Suncoast Snapshot

Join us every Thursday for a new episode of Suncoast Snapshot, United Way Suncoast’s series highlighting local impact stories with our strategic community partners.

September 16, 2021

Special Guest: 
Michael Jones, Regions Bank market executive, United Way Suncoast campaign cabinet chair

As the United Way Suncoast campaign cabinet chair, Regions Bank market executive Michael Jones strives to help executives understand the critical role they play in leading employee campaigns.

But as you’ll see, the role also has helped him learn more about leadership.

September 9, 2021

Special Guest: 
Netty Miller, Publix employee

When it comes to supporting United Way Suncoast, there’s strength in numbers. Publix’s Netty Miller explains why in this week’s Suncoast Snapshot and shares why she enjoys teaming with her fellow Publix colleagues to boost the company’s employee giving campaign and touch the lives of community members.

September 3, 2021

Special Guest: 
Jessica Maxon-Berrier, Sr. Specialist of Community Engagement

In this week’s Suncoast Snapshot, United Way Suncoast Senior Specialist of Community Engagement, Jessica Maxon-Berrier, talks about volunteer opportunites for the upcoming 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance, a positive way to unite and pay tribute to the victims, survivors and first responders who served in response to the attacks on September 11, 2001.

August 26, 2021

Special Guest: 
Robert Torres, Owner, Blind Tiger Cafes

Roberto Torres rides a wave of success as the owner of six Blind Tiger cafes in Tampa, but he still finds time to engage in philanthropy. Find out why he’s endorsing United Way Suncoast’s upcoming YLS Nonprofit Governing Series on today’s episode of Suncoast Snapshot.

August 26, 2021

Special Guest: 
Elissia Corchado, Asst. Customer Service Mgr. at Publix

Ernest chats with Elissia about “finding her why” through her time as a Loaned Executive with United Way Suncoast and how she has turned that into giving back through Young Leaders’ Society and Women United.

August 12, 2021

Special Guest: 
Abigail Kahl, Corporate Philanthropy Manager

When Abigail Kahl worked at Publix in South Pasadena, she sought the help of a United Way Suncoast strategic community partner. She so appreciated the services she received, she eventually joined the United Way Suncoast team. Listen to her story of inspiration.

August 5, 2021

Special Guest: 
Judy Szink, Reading All-Stars volunteer

United Way Suncoast Reading All-Stars volunteer Judy Szink helps elevate literacy skills, but her connection with students goes beyond improving their reading abilities. Listen to her conversation with Ernest about the rewards she gains from serving with UWS.

August 3, 2021

Special Guest: 
Scott Morrison, Sr. Business Development Director

In an effort to provide even more assistance to community members, United Way Suncoast constantly seeks new corporate partners. Senior business development director Scott Morrison shares what UWS seeks from new relationships with the business community.

July 22, 2021

Special Guest: 
Major General Luis R. Visot, US Army (Retired) and Sr. Director of Mission United

Major General Luis R Visot, discusses why our military veterans are such a critical part of the Suncoast community and how United Way Suncoast is helping them through the Mission United program.

July 15, 2021

Special Guest: 
Kimberly Miller, Sr. Manager

Providing job training opportunities gives people the freedom to rise. United Way Suncoast senior manager Kimberly Williams explains how a UWS partnership is paving the way for a select group of workers to find a foothold in the healthcare industry.

July 8, 2021

Special Guests: 
Heather Deyrieux and Anne Fleming

By partnering with United Way Suncoast, Sarasota County Government strives to go beyond providing basic services for community members. Heather Deyrieux and Anne Fleming from Sarasota County share the details.

July 1, 2021

Special Guest: 
Rick Bennett of Florida Blue

The American Rescue Plan featured immediate help for people dealing with the pandemic, but it also included provisions that make it easier for ALICE households to get health insurance. Rick Bennett of Florida Blue speaks with Ernest on how this impacts people across our region.

June 24, 2021

Special Guests:
Florida Blue, University Area CDC, Bay Area Legal Services, Gulfcoast Legal Services

In our continuing discussion about evictions, we ask a panel of experts to forecast how the crisis may develop in the coming months. Policy changes that will go into effect next week may heighten the need for assistance from agencies like United Way Suncoast and Florida Blue, who have partnered to help community members facing eviction.

June 17, 2021

Special Guests:
Florida Blue, Bay Area Legal Services, University Area CDC, Gulfcoast Legal Services

Evictions create difficult situations and have spiked since the beginning of the pandemic. On this week’s Suncoast Snapshot, we discuss how United Way Suncoast and Florida Blue have partnered to help residents facing this growing crisis.

June 11, 2021

Special Guest:
Dr. Sharon Jefferson, Founder/President of Rosalyn Walton Education and Enrichment Services, Inc.

