United Way of Cass Clay holds Live United awards ceremony and meeting
FARGO - A crowd of 600 people gathered to attend the United Way's 2018 Live United awards ceremony and annual meeting Thursday, March 15, at the Delta by Marriott Fargo.In an interview, Kristi Huber, president of the United Way of Cass-Clay, said...
FARGO - A crowd of 600 people gathered to attend the United Way's 2018 Live United awards ceremony and annual meeting Thursday, March 15, at the Delta by Marriott Fargo.
In an interview, Kristi Huber, president of the United Way of Cass-Clay, said the event was an opportunity to report the organization's progress toward its 4 Bold Community Goals of reducing hunger and homelessness, preparing children to succeed, helping people be independent and lifting people out of poverty.
In one example, Huber spoke of the success of the United Way's Housing First Strategy, a program that provides a housing navigator for chronically homeless individuals. She said the United Way's strategic investment in the program has already resulted in more than $261,000 in savings for the community.
The United Way's 2017 campaign raised more than $6 million dollars, but Huber said it's strategic investments and partnerships that have helped the organization make headway with its goals.
"It's wonderful for us to have a generous community, but it also takes very thoughtful and strategic investment to make real change happen. It takes very diligent and collaborate partnerships in order for us to see this change happen in the community," Huber explained.
Huber said Thursday's event was also meant to honor the generous businesses, partners and volunteers that made these strategic investments possible.
Awards ceremony co-host Eric Piela channeled "The Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon, treating the audience to the United Way's version of thank you notes before awarding the following major awards:
• Live United Leader of the Year: Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota
• Outstanding Employee Engagement Award - more than 500 employees: American Crystal Sugar Co.; 100-500 employees: Cognizant; fewer than 100 employees: Lakes & Prairies Community Action Partnership
• Best New United Way Campaign - more than 500 employees: Integrity Windows and Doors; fewer than 500 employees: BNG Team
- Outstanding Campaign Cabinet Volunteer of the Year: Erik Diederich, Industrial Builders
• Emerging Leaders Catalyst of the Year: Alissa Maier, Discovery Benefits
• Most Innovative and Creative Plan: Cornerstone Bank
• Community Engagement Award: Choice Financial Group
Winners took a moment in the spotlight on stage next to Piela, something Huber said she thought they and the audience members would remember and enjoy.
"Hopefully the other thing that they will really hold close to their hearts is the impact that has been made through all of the efforts across the community to impact the lives of children and families," Huber said.
Comings and goings
As part of the annual meeting, the United Way also honored its outgoing board members, Fargo Park District Executive Director Joel Vettel, Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney and Minnesota State University Moorhead President Anne Blackhurst.
They will be replaced by new board members: Fargo Superintendent Jeff Schatz; Faith Ngunjiri, director of the Lorentzsen Center for Faith and Work and associate ethics professor at Concordia College;; and Mark Nisbet, Xcel Energy's principal manager in North Dakota. Erik Hatch of Hatch Realty was also introduced as the United Way's 2018 volunteer campaign chair.