Caring in Common Tag Archive

Today's Spotlight: Zachary Beasley, III

Zachary Beasley, III is a Community Impact Strategist at River Region United Way in Montgomery, AL. He shared with us his hobbies outside of work, his motivation for work, and some pretty awesome photos.

We asked him a lot of questions, but what was our favourite answer? His personal mantra: "Serving is not what I do; it's who I am."

Read on to get to know him better!

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Caring in Common: A Customer Spotlight on Zachary Beasley

 


 

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Zachary Beasley, II
Community Impact Strategist
River Region United Way
Montgomery, AL, USA

 


 

How long have you been working for your organization?

Four years.

What’s a typical day in your role like?

Here at the River Region United Way (RRUW), I work with over 100 volunteers to respond to immediate needs, assess the needs of the community, and advocate on their behalf.

My day varies based on the time of year. Daily, I receive requests for immediate assistance for disaster relief/emergency assistance (i.e., house fire, eviction, or even relocation due to domestic violence). During the Fall, I work closely with our Community Impact Council (CIC) to identify the greatest needs in our Five County Region (Autauga, Elmore, Lowndes, Macon, and Montgomery). Once these needs are identified, the Allocations Committee (AC) calls for grant/agency applications to address these needs which are hosted through Andar.

In the Spring, I work alongside our volunteers to allocate funds to address the needs that were identified by the CIC in the annual needs assessment and provide accountability to those agencies through measuring outcomes they report.

During the summer months, I work closely with community leaders to encourage summer reading amongst elementary students. We improve the quality of life of our community through addressing the health, education, financial stability, and basic needs of the youth we work with through our Days of Action project. This year, our program is designed to teach children how food is grown, the importance of proper diet and nutrition through reading and activities.

Then there is a short break before the Fall, and we gear up to assess the needs of the community.

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Above: Zachary participating in the 2019 Days of Action.

What motivates you to come to work every day?

I wake up every morning, ready to come to work, knowing that the work I do today creates a better future for the next generation.

What’s your favourite aspect of your job?

The thing I love most about my job is knowing that what I do directly impacts our community in a meaningful way!

What are your biggest professional challenges?

My biggest professional challenge is knowing that the needs always outweigh the resources.

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Above: Many United Way events wouldn't be possible without the participation of community partners. Seen here, Zachary thanking the Learning Table Community Education Partners.

If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor? Can you tell us why?

If I could choose anyone as a mentor, I would select Dave Ramsey. Dave is a Christian, financial counselor, businessman, and radio host who encourages his listeners to “dump their debt, take control of their money, and learn new behaviors around money that are founded on commitment and accountability.” By following Dave’s principles, my family and I have greatly benefited from his advice.

What’s your personal mantra?

Serving is not what I do; it’s who I am.

Do you have hobbies outside of work? What are they?

From an early age, I took a great interest in architecture. Paired with a passion to serve, I purchase old houses, renovate them, and offer them back to the community at a subsidized rate via leasing/buying.

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Above: Another hobby of Zachary's is kayaking.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

My guilty pleasure is Haribo’s Gummy Dinosaurs.

 

 


 

Carring in Common - Get to know other Andar fans who care about making #impact as much as you do.

 

Caring in Common is a spotlight series that showcases different nonprofit professionals on the last Friday of each month. The goal is to highlight Andar Software customers from all walks of life, levels of experience, and areas of expertise. Their answers will inspire you, give you insight about the nonprofit industry, and motivate you on both a professional and personal level.

Caring in Common: Customer Spotlight Series

Caring in Common is a spotlight series that showcases different nonprofit professionals on the last Friday of each month. The goal is to highlight Andar Software customers from all walks of life, levels of experience, and areas of expertise. Their answers will inspire you, give you insight about the nonprofit industry, and motivate you on both a professional and personal level.

Today, we get to know Sandra Taylor from Metro United Way in Louisville, Kentucky. She shares with us photos, what motivates her to come to work, her personal mantra, and much more. Go on, become acquainted with your Andar community!

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Caring in Common: A Customer Spotlight on Sandra Taylor

 


 

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Sandra Taylor
Senior Manager, Campaign Processing & Collections
Metro United Way
Louisville, KY, USA

 


 

How long have you been working for your organization?

Since February 2004. I just celebrated my 15 yrs. in 2019!

What’s a typical day in your role like?

During campaign, as anyone who has lived through one can attest is some way, it is very hectic, going from one issue/problem to the next. Many times, putting out several fires all at the same time. Non-campaign, while still busy, is when I review our processes, procedures, clean-up, follow-ups, interdepartmental meetings... all the things needed to get ready for the next campaign. To sum it up — always busy.

What motivates you to come to work every day?

When I first came to (Metro) United Way, I only knew of the organization as something I donated weekly to via my previous employer and payroll deductions. I soon came to realize; however, just how important United Way is to the community, all communities, and how much of an impact the organization makes to those in need.

I get to come to work knowing what I do makes a difference in people's lives every day, and not many people have jobs that give them that satisfaction! I feel very blessed!

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Above: A selfie of Sandra sporting her LIVE UNITED shirt at a Metro United Way meeting.

What’s your favourite aspect of your job?

Figuring it out, whatever “it” is, and getting it right. My team and I have pins and posters stating, “I am Sherlocked.” Anyone familiar with the great detective series knows how much Sherlock Holmes puts into solving his cases and finding “whodunnit” and we put that much into finding — and applying — the money correctly. Several times it takes a lot of sleuthing to identify payments and where they really belong — as anyone in any United Way processing payments, and sometimes pledges, can attest. It is all in the details, and if you just take the time to find and go through the paperwork, you WILL find the answer(s). 

