A mentor told me years ago, “When you commit to being a volunteer leader, you’ll always get a turn, but you’ll never get to negotiate terms.” Little could I have anticipated the transitions United Way of Larimer County would undertake when I agreed to become Chair in February 2016 as the previous Chair asked to leave early to pursue an elected office.
Leading the United Way of Larimer County Board of Directors the past 28 months has been perhaps the most challenging and rewarding experience of my lifetime. Even better, I’m not going anywhere. I still have one more year left on my second term, and I hope the Board will allow me the opportunity for a third and final term. There is still so much to do!
At our 2017 Annual Retreat, the Board adopted a commitment to deepen its engagement in the work of United Way. While still retaining oversight for policy, strategy and governance, Board members expressed a desire to do more and share their collective expertise and resources with the staff to support United Way’s Community Impact initiatives. For me, I’m rejoining our Community Impact Committee to help oversee the process as well as the reporting of transformational outcomes. Members of the broader community are always welcome to join, too.
What is most rewarding, though, is leading the Board through the CEO transition from Gordan Thibedeau to Annie Davies. I will always remember Gordan’s desire and willingness to undertake an orderly, disciplined, graceful and, most importantly, fruitful approach to finding his successor. I will also remember the Board’s support, guidance and enthusiasm throughout the entire process. Voila! It has been a privilege to work closely with Annie these past 10 months to see how she has engaged so deeply and connected so well in our Larimer County community in such a relatively short period of time. I look forward to the time when we will talk about her leadership in terms of years, rather than months!
2018 marks the 60th anniversary of United Way of Larimer County, and Annie is planning one of heck of a party on October 4 to mark the occasion. This will be an opportunity to honor the past, while also projecting our community’s future. You won’t want to miss this party!
From making sure our kids and grandkids are ready for school at age five; to ensuring all of them are reading at grade level in third grade; supporting their academic success through high school and sourcing affordable child care to support their careers and ambitions, United Way is having a positive impact on the families and the workforce that supports our Northern Colorado community economy right now, and makes it sustainable for the future. This is big, noble, heroic and honorable work, which makes me excited for the next 60 years. Join us!
Paul Mueller, 2016 - 2018 Board Chair United Way of Larimer County