Jason L. Brown, Human Resources Generalist Manager at Enterprise Holdings, developed an interest in philanthropy early by watching his family give their time and treasure. Jason is a newcomer to Atlanta, so please make him feel welcome!

Tell us about your role within your organization and how you impact the company’s strategic goals?

My role is to partner with leaders of departments and business lines to help drive performance in the core areas of our business including customer service, employee development, growth, profits and DE&I.

What advice would you give to someone wanting a career in your industry?

Someone looking to join our industry, is to take on opportunities to increase you communication and leadership skills. Our organization is one in which we start entry level with the goal of being promoted to higher positions.

How did you navigate through the challenges of the pandemic or any past economic challenge?

We continued to keep people first and find ways to stay connected. We increased our use of technology and found new and efficient ways to take care of our customers and employees.

What sparked your interest in philanthropy and why did you become an AAP Cabinet member?

My interest in philanthropy was part of our family for as long as I could remember. Watching older members of my family volunteer their time and donate to causes that were important to them. My desire to give back to young people in communities that may have a need for greater resources is something I’ve been a part of for most of my adult life. Moving to Atlanta and learning about AAP, made me excited to have a chance to join the team.

What is your favorite Atlanta restaurant and why?

Being new to Atlanta, I haven’t found a favorite restaurant. However, I’m happy to try as many as possible.

What is your favorite vacation destination and why?

Favorite vacation destination is National Harbor. Nice restaurants, great people and close to so much history.

Who is your favorite American trailblazer that serves as a source of inspiration to you?

My favorite trailblazers are definitely my parents. Neither graduated college but did all they could to put me and my siblings in positions to be successful.

Please welcome new YPL member Will Godwin! If you would like to be featured in our next member spotlight, please click here.

What inspired you to become involved with Young Professionals Leaders?

After living in Atlanta for four years and becoming familiar with community around me, I wanted to support and serve an organization like United Way that provides solutions on issues affecting child, family, and community well-being. I was sold after attending a Saturday of Service and experiencing the mission on display.

What aspect of United Way’s work in the community are you most passionate about supporting?

I am most passionate about child well-being, particularly United Way’s Strong Learners program. It’s very important that all children have access to learning and quality learning experiences.

Do you have fun fact or a side hustle (entrepreneurship) that you would like to share with us?

This one is not so fun for me: I broke my left collar bone twice before the age of nine.

On a brighter note, I got engaged last week!

Tell us about your role at United Way of Greater Atlanta.

I am the Assistant Director of Cole and Retention, which means I am part of the Major Gifts team in the Office of Development. I will be creating and running Cole Exchange events and volunteer opportunities. I will also be getting to know y’all, keeping in touch, and being your go- to gal on all things United Way of Greater Atlanta.

What is the best way to get in contact with you, if I have questions about my Cole Society membership?

You can email me at knewman@unitedwayatlanta.org, or you can call me at (404) 614-1040. I am very excited to hear from y’all and get some ideas and feedback, so don’t hesitate to reach out!

What Cole Exchange event are you planning right now?

I am putting together a Cole Exchange volunteer opportunity with HOPE Atlanta for November 29, 2022! HOPE Atlanta seeks to help Georgians avoid homelessness and hunger through a comprehensive approach that equips them with the tools for lifelong stability. Volunteers will prepare and serve meals for 30-40 food-insecure women and children. Please register for the event at Onsite Meal Prep & Serve at HOPE Atlanta | United Way of Greater Atlanta (unitedwayatlanta.org) Can’t wait to see y’all there!

What inspires you to Live United?

Frankly, I had a very hard childhood. I grew up very poor, at times homeless, food insecure, and abused. Sometimes you can try as hard as you can on your own, and you will still be unable to climb out of a hole like that. The only real and lasting way that we can grow as individuals and as a collective is through community efforts. I know that I relied on my community for many things that I desperately needed to succeed including food, schooling, housing, and safety, and I am a firm believer that without that help I would not be the person I am today. My passion in life is giving other folks the same chance that I’ve been given, to live, to learn, and to grow into a healthy, successful, well-adjusted person.

What is your favorite piece of advice?

Be kind to yourself. Life is a journey, not a destination. Prepare for the worst; expect the best; and take what comes.

Stephanie is a life-long Atlanta native was a passion for healthcare access. Learn how she became involved in YPL below! If you would like to be featured in our next member spotlight, please click here.

