United Way of Story County (UWSC) recognized individuals for their service to Story County at an event that was held last month to celebrate the end of the 2017 LIVE UNITED campaign. Each year, UWSC hands out three awards – Spirit Award, Wall of Fame and Chair’s Leadership Award – at the event. The individuals that are selected to receive the awards have gone above and beyond to help the organization maximize its resources and make an impact on the community.

The Spirit Award is given to an individual from a UWSC partner agency (volunteer or staff, but not executive director) who has demonstrated exceptional dedication, professionalism, pride and commitment to the spirit of United Way, as well as a genuine desire to improve the quality of life for people who live and work in Story County. The individual is nominated by the partner agency and UWSC selects the winner from those nominations based on the criteria of the award.

This year, Terri Johanson, division director of Child Welfare and Transition Services at YSS, received the Spirit Award. Johanson has been involved in many programs, including Rosedale Shelter, Foster Care, Iowa After Care Network, Four Oaks Family Connections and Francis Lauer Youth Services. She works hard so that her clients leave the program empowered to stand strong and be happy, self-sufficient human beings. Johanson received the award for embodying the purpose of the agency and of UWSC by bringing passion and expertise to those she works with and for each day.

The Wall of Fame award was started in 2000 to honor UWSC annual campaign volunteers who have gone beyond the call of duty. David Spalding, dean of the College of Business at Iowa State University, was recognized for his volunteer work as the LIVE UNITED campaign’s Tocqueville Campaign Chair. Spalding has served officially in this role since 2016. Tocqueville Society members donate $10,000 or more annually. Under Spalding’s leadership, the number of these donations has increased from 14 in 2015 to 24 in 2017. Through the impact of Spalding’s leadership, UWSC has been able to increase its support in ASSET allocations, new pilot programs and expansions like the summer learning partnerships, and our major grant cycles that support essential projects like the Miracle Park.

The Chair’s Leadership Award is given to an individual who has demonstrated a history of great leadership and assistance in directing and shaping UWSC. Karen Kiel Rosser, vice president and quality improvement officer at Mary Greeley Medical Center, received the award for her work on the UWSC board of directors and her role in shaping the home-delivered meal programs offered through Home Health Services and Heartland Senior Services. Under her direction, the two programs work together to make a bigger impact by improving time, cost, and quality.

UWSC relies heavily on the community of volunteers who come together to help raise awareness for and meet the needs within our community. There is no doubt about it, the needs within Story County are much greater than one organization or its staff can meet, but together – as individuals, agencies, and businesses – we can join together, LIVE UNITED, and make a lasting impact for the betterment of all who live and work here. We are thankful to be part of a community who shares that vision.

Kim Mack is the marketing director for United Way Story County.