Coastal Empire, visit www.uwce.org.