2022 Young Philanthropists Society Recap

United Way of Central Alabama’s Young Philanthropists Society (YPS) is a group of young professionals who live and work in Central Alabama and are creating their legacy through United Way with an annual gift of $1,000 of more. If you are looking for a way to get involved in our community, consider joining YPS.

Let’s look back at an amazing 2022:


YPS kicked off the month of June with a volunteer project. In preparation for the World Games, the Young Philanthropists Society volunteered at the Highland Park Racquet Club. Members painted stair rails and brick areas, planted bushes and flowerpots, removed debris, shoveled/swept tennis courts and trimmed trees.


YPS members enjoyed an evening with new friends while meeting and mingling with other young philanthropists who share their passion for giving back. This happy hour event took place at Trim Tab Brewery.

YPS Member Spotlight:

“Hi, my name is Ryan Campbell and I’ve been a part of the O’Neal family of companies for almost seven years now. When I first started working at O’Neal Industries, I heard about the United Way during the annual campaigns but didn’t really know much about the organization. I donated a small amount to feel like I was participating in the team culture, but there wasn’t a personal connection to that donation. Fast forward to 2019, I was asked to help with the internal campaign at O’Neal Steel. Helping with our campaign allowed me to see what United Way truly does. I was blown away at the reach and impact United Way is able to accomplish. Needless to say, I was hooked!

“That campaign season is also when I learned about the leadership giving societies. I joined the Young Philanthropists Society to find a group of like-minded individuals from all sorts of backgrounds that were passionate about helping our local community. For example, at O’Neal Steel, we do the Angel Tree program every year, which is always a special event for our employees. But after joining YPS, I was able to attend a YPS event where we worked with the Salvation Army and assisted in delivering those Angel Tree gifts to the families. Talk about rewarding! It was amazing to see the continuous stream of families coming in and getting to deliver Christmas to their children who would otherwise go without. Joining YPS has been a genuinely invaluable experience.”


In August, YPS attended a Birmingham Barons baseball game! Members enjoyed some good baseball foods and had an amazing view from the Outfield Plaza!  


September meant the United Way of Central Alabama campaign was underway! To celebrate and thank our amazing leadership donors, YPS hosted an exclusive campaign event that took place at the Botanical Gardens. As part of the gathering, members heard from United Way partner agency Children’s of Alabama as well as Zachary Gentile, UWCA Board Member.

YPS Member Spotlight:

 Name: Michael Savela

Company: Children’s of Alabama (Children’s Hospital)

What do you enjoy most about being a member of YPS? The thing I enjoy most about being a member of YPS are the networks and friendships that I continue to make each day. YPS is an incredible society that puts great emphasis on meeting new people within the community while also learning from others. 

Favorite YPS event? I do not have a “favorite” per se, but I do enjoy all the educational meetings. 

When did you first start supporting United Way? 2016

Why do you choose to support UWCA? The UWCA is an amazing organization that supports those who are in need the most in our community.  With over 80 partnering agencies in the Central Alabama area, the United Way of Central Alabama is the machine that helps drive the agencies to succeed.  Some agencies are: American Cancer Society, Crisis Center, Meals on Wheels, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Alabama, and Habitat for Humanity Greater Birmingham.  Plus, many more!

Fun fact:  I play piano professionally for events around the Birmingham area.  I also have two amazing nieces.


This month we focused on professional development. The theme of our YPS Lunch and Learn was “How to Become a CEO.” Members were able to gather tips and advice from current CEOs about how to advance their careers.


The Young Philanthropists Society is pleased to announce the 2023 YPS Board.

Stephanie Smith, Regions

Lee Sims, RSM

Holly Poole, Brasfield & Gorrie

Cortez Bennett, Regions

Many thanks!

We thank the following volunteers for their service to our YPS Board this year. Both recently completed their terms, and both have played instrumental roles in guiding our mission with their insights and unique expertise. We are grateful for their big hearts and the countless hours they gave to the Young Philanthropists Society.

  • Rosemary Turner, Brasfield & Gorrie
  • Kevin Cook, Pack Health

While their terms may be finished, we look forward to their continued involvement with YPS. Thank you, Rosemary and Kevin!

What an incredible year this has been and look forward to the new year! We could not have done any of this without YOU, our supportive and loyal members. We thank you once again.