Leadership in Action

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Leadership in Action

Meet JoAnn Yoder, a native of the Republic of Panama who worked her way up to President of Brumit Restaurant Group over the course of 30 years with the company. She's also an active donor and volunteer here at United Way. A few years ago, Yoder had the opportunity to participate in one of the weekly Homework Diners held at four local middle schools to learn more about the community school strategy. She said it really resonated with her as a leader and manager because she is always focused on finding the root cause of a problem and putting processes in place to improve the outcomes moving forward, rather than simply addressing symptoms. 
 
“Community Schools has the power to do just that by helping break the cycle of poverty and food insecurity by helping kids graduate and grow into productive adults,” she said. “I noticed right off the bat how incredibly smart and engaged the kids are that I had the opportunity to interact with. They want to learn and each of them deserves to have the opportunity to learn and grow and mature into confident, self-sustaining and productive adults. Not all of them have an environment that is conducive for that, and that’s where we come in. If we can help one child succeed and break the cycle of poverty, it’s worth it.”
 
To further her support, Yoder has taken on the title of 2019 United Way Resource Development Chair, leading the charge during our annual fall fundraising campaign, which supports our work and that of our community partners throughout the year. When asked what inspired her to give back to her community, she says, “I just feel it’s the right thing to do. Nobody gets through this life completely alone, whether it’s your family, friends or an organization like United Way that helps you... we all need a hand at some point. There’s a happiness that comes only from helping others and giving back."
 

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