Meet the 2019 United Way Campaign Associates

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Meet the 2019 United Way Campaign Associates

Earlier this fall, we threw an 80's Lip Sync Battle at Highland Brewing Company. Local companies and organizations that support our work, shared their time and talent by donning sparkly suits, big hair, and plastic guitars to pretend-sing their hearts out to their favorite Motown classics for an unforgettable night together. Why in the world did we do this? To kick off the United Way 'Campaign Season' together with a renewed sense of spirit and dedication for our community here in Buncombe County. The Employee Workplace Campaign is one way that we're able to continue to fight for the education, health, and financial stability of our community together. And that wouldn't be possible without the hard work of the United Way Campaign Associates who help make that happen.

Meet these five wonderful humans working with us this fall and learn more about why they're passionate about helping to create a community where everyone belongs and everyone thrives (+ their favorite local eats and what they find most inspiring about our mountain town).

Name:  Nathan Martin
Hometown: Monroe, CT
 
Q: What do you find most inspiring about the Asheville community? The level of creativity and cultural openness you find throughout the community ... it's one of the most welcoming communities I've ever been a part of.
 
Q: What do you enjoy doing when you're not fundraising for United Way? If I'm not at work, I'm probably doing something with cats. I have two cats of my own, and have a side business cat sitting for others. I also work with several different local non-profits focused on cats ... fostering cats and kittens for Asheville Humane Society and Mountain Pet Rescue, helping run the cat adoption program for Mountain Pet Rescue, and serving on the board of the Asheville Cat Weirdos Emergency Fund.
 
Q: What made you interested in being part of the United Way team? I love how engaged United Way is in the entire Buncombe County community, with large and small businesses, and with some of the most important non-profits working on health and human service issues in the county. You not only feel like you're making a difference on important issues, but you really feel like you're at the center of the action when you're working here, and gaining insights every day into how critical institutions in the city and the county function.
 
Q: If you could improve any one world problem what would it be? Make high quality health care available not only to all Americans, but to people throughout the world.
 
Q: What's your favorite food or local restaurant? Too many to choose from! The tacos at Taqueria Munoz (and assorted taco trucks around town), the fried chicken at Little Pigs BBQ and Rocky's Hot Chicken Shack, the Country Breakfast at the Moose Cafe, and my guilty pleasure, the cheap steak dinners at Texas Roadhouse. 
 

Name: Emily Quinlan
Hometown: No one place, moved to Asheville in September
 
Q: What do you find most inspiring about the Asheville community? The commitment to the community - in the short time I've lived here I've seen so much generosity and priority around investing in the community. 
 
Q: What do you enjoy doing when you're not fundraising for United Way? Enjoying the outdoors, reading, making things. 
 
Q: What made you interested in being part of the United Way team? I first became involved with another United Way in 2008 and it was a great experience with thoughtful people who were committed to working in the community - and I hoped the same would be true here (it is!)
 
Q: If you could improve any one world problem what would it be? The inequality of capitalism and how it undermines our communities. 
 
Q: Favorite local food or restaurant? My favorite food is butternut squash - prepared in all the ways it can be prepared. 
 

 
Name: Sherab Chodron, MPH, JD
 
Sherab is a rare bird known as a "veteran" or "repeat offender."  This is her second year serving as a Campaign Associate.  Sherab came to us from south Florida, but was born and raised in West Virginia and is familiar with the rural realities that UWABC and our community partners encounter and address every day.  She appreciates that UWABC functions as a protective "umbrella" for our community. 
 
"Not just by gathering and channeling crucial funding, but also by acting as a coordinating, convening and collaborative entity, bringing the best and brightest together to serve and support our neighbors." She is devoted to reframing the discourse about the social determinants of physical, mental and social health -- for individuals and communities. 
 
"The roots of sexism and racism form the foundation of health, education and economic inequality and gaps. At its core our work must be viewed through a diversity and equity lens or our ability to eliminate and alleviate the effects of poverty will be ineffective.  I do not view our collective and individual challenges as "problems" but instead as very real opportunities to transform circumstances and connect people for the good of all our neighbors and community."  
 
 

 

Name: Lucien Rosenbloom
Hometown: Vermont
 
Q: What do you find most inspiring about the Asheville community? Folks seem to be willing to band together whatever the cause may be. The area is seeing a crazy amount of growth and it’s good to see and hear its citizens trying to ensure that the growth is for the good of the community.
 
Q: What do you enjoy doing when you're not fundraising for United Way? Cooking is probably what I do best. Whether it’s on the stove or grill, making food for folks is my favorite activity.
 
Q: What made you interested in being part of the United Way team? While I’ve mainly worked in kitchens, I’ve dabbled in non-profit work and found it to be the most satisfying. United Way is a key hub of the community and I can think of no better place to work when it comes to building up the community. I’ll be sad to leave United Way when my term here ends, but I look forward to whatever work in the community comes next.
 
Q: If you could improve any one world problem what would it be? I worked for four years in a trash, recycling, and composting facility. This lead me to an interest in zero waste policy. There are a multitude of world problems that need to be solved, but this is the one I have the most history with. It made me ask questions like, what are the sources of food waste?  Why does so much food get wasted? What can be done to ensure that edible food is delivered to hungry people and inedible foods avoid the landfill? There are nearly a billion people on Earth who are starving, yet we waste enough food to feed three billion. 85% of all waste happens downstream in homes and consumer facing businesses. The disposal of this food waste costs over 200 billion dollars a year. It’s clear that change needs to be made. 
 
Q: Favorite food or local restaurant?  Manicomio for the slice, Burgerworx for the burger and shake, Mack Kells for the wings.
 

Name: Marc Mazza
Hometown: Wallkill, New York  
 
Q: What do you find most inspiring about the Asheville community? I find the people to be most inspiring here in Asheville. I have met so many well-rounded fascinating people. I think if all of the cities in the world were to have a talent show Asheville might take it. The mountains are nice too.
 
Q: What do you enjoy doing when you're not fundraising for United Way? I enjoy working with my hands. I am currently building an altar for our wedding, and a kitchen table. I also love to ride my bike, and go on adventures with my partner and two dogs.
 
Q: What made you interested in being part of the United Way team? Supporting access to education is extremely important to me. Having the opportunity to support that cause through my strengths and skills associated with community engagement made joining the United Way team an ideal fit. 
 
Q: If you could improve any one world problem what would it be? Access to clean water. 
 
Q: Favorite food or Local restaurant? IT'S ALL SO GOOD... Burrito - Mamacita's Taqueria, Burger and fries - Foothills Butcher Bar, Ramen - Gan Shan 

 

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