Jennifer Sparks is the Founder and CEO of Vacmobile Corporation.  She has been successful as a marketing and communications professional with agency, corporate, governmental and non-profit organizations.  Sparks graduated Cum Laude from the University of Chicago with a degree in European History. She was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Paris, France. She earned her master’s degree from Northwestern University.

Sparks began her professional career working at Young and Rubicam advertising agency in Chicago. Sparks later served as New Mexico Governor Richardson’s Public Information Officer for the 89 school districts managed by the New Mexico Public Education Department. Sparks was the creator and producer of a popular family travel and recreational segment for New Mexico’s NBC affiliate show, “Good Day New Mexico.”  From 2012 to the 2017 Sparks continued her career as a public relations and marketing consultant and legislative advocate doing work for Habitat for Humanity International, the Pew Center for the States, Save the Children and the USDA.  From 2018-2019 Sparks served as Director of Marketing and Communications for a Georgia based healthcare IT company, Clearwave Corporation.

As a parent of three children and stepmother to another son, the paper management of vaccination records had always been a source of aggravation to her. Following the outbreak of the corona virus pandemic, Sparks is determined to bring vaccination records into the 21st century.  She formed Vacmobile Corporation, a Delaware Corporation, and filed a patent for her innovative suite of vaccination records solutions. Vacmobile is a mobile app that obtains digital vaccination records from state registries and enables individuals to digitally transmit those records or have a QR code generated from the app for on-demand proof of vaccinations or covid-19 test results.

Why did you decide to get involved with United Way of Greater Atlanta?

There’s great power in people uniting together as a community to help children and families cope with the challenges of poverty including homelessness and food insecurity. I got involved with United Way of Greater Atlanta because I felt our charitable dollars would have the greatest impact by giving to the United Way of Greater Atlanta. I was very moved by United Way’s Child Well-Being Campaign.

Who or what inspires you to give back to the community?

At a certain point in my life, I was a single mother raising three children on my own. Now that I am in a different place, I am thankful that I have the ability to give back.

Why did you decide to become a Tocqueville Society member?

People can’t reach their full potential unless they have their basic needs met. I decided to join the Tocqueville Society because I wanted to be part of a group dedicated to creating long lasting meaningful changes in the communities being served.

What is something unique about you that most people wouldn’t know about you?

I have a black belt in Tae Kwondo, and I speak four languages: English, French, Italian and Spanish.

What are the top priorities of your business/industry at the moment?

At Vacmobile, our top priority is helping people navigate the pandemic. We are bringing vaccination records into the 21st century. We are deploying our Vacmobile app solution to help schools, universities, and all types of businesses large and small create “safe bubbles” for their employees and their customers. The Vacmobile health pass allows individuals to get back to face-to-face interactions.

What advice do you have to navigate the COVID-19 crisis (from a personal and/or corporate perspective)?

The truth is, there are ways we can protect ourselves and our families. The good news is that companies like Vacmobile and others are developing new, innovative strategies to fight the virus. We have seen unparalleled challenges during this pandemic, but we have also seen astonishing scientific breakthroughs. So, my advice to navigate the Covid-19 crisis is the same advice I have repeated to myself throughout my adult life in both my personal and professional life—stay focused– let data not emotion drive decisions. I was a history major in college, so I tend to look for historical clues. The 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic lasted from 1918 to 1920. As time went by, people let their guard down and that pandemic fatigue paved the way for 2nd and 3rd waves of infections. Let’s not make the same mistakes. Let’s stay vigilant. In 2021, let’s leverage all the tools and knowledge at our disposal to bring our communities back together again safely.

Thank you, Jennifer, for being a Tocqueville Society member and a key leader in the healthcare community!

To get more involved with the Tocqueville Society, please contact

Lou is the Vice President and General Manager, McDonald’s North America, The Coca-Cola Company. Lou is currently the general manager for the Coca-Cola McDonald’s North America business. The team she leads is responsible for strategy and sales, marketing, finance, supply chain and operations. Prior to that she was responsible for the Coca-Cola North America Natural Channel strategy. Lou began her career at The Coca-Cola Company in Finance, providing North America P&L forecasting, management and oversight. Before joining The Coca-Cola Company, Lou was at Federal Express Corporation.

