To jumpstart the 2014 campaign, Mark Drew selected John Turner, Senior Executive Vice President and Head of the Corporate Bank, REGIONS, to lead United Way’s Pacesetter Campaign. Now at the halfway point, we asked John for a brief update.
1. Why did you agree to chair the Pacesetter campaign? I believe in the importance of volunteering and giving back to the communities we work and live in. The Pacesetter Campaign sets the tone for the overall United Way campaign, building momentum for the fall. As the Pacesetter Chair, I can both serve the Central Alabama community and help deliver a successful United Way campaign.
2. What is the biggest challenge facing our community? The needs in our community continue to grow, and while the economy is generally improving, the recovery is slow and uneven. All areas are not doing well. In fact, some segments of the population are still struggling. We have to begin impacting needs at the root cause. That is why I think Bold Goals and United Way’s efforts to build common goals in four focus areas: education, financial stability, health and access to services, is so important to our community.
3. What lessons do you share with your children or young people about being a servant leader in their community? I think servant leadership is so important. Whether it is in our communities, companies, churches, schools, families or other important places we spend our time, we should all invest ourselves in the organizations and relationships that are significant to us. I talk to my children about this idea often and have encouraged them to volunteer and contribute through their school. More importantly, I try to set a very good example for them.
4. What attracted you to United Way? Shortly after beginning my career, I was selected to serve as a Loaned Executive. I got to see firsthand the work of the United Way. I was drawn to the caring and compassionate ways of United Way’s partner agencies. As a young person, I could make a single contribution and have a broad impact through the many agencies doing important work in my community. Over time, I have had the privilege of both chairing the United Way Pacesetter campaign and serving as a member of the board. So I have had a very close look at the great work United Way accomplishes through its member agencies. As a result, I have been continuously giving to the United Way for 31 years.
5. What kind of feedback are you getting? Very good. United Way enjoys very strong support with business leaders and contributors throughout the community. In particular, the Bold Goals initiative really resonates with people. If we are going to make meaningful impact in the growing needs in our community, collectively, we have to begin attacking the root causes. I believe donors understand this and are willing to increase their giving to support the Bold Goals initiatives.
If your business wants to help create opportunities for a better life for all, run a workplace campaign. Contact John Martin at 458-2011.