What inspired you to become involved with Young Professionals Leaders?

I’ve lived in Atlanta my entire life and I wanted an opportunity to help improve the well-being of others in our community. I studied management in the social sector and worked with several service organizations in college, and I became particularly interested in helping to create equitable education opportunities when I started mentoring first-generation college students a couple of years ago. I’ve been very fortunate to have a lot of support and resources to get to where I am, so I’m grateful to be able to work with United Way to help give others the same opportunities I’ve had.

What aspect of United Way’s work in the community are you most passionate about supporting?

As a healthcare professional, I’m particularly passionate about United Way’s work to help families navigate the healthcare system, since it can be extremely challenging and is integral to providing a stable environment for children to grow up in.

Do you have fun fact or a side hustle (entrepreneurship) that you would like to share with us?

I love skiing and have gone almost every year since I was 2 years old!

Obi knows how much the right type of support can help others.  Read on to find out why he chose to give back through YPL and United Way! If you would like to be featured in our next member spotlight, please click here.

What inspired you to become involved with Young Professionals Leaders?

I did not get to where I am by myself. I’ve had help and support from different people since I moved to Atlanta from Chicago, so giving back was something I’ve always had on my mind. Being able to give back and help someone the same way I was helped honestly bring me joy. I volunteered for a snack pack a couple months ago, and a woman who was impacted by it spoke about how much it meant to her, and her family. Right then and there, I spoke to Rashad about wanting to be involved more, and that’s how I became involved with YPL.

What aspect of United Way’s work in the community are you most passionate about supporting?

I am most passionate about supporting the impact committee, and serve the current learning spaces throughout Atlanta. Being present, and seeing what we do takes fruition fuels me and gives me more purpose.

Do you have fun fact or a side hustle (entrepreneurship) that you would like to share with us?

Fun fact about myself is that I am able to assemble a PC/Gaming PC given the right components.

The Tocqueville Society has a new executive committee and cabinet: As we share the excitement of these new leaders, we also want to provide our greatest thanks to Chris Peck who has served as the chair of the Tocqueville Cabinet from 2019 – 2022. Thank you, Chris, for your tireless and constant leadership and steering us towards success. Here are our new cabinet leaders!

Tricia Holder – Chair

Tricia is a native Atlantan, and she has been involved with United Way over the past 7 years on the cabinet of both Tocqueville and Tocqueville Women United. She has been married for 32 years and has 2 wonderful kids, Julie Ann and Jack. She has 23 years of business development and marketing experience, and she serves on numerous boards in Atlanta. Tricia is beginning to reframe discussions and narrative about Tocqueville and United Way of Greater Atlanta. She worked tirelessly in 2021 and 2022 to re-engage existing members and recruit new members. Tricia’s depth of experience In the Atlanta philanthropic community will bring a fresh new way to engage members this coming year.

David Abee – Vice Chair, Growth

David is a senior director with Synovus Bank, leading their middle market banking group for Greater Atlanta and North Georgia. David been a banker for 31 years, serving in various leadership roles within retail banking, private wealth, and corporate and investment banking. David has been a Tocqueville member for 10 years and has been an active donor to United Way for 26 years. David is married to Susan (26 years), and have three grown children who live in Orlando, Nashville, and Birmingham.

Tanesha Boldin – Vice Chair, Engagement and Retention

Tanesha, proud mama bear of 3 amazing humans and passionate community servant with experience on former boards to include the United Nations Association, Salvation Army, The Living Classrooms Foundation, MedStar, and others, is here in Georgia to make an impact. After stepping away from a successful career in banking, Tanesha ran a nonprofit in Haiti where she collaborated with the UN, World Health, and other global organizations to provide resources to the wonderful people in Jacmel, Haiti. She enjoys cooking, imagining she’s a comedian, being an advocate for her children, and community service.

We are excited to share the full membership of the Tocqueville Cabinet:

Chris Peck – Chair Emeritus, and former VP, UPS

Lawrence Ashe – Senior Counsel, Parker Hudson Rainer & Dobbs, LLP

Amy Corn – Academic Program Director, FinTech, Georgia Tech

Kathy Dowling – Former VP, AT&T

Steve Evans – CEO, Lupus Foundation of America

Lashonda F. Foy – SVP, Wells Fargo

Heather Generes – General Manager, e2open

Doug Gosden – Partner, Holland & Knight, LLP

Laura Boring Hopkins – CEO, Haven Floors and Director Demand Generation, Flock Safety

Doug Hutcherson – CEO, Lockton Companies

Kate Kennedy – Founder, Boyce L. Ansley School

Amy Rudolf – Partner, Eversheds Sutherland

Lyn Turknett – Co-Founder and Co-Chair, Turknett Leadership Group

Shelli Willis – Partner, Troutman Pepper, LLP

Troy Parker, Assistant Director of Corporate Relations at United Way of Greater Atlanta, shares with us his passion for United Way’s work in LGBTQ+ spaces, and why it means so much to him.