Lou served on the board of the United Way of Greater Atlanta on the Executive Committee as well as the Marketing Committee Chair and continues on the Marketing Committee, post-tenure limits. She served on the board of Girls Incorporated of Greater Atlanta for seven years including two years as the Board Chair. She received an MBA from the University of Georgia and a BA in Anthropology from Duke University. We connected with Lou to find out why she supports the community.

Why did you decide to get involved with United Way of Greater Atlanta?

I had been a long-time supporter of United Way through workplace campaigns at both Federal Express and Coca-Cola. When the opportunity came to join the board after chairing the board of a partner agency I jumped at the chance because I knew so well the impact that United Way had in the community and directly on child well-being.

How have you used your investment of time and treasure to support United Way of Greater Atlanta?

From a time standpoint serving on the board and chairing the marketing committee have been extremely rewarding. I’ve enjoyed connecting United Way of Greater Atlanta to my network of marketing capability and expertise. But truly that has given me more back in terms of satisfaction and learning than I have given. I’ve been proud to support financially through workplace giving, special event support and most recently through giving to the COVID 19 Relief Fund and the United for Racial Equity and Healing Fund as well as fundraising on my social media channels. I know the money has been well spent.

What has been your best experience serving as Board of Directors member?

Seeing the organization come together to focus on the critical mission of improving Child Well-Being in Atlanta while at the same time adapting and growing in a time of tremendous change. I’m also very gratified to still work with the marketing committee and to see that committee provide terrific support to the mission.

Why did you decide to become a Tocqueville Society member?

I value the clarity I have with United Way of Greater Atlanta that my giving can make a true difference in my Greater Atlanta community. Because my dollars are united with other dollars and United Way’s efforts are united with other community organizations efforts… for more. Because everything I have been given allows me to give back.

What is something unique about you that most people would not know?

My husband and I have been on a BBQ team that competes in the World Championship BBQ cooking contest. Spanish was my first language because I am the child of Cuban immigrants.

What are you most looking forward to in 2021?

I look forward to a little something in every day, the opportunity of Monday, the celebration of Friday, the reflection of Sunday and all the days in between. 2020 taught me that. I look forward to more variety of ways to find joy in 2021, but ultimately I choose joy every day.

To get more involved with the Tocqueville Society, please connect with

Youlanda Mack

IT Technical Lead for Oracle ERP and Cloud Applications, Cox Enterprises, Inc.

Youlanda Mack is a Tocqueville Society member and an African American Partnership (AAP) member with the United Way of Greater Atlanta. Her day to day includes managing data and infrastructures that run applications for all Cox companies (CEI Enterprises, Cox Communication & Cox Automotive). As an IT technical lead for ERP and Oracle Applications, she is responsible for the operational support of the PeopleSoft Human Capital Management (HCM) and Autonomous Oracle Integration Cloud Applications. Although Youlanda is quite busy with her professional IT career, she recognizes the importance of serving as a mentor and makes time for the Atlanta community.

Why did you decide to get involved with United Way of Greater Atlanta?

I believe I can help inspire and give of myself for the betterment of people who look like me. Giving back is part of my values, beliefs and it is truly a gratifying experience. The ability to make a difference in someone else’s life inspires me. Seeing disenfranchisement firsthand as a child and in my local community motivates me to contribute to equalizing opportunities for others in need. This can be something as simple as guiding a kid to go to college or guiding a kid to consider a STEM career. I like that the United Way of Greater Atlanta has a large pool of partnerships and relationships to help multiple families that experience personal hardships in life.

Who or what inspires you to give back to the community?

Philanthropy is part of my core to make a difference in the lives of others. I am inspired to give back because I know firsthand the difference philanthropy has made in my life when others gave me an open hand of help. I am a product of the communities that I now give back to and serve through volunteerism, mentorship, and financial assistance. More importantly, I give back because I see a reflection of myself in many of the children, people, and families in the impoverished communities that we service and donate to through the United Way. I have a personal commitment to myself to always give back. It is also an honor and privilege to share my successes and my story to help others know that you can rise above any situation or condition and become who you aspire to be regardless of your circumstances.

