I am following my friend, Connie Carroll, and her 25-year tenure with United Way, into the role of Executive Director starting now. This means I have big shoes to fill. Connie has been a great advocate for the underserved people in both counties, and I am honored to follow in her footsteps. I hope I can continue her legacy of passion and enthusiasm while trying to make the world a better place for underserved populations. I look forward to guiding the United Way into the next chapter of meeting community needs.
I am lucky to have worked closely with the United Way my whole career. They were always an important community partner, helping to fund the services my teams provided to the community. I am now in the “twilight” of my career, but United Way has always been a constant. The first 13 years of my career were at the Washtenaw County American Red Cross as the Emergency Services Director. I worked closely with the Washtenaw United Way then, even spending one fall campaign season as a loaned UW executive. My next stop was 15 years as the CEO of the Monroe County Red Cross, and I worked closely with the United Way, helping with innumerable campaign presentations, special events and facilitating the United Way Agency Directors’ group for many years. After retiring from 28 years with the Red Cross, I then became the Executive Director of Family Counseling & Children’s Services (later to become just Catherine Cobb Safe House) in Lenawee County. I still maintained close ties with the United Way while in this position, too. So, when the opportunity came up, I gladly said yes to the Associate Director position in 2018 with the United Way of Monroe/Lenawee Counties. It seemed a fitting way to spend the sunset years of my career!
Now my “sunset” continues for a few more years. These past years with the United Way have been a joy to help discover new, innovative ways of advocating for social service needs in both Monroe and Lenawee Counties. I have met and worked with so many wonderful community partners, donors and friends. All with the desire to make their community, their world a better place. Whether it’s addressing homelessness, food insecurity, health, mental health, literacy, or financial instability, what better calling to aspire to? Raising funds to ensure the 36 agency programs we support have an ongoing ability to change lives is vitally important to our respective communities. I hope you will join me. Thus, my new journey begins…
Annually the United Way funds 25 local Monroe County agency programs. They also sponsor countywide 2-1-1 services, and coordinate Project Ramp, 4 annual Health Check events, and the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP). All funds raised in Monroe County stay in Monroe County. For more information about the GIVING AND LIVING UNITED, please contact us! Call us at 734-242-1331, contact us for an appointment at our office: 216 N. Monroe St., Monroe, MI 48161. You can visit our website at www.unitedwayMLC.org. Or you may contact me at email@example.com.
Laura Schultz Pipis is the Executive Director of the United Way of Monroe/Lenawee Counties.
This article originally appeared on The Monroe News: New United Way executive director: 'I have big shoes to fill'