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Above: Sandra and friends celebrating Metro United Way's 100th Birthday.

What are your biggest professional challenges?

The flow of information between departments in a United Way the size of Metro United Way can be the biggest challenge. And, as we move to make ourselves more relevant in the quickly changing landscape of the United Way non-profit world, that information is constantly changing as well, making it even more challenging.

If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor? Can you tell us why?

Amy Hess. As a working Mother and now the FBI’s Executive Assistant Director out of the Washington DC office of the FBI, Amy Hess would be my top choice as a mentor.

Ms. Hess rose in the ranks of a male-dominated field through a lot of hard work and began at the bureau in a time (1991) when it is well-known women were not welcome in that field; she no doubt faced many hurtles her male counterparts did not. Yet, she persevered and rose to the top. As a single Mother myself, and recently encountering setbacks in what I thought would be my career path, I would benefit greatly to learn from her how she maneuvered the difficulties she encountered along the way to achieving her successes!

What’s your personal mantra?

“I can’t control what people say or do, but I can control how I react to it.”

I have always lived by this mantra, and it has served me well, and I have taught it to my children. If you let someone make you mad or make you sad, you are giving them control of your life, and then you have lost. It is your life, live it and don’t let anyone control how you go about it, least of all how you feel!

Do you have hobbies outside of work? What are they?

My hobby used to be school (for four years). I just recently finished my BSM in April and have begun to see what I can get into. I’ve signed up for photography classes and although I’m considering a cooking class and getting involved locally with a couple of civic organizations that have reached out to me — I am making sure to relax a bit and enjoy my summer by the pool — as I may start on my Master’s in the new year.

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Above: Sandra in her graduation cap and gown.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

It wouldn’t be a guilty pleasure if I shared it, now would it?

 

 


 

Carring in Common - Get to know other Andar fans who care about making #impact as much as you do.

 

Caring in Common is a spotlight series that showcases different nonprofit professionals on the last Friday of each month. The goal is to highlight Andar Software customers from all walks of life, levels of experience, and areas of expertise. Their answers will inspire you, give you insight about the nonprofit industry, and motivate you on both a professional and personal level.

Caring in Common: Customer Spotlight Series

We're kicking off a new endeavor at Andar Software. It's a customer spotlight series called "Caring in Common."

Caring in Common is a spotlight series that showcases different nonprofit professionals on the last Friday of each month. The goal is to highlight Andar Software customers from all walks of life, levels of experience, and areas of expertise. Their answers will inspire you, give you insight about the nonprofit industry, and motivate you on both a professional and personal level.

Today, we get to know Brenda Dennis from River Region United Way. She shares with us photos, what a typical day in her role is like, her biggest professional challenges, and much more. Go on, become acquainted with your Andar community!

Visit Spotlight

Caring in Common: A Customer Spotlight on Brenda Dennis

 


 

Spotlight_BrendaDennis-Profile.png

Brenda Robertson Dennis
VP of Resource Development
River Region United Way
Montgomery, AL, USA

 


 

How long have you been working for your organization?

Since 2017

What’s a typical day in your role like?

I oversee a department of 3, including myself. We are all about building better relationships with our donors and our corporate partners. I do a lot of planning and strategizing with staff and volunteers on a variety of projects throughout the year.

What motivates you to come to work every day?

I know that I’m just a blip on River Regions United Way’s 95-year timeline but I love having a small part in making my community better. I started my adult life believing with all my heart that it was possible, then doubted it for a while as I grew older. Being at United Way reminds me that no effort is too small… although, as a fundraiser that’s not strictly true (ha!)

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Above: Brenda at a video shoot where River Region United Way's CEO, Jimmy Hill was filming Loaned Executive, Rose Battle of Cadence Bank as she explained her personal “Why” for volunteering with the United Way.

What’s your favourite aspect of your job?

Working with our volunteers. They are not just dedicated to our mission but a whole lot of fun to be around. 

What are your biggest professional challenges?

A saturated nonprofit market. There are a lot of well-intended people trying to tackle the same issues, going after the same donors, and not always working together to make it happen. United Way has a strong mechanism in place to tackle the most pressing issues in our community. It’s hard (and sometimes awkward) when the people we’re trying to help to accomplish their good work inadvertently position themselves as our competition.

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Above: Brenda with a student from Davis Elementary School in Montgomery, Alabama displaying her College & Career dream of becoming a doctor during River Region United Way's Days of Action summer reading program.

If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor? Can you tell us why?

You’d think I’d have developed a good answer for that by now. There are so many people who impress and inspire me that it’s really hard to pick just one. However, if I ever found that I absolutely needed someone to straighten me out, I’d have to go with the fictional character, Pippi Longstocking. I wanted to be her when I was a kid because I was convinced she had it all figured out.

What’s your personal mantra?

“Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.” – Carlos Castaneda

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Above: At Recognition & Results 2018, CEO Jimmy Hill, Brenda, and the 2018 Campaign Chair, Ed Crowell signing the campaign check to the People of the River Region.

Do you have hobbies outside of work? What are they?

I am a freelance writer on the other side of my life. I’ve been doing that professionally for about 15 years. I don’t have as much time for it now but it’s still my favorite thing to do.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

If it rains on a weekend, I figure it’s the Universe telling me that it’s perfectly fine to lay in bed and read a book, no matter whatever else I have to get done. It’s not up to me!

 

 


 

Carring in Common - Get to know other Andar fans who care about making #impact as much as you do.

 

Caring in Common is a spotlight series that showcases different nonprofit professionals on the last Friday of each month. The goal is to highlight Andar Software customers from all walks of life, levels of experience, and areas of expertise. Their answers will inspire you, give you insight about the nonprofit industry, and motivate you on both a professional and personal level.