Why did you decide to become a Tocqueville Society member?

Becoming a Tocqueville Society member happened by default. As I earn and obtain more financial success, I give more to causes that I believe in like the United Way which supports multiple causes. I truly believe “To whom much is given, much will be required (Luke 12:48)”. I love the mission of Tocqueville Society to lead by example by giving of our time, mentorship, and financial resources. The act of Tocqueville Society members giving at a higher level shows true commitment to uplift local communities, improve their quality of life, and provide opportunities for the betterment of those communities. As we uplift others, we uplift ourselves. I am truly grateful and honored to be a part of a network of philanthropic leaders who encourage and make a difference by providing resources and funding for long-term progressive change.

What is something unique about you that most people would not know?

I used to work two jobs to help pay for my tuition while completing my bachelor’s degree at the University of Houston. One of my jobs was working as a courier for FedEx. The other job was working as a programmer for an internship at the Houston Chronicle newspaper. I was determined to minimize my college debt while attending college and driven to achieve my goal to complete my degree. Sometimes you must do things and treat experiences as steppingstones to get where you need to be. Always remember your circumstances do not define who you are and who you can become. People would also be surprised to know that I used to be a Flight Attendant for American Airlines.

What are the top priorities of your business/industry now?

I would say two key top business industry priorities are customer experience and cybersecurity. We do what we can to improve the delivery of the product or service to the customer in this digital age by responding faster with high quality and agility. I believe it is key to understand your customer by engaging them with conversations and make proper adjustments based on customer feedback. Cybersecurity works in parallel with customer experience by protecting sensitive data, information, company networks, and systems of employees, customers, and vendors from fraudulent activity.

What advice do you have to navigate the COVID-19 crisis (from a personal and/or corporate perspective)?

From a corporate perspective, I take full advantage of the tools provided by my company, Cox Enterprises, Inc. All employees received a free subscription to Headspace. Headspace is an online subscription that offers meditation videos and techniques to combat stress and fatigue which is elevated as a result of the Covi-19 crises. Headspace guides you through meditation and relaxation through breathing exercises. From a personal perspective, I follow the recommendations of scientists and wear a mask in public places and maintain social distancing. Also, I use the delivered breathing app on my apple watch. It works great with an animation of how you should breathe with small and big breaths. You will be surprised how much just intentionally breathing throughout the day will relax you and reduce stress with the apple watch breathing app. Lastly, I must tell you that I have a morning song that I listen to that I play via Alexa, Lovely Day by Bill Withers – it motivates me to have a great day.

Thank you, Youlanda, for your leadership with AAP and the Tocqueville Society. We appreciate the direction and intricate work you do daily to keep IT infrastructures safely operating during the pandemic and beyond.

To get more involved with AAP or with the Tocqueville Society, please connect with

As we embark upon a new year, I would like to take a moment to reflect on some of our experiences over the past year. Needless to say, 2020 has been a year like no other. Between a global pandemic, an economic slowdown, social unrest, and a contentious election cycle, we are indeed living in extraordinary times. It’s hard to think back to a time when we have had so many people collectively struggling and exhausted—physically, financially, and emotionally. And it is in the midst of these circumstances that United Way of Greater Atlanta has continued to step up and deliver for people in need.

The events that occurred in 2020 taught us all about the importance of supporting the community while underscoring the need to pivot and transition. The coronavirus pandemic ushered in a “perfect storm” of health care and economic crises that have not been seen in our lifetime. The Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund (COVID-19 Fund) was created to get emergency funding to nonprofits working on the frontlines to support our region’s most vulnerable workers and families. As the situation in our community evolved, the Fund pivoted to address rapidly changing needs and the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on the Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) population.

We then created The United for Racial Equity and Healing Fund that supports our work to improve areas of low and very-low Child Well-Being. Ending disparities has been the guidepost for our Child Well-Being agenda, which has focused on addressing the systemic issues that put Atlanta at the bottom of the list of U.S. cities in terms of opportunity and mobility for low-income children and make a child’s zip code of birth their destiny.

As the impact of these challenges continues to be felt, your support has never been more critical. Now more than ever I thank you for your support as a Tocqueville Society member. We have been, and will continue to be, all in this together. You help underwrite our Child Well-Being Movement and our work would not be possible without you.

