CINCINNATI (May 3, 2023) — Years ago, before Kelly Dehan and Rick Staudigel became a couple, Rick caught a glimpse of why Kelly was a successful and respected businesswoman.
She was co-owner and CEO of Besl Transfer Co., and Rick was working for a company that hired Besl to haul 100 tractor-trailer flatbed loads of glass from Cincinnati to Denver. Only one piece of glass broke, "which was unheard of," Rick said, and far less breakage than was factored into the contract.
And yet, Kelly wanted to pay for the broken piece.
"She's a top-notch businesswoman," Rick said, sitting beside Kelly recently in an Oakley coffee shop.
"The golden rule is truly golden," Kelly said, "and it matters."
The respect she earned as a leader in the male-dominated trucking industry has carried over to her philanthropic efforts, which include becoming a Tocqueville Society member and making a generous contribution through United Way's planned giving program.
Kelly first connected with United Way in 2014 shortly after she and her brother sold their trucking business to a company that annually held United Way workplace campaigns. Up to that point, "I was almost a workaholic," she said. "I didn't have time to get involved in the community as much."
But it didn't take long for her to start charting a course in retirement. When a United Way employee asked Kelly to donate at the Tocqueville level, she immediately said yes.
"I thought, it's my turn to give back (to the community)," Kelly said. "People always say: time or treasure? Let's face it, nonprofits need both."
Kelly led a 3-D printer project with fifth- and sixth-grade girls at South Avondale Elementary, and she recruited other Women of Tocqueville to take part. Since then, she has been active in other ways, such as United Way's Adopt-a-Family efforts, which provide holiday gifts for needy families, as well as Backpacks for Success, which distributes backpacks and school supplies at community events.
A United Way acquaintance told her about CISE (Catholic Inner-city Schools Education), and Kelly now serves on its board. She's also a board member for Ursuline Academy (her alma mater), as well as the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. And, she is a co-chair at SCORE, which offers business mentoring.
Rick has worked in the construction industry all his life and now sells construction chemicals. He, too, supports United Way. The couple, who have been together nearly 10 years, share a philanthropic philosophy: To whom much is given, much is expected.
While updating their wills, they discussed how to continue to make an impact on the community after they're gone. "We all think we're going to live forever. But let's be clear, we will not," Kelly said, chuckling. "Do you want somebody else making decisions you should be making? I don't think so."
Kelly said she feels good about the decision to designate United Way as a charitable beneficiary of a 401(k). It's something anyone can do. "The amount doesn't matter," she said. "It matters that you give with your heart."
You, too, can help ensure everyone in the region has opportunities to thrive. For information about the multiple options for planned giving, please contact Brigitte Foley at 513-762-7134 or firstname.lastname@example.org.