This week Ernest is joined by Dr. Sharon Jefferson to talk about #Juneteenth. This year we are celebrating and reflecting on this important history with Rosalyn Walton Education and Enrichment Services, Inc. in Manatee County. “Our goal is to continue to promote literacy, which we believe is the pathway to freedom.” We begin celebrations with a Reading Conference and a Hip Hop Rhythm Reading presentation with Dr. Vincent Taylor, author of the Cornbread book series for kids.

June 3, 2021

Special Guest:
Nicole Brown, Senior Manager of Education Strategies

This week on #SuncoastSnapshot, Ernest is joined by Nicole Brown to talk about the United Way Suncoast Summer Care program and its goal to help children with summer slide. The #COVID19 pandemic has exacerbated an already existing problem where students lose significant knowledge in reading and math over summer break. Our Summer Care program allows students to receive scholarships to summer enrichment activities, daycare, tutoring, and intensive literacy support if needed.

May 27, 2021

Special Guest:
Mercedes Olmos, Early Learning Specialist

This week Ernest is joined by Early Learning Specialist, Mercedes Olmos. United Way Suncoast’s Reading Rooms in Manatee County focus on achieving grade-level reading and thus allow children ages 0-9 to engage in regular educational activities, sensory experiences, and even social and emotional development. Our Reading Rooms are located in the apartment buildings of local families to increase their access to this beneficial program. As they say, #ItTakesAVillage!

May 20, 2021

Special Guest:
Gabriella Gillen, Founder of Define Yourself

This week Ernest is joined by Gabriella Gillen to talk about Define Yourself, her nonprofit that helps foster care children become successful young adults after aging out of the foster care system. The nonprofit is hosting a virtual seminar this May 22nd focusing on confidence and empowerment to open doors to their success. Gabriella is a living example of what she aims to instill in the youth she helps: you can do anything you set your mind to.

May 13, 2021

Special Guest:
Matthew Chernesky, Manager, Financial Stability Initiatives

This week Ernest talks with Matthew Chernesky, Manager of #FinancialStability Initiatives, about the importance of personal transportation. United Way Suncoast’s Saving for Stability transportation initiative works with Suncoast Credit Union to match car savings dollars for individuals and families needing reliable transportation. They are also matched with a trained Financial Coach to meet their financial goals through a holistic approach.

May 6, 2021

Special Guest:
Stacey Rothfarb, Seminole Heights Elementary Teacher

Ernest talks Teacher Appreciation Week with Stacy Rothfarb, a kindergarten teacher from Seminole Heights Elementary. This entire week we’re giving thanks to educators across the nation for the crucial work they do, and especially for their flexibility and efforts throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. United Way Suncoast also provides and supports many programs that Seminole Heights Elementary benefits from as part of our Early Learning initiative.

April 29, 2021

Special Guest:
Carlene Ulacia, Senior Manager, Bank On Initiatives

In today’s episode, Ernest and Carlene talk Financial Literacy Month and Bank On Suncoast. 63 million Americans are currently unbanked or underbanked and are missing out on both short-term and long-term benefits. Money management, asset building, and the development of intergenerational wealth are crucial for Financial Stability in our communities.

Bank On Suncoast connects our neighbors to 11 financial institutions with certified accounts with low fees. Click here to find out more.

April 22, 2021

Special Guests:
Tish Keller, VITA Volunteer, and Nichole Pena, Senior Manager of Financial Stability Initiatives

This week’s Suncoast Snapshot explores how United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program reaches some of our most vulnerable populations in DeSoto County.

April 15, 2021

Special Guest:
Autumn Pandolfo, Director of Community Engagement United Way Suncoast

Ernest is joined by UWS Director of Community Engagement, Autumn Pandolfo, and they talk Week of Caring 2021. Next week across our entire 5-county region, UWS volunteers will be matched with local nonprofit needs projects. After the impact COVID-19 has had on volunteer efforts, this Week of Caring is more important than ever.

April 8, 2021

Special Guest:
Donna Gora, Women United Member

Ernest speaks with Women United Member, Donna Gora, about the 2021 Capitol Day, a statewide virtual day of advocacy with legislators in Tallahassee. Donna shares why it’s so important for women to use their voices to speak up for their communities and how Women United makes that possible.

April 1, 2021

Special Guests:
Bess the Book Bus’ Jennifer Frances, Patrika, and Johanna Deveaux

Ernest sits down with Jennifer Frances of Bess the Book Bus, and Patrika and Johanna Deveaux. Watch as they share how the Book Bus has persevered during the pandemic, and how Johanna has enjoyed reading and bonding with her family thanks to Bess. She even got a special surprise from the author, Mo Willems!

March 25, 2021

Special Guests:
Melissa Carr and Watson Haynes, Pinellas County Urban League

Melissa Carr arrived at the United Way Suncoast’s Campbell Park Resource Center last December ready to explain how the center helped her navigate the personal challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. She had no idea, however, her story of gratitude would lead to a life-altering change. Watch this Suncoast Snapshot as Carr and Pinellas County Urban League president Watson Haynes detail how Carr now finds herself on a new path to success.

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