I ask you to read our 2020 Timeline and the Tocqueville Society 2020 Recap below to remember all we have accomplished together. Thank you all for showing up (virtually!) to support the Atlanta community.

United is the way forward. I am proud to serve as your chair and I look forward to what we can accomplish in 2021.

Chris Peck

Tocqueville Society Chair

Vice President, UPS (ret.)

February 2020 African America Partnership Leadership Luncheon

Kofi and Chris talk

11x NBA All-Star and 2x NBA Champion Chris Bosh alongside actor and budding filmmaker Kofi Siriboe, joined African-American Partnership (AAP) for its fifth-annual Leadership Luncheon at the Hyatt Regency in Downtown Atlanta in February 2020. View photos from the event here!

Cole Women United A Toast to Her

Our inaugural A Toast to Her recognized everyday “sheroes” in our communities in celebration of Women’s History Month. Meet the sheroes honored at the event in March!

Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Response & Recovery Fund 

Michael Klump, founder and chairman of the Argonne Capital Group, formed his family foundation over a decade ago. In a normal year, the Klump Family Foundation supports education, health and U.S. Military related causes. While 2020 was far from normal, this community leader stepped up in an incredible way. Read about how Michael responded to the COVID-19 crisis.

United Way of Greater Atlanta’s Virtual Town Hall Series

Subject matter expects from around Atlanta inspired, educated and uplifted viewers during a series of virtual town halls throughout 2020.

May – Protecting Ourselves and Our Community During COVID-19

June – Will Summer Offer Relief for Students and Families?

August – Talking Recovery: Looking Through the Economic Lens at COVID-19 Response and Recovery in the Atlanta Region

June Tocqueville Society Coffee & Conversation

On Thursday, June 18th, United Way of Greater Atlanta was pleased to host its first virtual Tocqueville Society event. A frank, honest conversation was led by Chris Peck, Tocqueville Society Chair, as our panelists discussed issues of race, social injustice, business leadership and community response. Special thanks to our speakers, Kevin Kelly, Milton J. Little, Jr. and Meghan Magruder, for their guidance now and always. Watch the conversation!

Virtual Engagement Roundtable

What are the benefits to being a part of the Tocqueville Society, African American Partnership, Women United, Cole United and our Young Professional Leaders?  Listen to our key volunteers tell you in their own words! 

Building Back Better

United Way of Greater Atlanta’s President and CEO, Milton J. Little, Jr. sat down with Federal Reserve Bank President Dr. Raphael Bostic, to talk about the intersection of economic priorities and philanthropy. Dr. Bostic shared that “diverse participation, complete participation, gets us to a larger, more innovative, more dynamic and more resilient economy for the region, and that’s in all of our interests.” To build back better, we need to galvanize systemic change. Watch their full conversation and share with your networks.

September Tocqueville Society Coffee & Conversation

What should ethical response and recovery look like in the wake of the ongoing pandemic? How do we ensure that the needs of historically marginalized communities are not only heard, but addressed in ways that stoke systemic change? How do we ensure that more leaders of color are seated at the table and positioned to guide community improvement efforts of the future? Tocqueville Society members Aiko Bethea, Shan Cooper, Milton J. Little, Jr., Glenn Mitchell and Chris Peck discussed these important questions during the recent Coffee & Conversation.

“We’ve got the same world to live in. We’ve got to shape our collective future.” Click here to read a recap and watch the conversation!

Women’s Leadership Breakfast

There were many words of wisdom shared at the 13th Annual Women’s Leadership Breakfast by keynote speaker Robin Roberts and moderator Monica Kaufman Pearson! We were also thrilled to honor Tocqueville Society member Meghan Magruder with the Women of Purpose award. Watch Meghan share her reasons for being involved with the community. The only way forward is united. Let’s keep pushing forward - learn more about Women United!

2020 Tocqueville Society Membership Spotlights

Have we met? Click on the photos below to virtually meet a few or out outstanding members!




Why did you decide to get involved with VIP and United Way of Greater Atlanta?

I was looking for ways to enhance my leadership skills and ability, when VIP popped onto my radar. I had been involved with United Way since I joined UPS in 2010 and I saw the Volunteer Involvement Program was a way to flex the ways in which I’m able to give back to the community.