Tell us about your role at United Way of Greater Atlanta.

I work as a Development Officer supporting the engagement strategies of the Senior Director of Corporate Relations to ensure a smooth fundraising and auditing process for the over 600 high volume-low touch accounts. I also support the entire Corporate Relations team by securing, verifying, and auditing the fundraising results of third-party processed fundraising campaigns. So basically, I work with our corporate partners and educate them on the work of United Way and help facilitate their philanthropic workplace campaigns.

What is the OUT Georgia Impact Fund and what inspired you to champion it?

United Way of Greater Atlanta partnered with the OUT Georgia Business Alliance to create the OUT Georgia Impact Fund. This fund’s goal is for LGBTQ+ individuals, youth, families, and communities across the Greater Atlanta region. I am so grateful that my journey as an LGBTQ+ person was full of support every step of the way, but the fact of the matter is that is still not the norm in the world we live today. It is estimated that 1.8 million LGBTQ+ youth aged 13-24 have seriously considered suicide; 80% of young LGBTQ+ people have expressed that they feel severe social isolation; and 42% of LGBTQ+ people have expressed that they are living in an unwelcoming or hostile environment. These are just a few of the statistics out there. It’s because of this that I have been so passionate about the work of this fund.

The OUT Georgia Impact Fund will be guided by a community-led advisory committee to make grants to eligible 501(c)3 non-profit organizations supporting LGBTQ+ youth to be stable, secure, and college and career ready. This fund will go to programs that support LGBTQ+ adults and families address urgent needs and secure resources….and this is only the beginning.

In my 35 years of existence, I have never worked for an organization where I have felt so comfortable to be my most authentic self. I am loved and valued for what I bring to the table, how I bring it to the table, and I don’t have to adjust how it is packaged to make someone else more comfortable. I can’t tell you how many people have asked me about my husband when they walk by my desk and see his pictures. What makes me even more proud is the fact they are putting their money where their mouth is with this partnership and fund. This is not something that only happens during pride month, the fundraising for this fund is ongoing because LGBTQ+ individuals and family need support year-round. United Way of Greater Atlanta has made great strides forward for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion with our United for Racial Equity and Healing Fund and they continue to further this work with the OUT Georgia Impact Fund in a space where this work has not been done before.

What does representation mean to you?

Representation is of the utmost importance. I recently had the pleasure of watching the new Netflix show, “Heartstopper,” based on the graphic novel by the same name. It tells the innocent young love story of two high school aged boys, and some of the challenges faced in coming out, bullying, etc. I was overwhelmed with emotion at how wonderful of a story it was, and it flooded me with memories from my own experiences. It made me wonder if something like this could have saved me and others a lot of heartbreak if it was available back then. You can’t change the past but I’m grateful for it now. It reminded me of the importance of representation for all. As a society, we are blasted with constant noise telling us what success, fun, joy, etc. looks like. If that “success, fun, and joy” doesn’t include proper representation, then it engrains in those not represented that they either can’t achieve or aren’t deserving of those things.

What other talents do you make use of outside of work?

I have been a performer since grade school, and it has stuck with me. I am currently the House Manager for Atlanta Lyric Theatre and I still perform whenever a project comes along that I am passionate about. My husband is a performer too, and we can put on a very entertaining cabaret if I do say so myself 😊.

As a newcomer to Atlanta, Josh wanted to find an organization where he could give back to the community while also growing professionally. Read on to find out why he chose to YPL and United Way! If you would like to be featured in our next member spotlight, please click here.

What inspired you to become involved with Young Professionals Leaders?

I’m relatively new to the Atlanta area, and when life started to get back to normal after the pandemic I knew I wanted to find an organization where I could give back to the community while also growing professionally. YPL provides me just that. There are so many service opportunities through United Way, and it’s great to be able to give back while also connecting with other like-minded young professionals.

