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Our 2016-2017 Campaign Associates!

Our new campaign associates Bobby, Summer, Duane and Shereka will be your resources when it comes to your workplace campaigns. Some of you may have already met them, but the four great new members of the United Way team took the time to answer some questions so we can get to know them a little better!


Summer Pitt

  • What’s your work background? I've worked in a few different fields. I've worked in a library, as a teacher for a Montessori school, as a waitress while in college, and with a few local nonprofits. I love the variety of people I've met while working all of these jobs!

  • Tell us something about your family. We always keep it real with each other and we've learned laughter is the best medicine!

  • What are you most proud of? I recently graduated from the University of Florida! I thought it would never end.

  • What do you like to do in your down time? I like to play music, take my pup on walks and go to shows.  

  • What’s the best part of this job to you so far? So far the best part about working with the United Way is being able to see how much we impact our community. I know that investing in the United Way means investing in my community, and that's pretty amazing.  

  • Why United Way? I believe the United Way empowers people in need by giving them the tools and resources to overcome any obstacle they face. 


Duane Gildea

  • What’s your work background? I spent 10 years in the hospitality industry in Pennsylvania and Delaware before transitioning to the health care / non-profit sector. Prior to United Way, I coordinated Tobacco Free Florida's quit tobacco classes in a 12 county region in North Central Florida.

  • Tell us something about your family. My family life is somewhat nontraditional; it includes my friends and their two children. I was also partnered for 20 years; we remain close and share custody of our 4 dogs. My mother and younger sister live in Pennsylvania -- I'm very close to my sister and we chat daily.

  • What are you most proud of? I'm proud of my fearless embrace of the impossible. I’ve been involved with initiating conversations that inspire and lead towards lasting change in the community. I’m happiest when both feet are on the ground and both hands are bending the arc toward justice. 

  • What do you like to do in your down time? Down time? Ha. I enjoy reading and walking my dogs and meditating, and tending to my garden.  No, not really, though those things would be nice. I don't really like down time. There's too much good to do.

  • What’s the best part of this job to you so far? Spreading the word about United Way Partner Agencies, who have helped my friends and I in the past, feels like the perfect way to say “thank you!” I love helping the partner agencies anyway I can; and the best part is that it doesn't feel like a job, it feels like a calling.

  • Why United Way? Why not serve where I have the chance to do the most good?  I work for United Way for the same reason folks should support United Way. Hands down there is no better way to impact the community I love, no better way to address disparities and inequities, no better way to serve.  United Way creates lasting change that benefits everyone.   


Shereka Williams-O'neal

  • What’s your work background? I have worked in the field of communications and with families for over ten years, and I love it!

  • Tell us something about your family. I love reading to my kids – Matthew & Maliha also known as M&M!

  • What are you most proud of? Over the last decade, I’ve chosen to give back to the community on my birthday. I have raised money for programs, helped the elderly, homeless, and mentored at-risk youth.      

  • What do you like to do in your down time? I enjoy creating projects! I am very creative and resourceful.  I like interior and graphic design as well as any other project where I have to think on my feet and out of the box.

  • What’s the best part of this job to you so far? I enjoy meeting all the new people that comes with working with workplace campaigns and representing United Way.

  • Why United Way? I am proud to work for an organization that focuses on improving education, income, health, and immediate needs in North Central Florida!

 


Bobby Nellis

What’s your work background? I suppose my background is retail and customer service, but I don't see it in that light. To put it simply, I feel like my job is to make people happy, both customers and associates. 

I've worked at Publix for 11 years now. I started when I was 14 and it has been my only official job. I started in Hollywood, where I grew up. Since then I have worked at one store in Ocala and 4 different stores in Gainesville. I am currently the ACSM at the same store I transferred to when I first came to Gainesville, as a cashier.

Tell us something about your family.  My mom and dad currently live in Ocala with an empty house, since my brother left last year. My younger brother, Derek, is in the Army, stationed at Fort Stewart, GA. He is a mechanic for anything on wheels and recently  got engaged to his girlfriend Lindsay. I have family all over the country, and some internationally. My mom grew up in Peru and moved here at 22. I have traveled to Peru half a dozen times to visit them.

What are you most proud of? I am proud of how much progress I have made in my career and as a person. I never thought of myself as a natural born leader, but looking back on everything I have accomplished I now see what has helped me to develop the skills of success. And United Way is only helping me get better!

What do you like to do in your down time? I enjoy getting outside to ride my bike or skateboard (if weather permits.) I also love ALL the animals. I try to stop by Petsmart every weekend to visit the pets up for adoption. I currently have one cat, but would really like to get a dog, too (hint hint, Shannon.) And trivia! I have a group of friends that have been going to trivia for a long time now. We are currently saving up all our gift card prizes for a big party on New Year's Eve.

What’s the best part of this job to you so far? I love that I am able to see United Way at its core. I get the opportunity to increase my knowledge on the best non-profit organization in our area. Even more, I get to see firsthand how we help our community in every aspect. Being able to help people better their lives for themselves and their family is so inspirational. 

Why United Way? Publix was asked to nominate one person from each store. One morning, I received a phone call at 6:00 AM asking if I would be willing to travel and work with other businesses. They needed an answer immediately for a 7:00 AM meeting. Without hesitation I accepted this opportunity. I have experienced many UW campaigns, but being able to be a part of one has been eye opening to say the least. I am beyond words for what I have learned about this organization and our community.