How have you used your VIP training in the community?

VIP inspired me to seek a board position based on qualities that are important to me. Board participation is more about quality over quantity. It also served as a reminder to never forget the mission of a non-profit, which is to seek ways to serve and assist those in need.

What advice would you give to someone considering joining a nonprofit board?

Participate in VIP! It is a game-changing program with great insights and wonderful presenters and participants!


You can give back to United Way and take tax-smart actions. Here are 6 to consider for your personal financial situation.
1. Deduct $300 without itemizing

This year only! You can deduct $300 of charitable gifts without itemizing. The $300 limit is one per tax filing unit. (So, married couples filing jointly don’t get $600.) This must be a cash gift paid to an operating nonprofit and not to a donor advised fund.

2. Deduct up to 100% of your income

This year only! You can deduct up to 100% of your adjusted gross income using charitable gifts of cash. These gifts must go to an operating nonprofit and not to a donor advised fund.

3. Make IRA gifts @ age 70½ + 

IRA accounts have no required minimum distribution (RMD) in 2020. But those age 70½ or older can still make gifts directly from an IRA to a nonprofit up to $100,000. This gift donates pre-tax dollars. The earned income is never taxed because it goes directly to the nonprofit.

4.  IRA gifts @ age 5½  – 70½ 

IRA withdrawals during this age create no penalties. But they are taxable. However, this year cash gifts can be deducted up to 100% of income. If you are already itemizing deductions this can help offset the tax impact from an IRA withdrawal.

5. IRA beneficiary v. gift in a will

Many people like to include a charitable gift in their will to support a cause that has been important in their lives. One tax smart strategy is to leave part of an IRA, 401(k), or 403(b) account to a nonprofit. It’s easy to change account beneficiaries by contacting the financial institution.

Why is this smart? Because heirs pay income taxes on this money. Starting this year, heirs (except spouses) must take out all funds (and pay taxes) within 10 years of inheriting. But any part left to a nonprofit avoids these taxes. So, if you plan to include a nonprofit in your will, use these accounts first.

6. Bunch gifts with a donor advised fund 

Many people like to include a charitable gift in their will to support a cause that has been important in their lives. One tax smart strategy is to leave part of an IRA, 401(k), or 403(b) account to a nonprofit. It’s easy to change account beneficiaries by contacting the financial institution.

The 2018 tax law created much higher standard deductions. Fewer people can use charitable deductions because they aren’t itemizing. One way around that is to “bunch” charitable gifts.

Example: A donor puts 5 years’ worth of donations into a donor advised fund. The donor takes a tax deduction for the entire amount in that year. Because the deduction is so large, the donor itemizes in that year. In later years, the donor makes gifts to charities from the fund. This creates no tax deduction. But in those years the donor takes the standard deduction instead of itemizing.

Remember: We recommend that you consult your accountant and/or financial advisor before taking any action on the methods listed here. Your individual financial situation will determine the best course of action for you.

To learn more about how your gifts can make a lasting impact at United Way of Greater Atlanta, contact: Eve Powell at

Malika Terry is a United Way of Greater Atlanta Tocqueville Society member and the Vice President of Rewards for UPS. She leads a team of experienced professionals in crafting and implementing the organization’s Total Rewards strategy for its 495,000 employees worldwide. This includes base pay, variable pay, equity, benefits, work/life effectiveness, global mobility, recognition and retirement.

For over 20 years, Malika has held leadership positions with responsibility for compensation, benefits and retirement plans, including executive compensation and executive benefit programs. She has worked for mid- to large-sized companies in logistics, hospitality, manufacturing, media, service, retail and banking. Her achievements include leading acquisition and divestiture activities, introducing parental leave programs, developing and implementing sales incentive plans and establishing salary structures for international locations.

Throughout her career, Malika has been driven by her passion to help companies foster healthy connections with their employees. Since 2011, she has shared her enthusiasm and expertise with other rewards professionals as a speaker and faculty member for WorldatWork.

She has volunteered with the Make A Difference Foundation since 2009 and currently serves as director of programs and planning. We sat down with Malika to learn more about why gives back to the Atlanta community and how she is navigating the pandemic with her family and colleagues.

