Recent News

July 28, 2016

Young Leaders Emerging in the Community

What opportunities, both personal and professional, are local young professionals looking for? How can United Way help them engage with our community? 

Two YP-focused United Way initiatives -- United Way Emerging Leaders and LINC (Lead. Impact. Network. Change.) -- are providing the answers.

Just ask Eddie Ericson, a United Way Emerging Leader and information technology project manager with Western & Southern Financial Group.


“When I came to Western & Southern it was right around the time in my professional career where I wanted to take deliberate, actionable steps toward community involvement, and leadership in community involvement,” said Ericson. “The United Way Emerging Leaders program was the most attractive and impactful option I could step up both through my financial gift, and  with my resource of time, collaborating with other young professionals here at Western & Southern and across the city."

Ericson is volunteering as a member of this year’s United Way Campaign Cabinet. The Cabinet is comprised of corporate executives and community volunteers charged with leading the annual campaign effort in the region.

“Serving on the Campaign Cabinet is a great opportunity,” said Ericson. “It’s about awareness and alertness to what’s going on at other companies. I expect that I’ll be able to share what we’ve done at Western & Southern to be engaging to the young professionals throughout our community, and encouraging them to step up and be the next generation of leaders for committing our resources, energy and talents for the future.”

Ericson also volunteers in a direct service capacity with Emerging Leaders. “I really enjoy getting out of the work world and into classrooms,” said Ericson. “I’ve done the Emerging Readers program whenever possible, going to the kindergarten classrooms and reading to kids. I find that impactful because of the energy of being with the kids. Encouraging them and giving them professional role models to see -- that’s a big deal.”


Joining is easy for those who make an annual gift of  $1,000 or more to United Way. And a step-up program exists, allowing individuals to join in year one, then gradually increase their gift amount over the next three years. 

Emerging Leaders is hosting an upcoming Leadership Roundtable event on August 25 from 7:30 – 8:30 AM at the Fifth Third Convening Center at United Way. The event is a networking and speed-mentoring event pairing a group of Emerging Leaders with an established leader in the community for a table discussion. It is open to non-Emerging Leaders members who are interested in learning more about the program and networking with area leaders.


“The leadership roundtables are very helpful,” said Ericson. “You are able to meet with other mentors in the business world who, in a quick breakfast meeting, can shed light on what their structure for habits and goal setting is, and forming that, and doing it in a way that benefits the community as well.”

For those unable to give at the Emerging Leaders level, LINC membership can be attained with an annual gift of at least $250 up until the age of 30.

If you are interested in learning more about Emerging Leaders or LINC, please contact Treva Brinkley at 513-762-7195 or