UWCA Shifted from Pandemic Response to Helping Communities Recover in 2021

From (l to r) John Turner, President and CEO Regions Financial Corporation, Chairman of the Board; Alisha Jones, Community Volunteer, Board Member; Doug Coltharp, CFO, Encompass Health, 2021 Campaign Chairman; Drew Langloh, President and CEO, United Way of Central Alabama; Chip Bivins, Chief Audit and Compliance Officer, The University of Alabama System, Incoming Chairman of the Board

United Way of Central Alabama (UWCA) welcomed its new volunteer leadership and celebrated 2021 accomplishments at its recent annual meeting.

Board Chairman John Turner, President and CEO of Regions Financial Corporation, opened the meeting with a list of accomplishments from a resilient United Way of Central Alabama that continued its support of a nonprofit network of partner agencies while sustaining and even expanding critical services through its response to the pandemic. He emphasized that:

  • Meals on wheels never missed a day of service delivering, 426,000 meals to 1,700 clients and adding 744 new clients.
  • Helped more than 16,000 clients with services ranging from Medicare counseling to caregiver support.
  • Continued its outreach in the areas of financial literacy, free tax preparation and financial and housing education.
  • Priority Veteran helped 578 military veterans in need of housing, employment and financial counseling.

Turner also thanked all the volunteers for a successful year of fundraising through UWCA’s Annual Campaign, which ensures the programs mentioned above, as well as many others, will continue.

That campaign was led by Doug Coltharp, CFO of Encompass Health and 2021 United Way Campaign Chairman, who said each of us is in enriched by the ability to save someone’s life. He quoted the Greek philosopher Aristotle, saying that the unfortunate need people to be kind to them; the prosperous need people to be kind to.

Turning the page to 2022, UWCA President and CEO Drew Langloh summed up what United Way does as “sustain, respond and innovate.” He said as he looks to the upcoming year, the community safety net [that UWCA provides] is in intact but in trouble. Langloh said that partner agencies are under a lot of stress coming out of the pandemic, with many clients still struggling and many more to serve.

He told the board members we must challenge ourselves to think bigger because to stay the same means a decrease in services to people who need them the most.

Nine new members were elected to the board beginning terms in 2022:

Bill Blackman, Jr, IBEW Local 136, Central Alabama Building Trades

Bill Connor, President and CEO, AmFirst Credit Union

Nathaniel Drummond, Senior Vice President, Drummond Company

Kirk Forrester, Editor, Flower Magazine

Denson Franklin, Senior Vice President/General Counsel, Vulcan Materials

Zachary Gentile, Senior Vice President, Ford Meter Box Company

Elizabeth “Liz” Huntley, Lightfoot, Franklin and White, LLC

J. Michael Kemp, President and CEO, Kemp Management Solutions

James Mowery, District Manager, Publix Supermarkets Inc.

New to UWCA’s Executive Committee

Rebekah Elgin-Council, Senior Vice president and Chief Marketing Officer

Emmett McClean, Executive Vice President and COO, Medical Properties Trust