Why did you decide to get involved with United Way of Greater Atlanta?

I decided to get involved with the United Way of Greater Atlanta, after relocating to Atlanta from Cincinnati, OH where I was involved with the United Way of Greater Cincinnati.

Who or what inspires you to give back to the community?

I am inspired to give back to the community because, giving is a part of my DNA. I have a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Georgia and a Master of Business Administration from Mercer University; and I am passionate about helping people and contributing to the business community. I have an opportunity to utilize my MBA in my day to day work activities, and although I do not work in the field of Social Work, I have a strong desire to give back to the community and volunteering gives me a sense of purpose beyond my day to day responsibilities. I am also inspired to give back to my community in order to set a good example for our two daughters, Gabrielle (7) and Danielle (6); they both are kindhearted and we want to continue to cultivate their compassion for others and their willingness to spend their time and energy helping to make the lives of others better.

What advice do you have to navigate the COVID-19 crisis (from a personal and/or corporate perspective)?

My advice is to find the best way for you to reduce stress as we all adjust to our “new ways of working” and interacting with family, friends, and co-workers. Leverage the programs that are offered by your company, especially if your company offers an Employee Assistance Program. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of Employee Assistance Programs and mental well-being benefits. If your company does not offer an Employee Assistance Program, seek guidance from your medical provider, community resources, and/or mindfulness applications or websites.

When asked about the benefits of becoming a Tocqueville Society member by way of the Global Payments Match, Malika shared that she decided to become a member of the Tocqueville Society after being introduced to the program as part of her UPS campaign. She said that she is “excited to be a part of this program” and joined because the match “enables participants to increase their contribution over a four-year period.” For those Cole, Young Professional Leaders (YPL) and other community members who are thinking about leveraging the Global Payments Match to become a Tocqueville Society member, Malika encourages individuals to get involved! She said the match is a great way for companies to “get more employees introduced to the various leadership levels within United Way of Greater Atlanta.”

Thank you, Malika for all the great work you do to engage 495,000 UPS employees! We are grateful for your involvement in the United Way of Greater Atlanta Tocqueville Society and in the Atlanta Community!

For those interested in learning more about Tocqueville Society and how to leverage the Global Payments match, please click here, or email

Amy Rudolph is a key part of the Atlanta legal community. She is a Partner at Eversheds Sutherland and is the Deputy Practice Group Leader of the firm’s US Litigation Group and co-leads the US and global Professional Liability Practices.

In addition to her day job, Amy makes community a priority. She is a member of the United Way of Greater Atlanta’s Tocqueville Society Cabinet, serving on the Engagement & Retention Committee. She also serves as the President of the Board of Directors of the Georgia Appellate Practice & Educational Resource Center. We sat down with Amy to learn more about what is important to her and why she gives back.

Why did you decide to get involved with United Way of Greater Atlanta?

I have been a United Way donor through my workplace campaign since 1994, and over the years have led three United Ways campaigns at my law firm.  I decided to get more actively involved with United Way a few years ago, simply because of the opportunity it presented to work with others in the Atlanta business community to benefit the Metro Atlanta area … but as I have gotten to know United Way better, I have been incredibly impressed by United Way of Greater Atlanta’s Child Well-Being Initiative and the impressive results it has achieved just in the last 2-3 years.  It’s great to know that I’m part of an organization that is making a difference.

Who or what inspires you to give back to the community?

I was taught from a young age that much is required of them to whom much has been given.  I am incredibly fortunate to have a steady job and successful career; a stable, loving family; a quality education; good health; and a nice home in a safe neighborhood.  Too many people in our community are not able to say those things. I have been given a lot in my life, and I like paying it forward, being a part of helping to make others’ lives better.

Why did you decide to become a Tocqueville Society member by way of the Global Payments Match?

I have gradually increased my United Way pledge over the years since my first workplace campaign, so my financial commitment to United Way was already fairly significant, especially through Cole Women United and United Way signature events like the Women’s Leadership Breakfast and Leading a Life of Purpose.  I decided that the match was a good way to help me ease into Tocqueville-level giving.

What advice to you have for Cole, