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Introducing Emerging Leaders: Empowering Young Professionals Driving Community Change

We are proud to announce the launch of Emerging Leaders of the QC, a dynamic network that brings together young business, creative and philanthropic leaders to address pressing community challenges while showcasing the Quad Cities as an exceptional place to live, raise a family and build a career.

Emerging Leaders of the QC (ELQC) is more than a young professionals group; it’s a platform for tomorrow’s leaders to create tangible, lasting change in the Quad Cities. Comprising ambitious individuals united by common growth and giving-back goals, Emerging Leaders aim to inspire and support others to become leaders and change-makers.

“As a young professional, I’ve witnessed firsthand the potential that lies in our generation,” said Ty Lewis, Director of United Way’s Emerging Leaders. “Steering some of our community’s most enthusiastic and energetic individuals toward meaningful engagement to tangibly improve our community is what Emerging Leaders is all about.”

Josh Jepsen, John Deere’s Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, was among those attending the launch event Wednesday night. Hosted by United Way’s Tocqueville Society, about 125 20- and 30-somethings along with community leaders and seasoned philanthropists gathered to explore the role of community engagement in their lives and in the lives of the next generation.

“United Way’s Emerging Leaders embodies the forward-thinking partnership that John Deere has cherished with our Quad Cities community,” Jepsen said. “By activating the ingenuity and drive of young leaders, we’re not just investing in the immediate future; we’re cultivating a landscape where creativity and innovation thrive. Together, we’re nurturing the next generation to lead with confidence, vision and a profound sense of community commitment.”

Your gift of $30 a month or $360 annually gives you full Emerging Leaders membership perks.

Join Emerging Leaders

Additionally, Molly Foley, Chief Marketing Officer at IMEG, announced a three-year annual commitment of $20,000 each year to support this network and its impact on the education, financial stability and health of the Quad Cities.

“Developing and growing the next generation of leaders has long been a passion of mine,” Foley said. “I’m proud of the direction Ty is taking United Way’s Emerging Leaders to tap into the passion and creativity of those under 40 who are ready to step up and lead. They have the backing of our entire community and are ready to transform their potential into meaningful change right here at home.”

Emerging Leaders represents a united effort to tackle systemic challenges in education, income and health, creating a foundation for everyone in the community to live their purpose. The group offers networking, leadership and professional development, community involvement and volunteer opportunities throughout the year.

Attending the launch were volunteers with Emerging Leaders’ Advisory Committee, who represent different industries and backgrounds, with direction from co-chairs Collin Nelson and Heather Waffle-Terrance. The Advisory Committee members are:

  • Collin Nelson (Co-chair)
  • Heather Waffle-Terrance (Co-chair)
  • Lukas DeWitt
  • Joanna Drake
  • Kristin Enright
  • Maxwell Gellerman
  • Collin Guinn
  • Erica A. Hill
  • Alec J. Jensen
  • Michi Lacefield
  • Emily Marriott
  • Samuel R. McCullum
  • Daisy Cordelia Moran
  • Ashley Perkins-Armetta
  • Alyssa N. Rice
  • Jordon R. Williams

Individuals ages 22-40 interested in joining Emerging Leaders can contact Ty Lewis at or visit the Emerging Leaders webpage for more information.

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