United Way Quad Cities is proud to welcome Dr. LaDrina Wilson, owner of Iman Consulting and CEO of the Quad Cities Chamber, and Dave Herrell, CEO of Visit Quad Cities, to serve as co-chairs of United Way’s annual fundraising campaign. Wilson and Herrell will chair United Way Quad Cities’ 50th annual campaign, serving a role that’s been overseen by many of the Quad Cities’ most well-known business and community leaders.
Led by Wilson and Herrell, United Way Quad Cities’ 2022-2023 effort will officially kick-off on Sept. 14. This year’s campaign will continue to support United Way’s community goals, underscoring the aspiration that every Quad Citizen has the opportunity and access needed to develop their full potential.
Of United Way’s three pillars of community impact: education, income and health, Wilson and Herrell say their focus will be on students’ success, jobs and wraparound supports that make achieving both more probable.
“This will directly impact our regional competitiveness and pay huge dividends in the future,” said Wilson. Both Wilson and Herrell are committed to inspiring unity and collaboration to create lasting change in our region.
“As the Quad Cities navigated through ups and downs the last three years, many in our community embraced the rallying cry, ‘We’re in this together,’” said Rene Gellerman, president and CEO, United Way Quad Cities. “I can’t think of a better pairing than Dave and LaDrina to join us in our campaign to demonstrate that we are truly in this together."
Working Together Toward a Better Tomorrow
According to Gellerman, United Way Quad Cities’ three primary focus areas of education, income and health are all inextricably linked.
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“Children who have quality early child care and education are more likely to be prepared for school. Kids who enter school ready to learn are more likely to read proficiently by third grade,” Gellerman said. “Students who read proficiently by third grade are five times more likely to graduate from high school ready for college or career and living-wage jobs, giving them the capacity to save for the future. Financially stable adults can cover the costs of health care for themselves and their families.”
“We all have a role — corporations, nonprofits and leaders across the region — in supporting each other and helping to build a more equitable and prosperous Quad Cities,” added Wilson. “More than ever, this year’s United Way campaign is all about working together and taking action today to ensure a better tomorrow for all.”
“The future is ours to shape,” said Dave Herrell. “When we have a destination where people work together to ensure all students succeed in school, adults have pathways to economic mobility and families live happy, healthy and productive lives, we create a great destination where people are inspired to visit. And, that adds up to more prosperity, community pride and opportunities for all.”
Dr. Wilson, who became the CEO of the Quad Cities Chamber in July acknowledged, “United Way and its agency partners play a unique and vital role in the success and resilience of our regional growth by providing critical wraparound services and support to our neighbors, co-workers, family and friends.”
When asked what they hope to accomplish in the campaign this year, Herrell spoke up, “Our first goal is to champion United Way and their many extraordinary, purpose-driven nonprofit and grassroots partners, and to mobilize resources and support to dramatically increase their positive impact here in our community. This is about standing aligned to create a meaningful Quad Cities legacy.”
“Our second goal is where the magic really happens,” added Dr. Wilson. “We want to engage more people. We want to empower more individuals, organizations and businesses to get involved and make a difference right here in our own community. Whether they are focused on advancing equity, education, economic issues, health or other causes that they care about, we want to showcase our community’s enormous energy, talent and passion with the rest of the world.”
Three Big Wishes to Expand Opportunity
Gellerman explained that in honor of United Way’s 50 years of serving our community, they have three wishes.
- We’re calling on 5,000 people to give $10 or more a month than they did last year. That will result in an additional $650,000 more dollars to invest in our community.
- Another wish is for 1,500 people to participate in our Day of Caring event on Sept. 15. When that happens, it will be the first time in three years that this many people come together for the common purpose to help our nonprofits, cities and neighborhoods with beautification and other projects so they can better deliver on their missions.
- The final wish is for 50 Quad Cities businesses to increase their corporate investment with United Way by 50 percent.
“The world is looking for heroes. And I believe we need them, now, more than ever,” said Gellerman. “We hope that together, with our many partners and caring residents, we can see our wishes come true and ignite a chain reaction of caring, kindness, hope and generosity on a grander scale. Because when we do that, we will accelerate solutions for our community’s good.”
“LaDrina and Dave have long believed that ideas, innovation and invention thrive at the intersection of collaboration and unity,” said Mara Downing, Vice President of Global Communications at John Deere and the Board Chair of United Way Quad Cities. “Their service as empowering leaders in the region is invaluable and we are incredibly grateful to have them both working with us to create a more equitable and prosperous Quad Cities.”