What aspect of United Way’s work in the community are you most passionate about supporting?

I’m passionate about finding all ways to support underserved children through the Child Well-Being program. Being a dad myself, it’s tough to see a child without the resources they need to be all that they can be, and this initiative aims to provide those resources. I’m also passionate about supporting the College and Career Ready initiatives. I work in higher education, so I’m fortunate to see how powerful education is daily.

Do you have fun fact or a side hustle (entrepreneurship) that you would like to share with us?

I have two daughters, Nora and Molly, who are three and one respectively. While there’s a lot of hustle involved with them, they seem to be heavier on the expense side. I do love exploring everything our city has to offer, especially new restaurants and breweries, with family and friends.

Genevieve has a passion for advancing early childhood education opportunities for underserved children in Atlanta – read why she chose to join YPL and United Way to persue that passion! If you would like to be featured in our next member spotlight, please click here.
What inspired you to become involved with Young Professionals Leaders?

Atlanta is a huge city with many worthy causes, so I decided to join Young Professionals Leaders because I was looking for a way to use my skills to support causes that align with my values. YPL also appealed to me because it offers a structure through which to learn about Greater Atlanta businesses, non-profit organizations, and short & long- term initiatives that impact the local economy, cultural vibrancy, and growth of the city. Plus, as a devout Catholic, the exposure to volunteer opportunities at hundreds of different organizations was very attractive to me.

What aspect of United Way’s work in the community are you most passionate about supporting?

Through my role as PNC Bank Client & Community Relations Assistant Director, I have become most passionate about advancing early childhood education opportunities for underserved children in Atlanta. Studies have shown that 90% of brain growth occurs by age 5. United Way’s Strong Learners investment priority, which is part of the Child Well Being Initiative, aims to increase Atlanta families’ access to early learning experiences. These programs support growing minds and ensure students are prepared for kindergarten and on track to read at grade level by 3rd grade.

Do you have fun fact or a side hustle (entrepreneurship) that you would like to share with us?

My current side hustle is babysitting for family members since I enjoy spending time with children and learning about the ways they see the world. My slightly random fun fact is that many people have told me that I should be a hand model. If any nail polish or jewelry brands read this…hit me up!

Margaret Graff is a Private Wealth Advisor with Ampere Wealth Management, specializing in retirement, wealth management, and philanthropy.

Richard Higgins is a Retired Professor of Electrical Engineering, Georgia Tech.

What do you think is the most important thing United Way of Greater Atlanta does?

We love United Way’s high-level perspective on challenges facing our community.

When did you start giving?

We have always donated to charities, but our ability to give has increased in recent years.  We took our philanthropy to a new level in 2007 when we started a private foundation to really make a difference through specific projects. We closed our foundation in 2021 because we realized that simpler methods of giving were more fulfilling. Now we get to concentrate on the fun stuff – changing lives – instead of the details of running a foundation.

What inspires you about the work of United Way?

United Way supports many organizations that address different aspects of problems to find efficient and effective solutions. Rather than donate to individual organizations with which we are familiar, we can let United Way determine where resources can be used most effectively right now. We like specific projects where we can change lives, and United Way has become a valuable partner in helping us achieve our goals.

What prompted you to create your plans and include United Way?

I don’t remember how we stumbled upon United Way. It didn’t take long before we recognized the tremendous value of United Way’s perspective, and we evolved quickly to Tocqueville and Ivan Allen donors. The more we learn about United Way’s work in Atlanta, the deeper our commitment becomes. It was a natural step to include United Way in our estate plans.

What do you hope your gift will accomplish?

Our main focus with United Way has been reducing Atlanta homelessness, most recently through the Motel-to-Home initiative. Here we are helping households that are in a fragile situation – one nudge could drive them into homelessness or raise them into stable housing.  We love being able to help at this critical time in their lives. By including United Way in our estate planning, we can continue work on homelessness in Atlanta after we’re gone.

What would be your advice to others considering becoming Legacy Leaders?

As a Private Wealth Advisor, I encourage my clients to be deliberate about their estate planning. We brainstorm how much is enough and how much is too much to leave to their heirs. Once you’ve covered  your beneficiaries’ needs, it’s time to think about how to make the world a better place after you’re gone.

Thank you, Margaret and Richard, for being Tocqueville Society members!

To get more involved with the Tocqueville Society, please contact tocqueville@unitedwayatlanta.org.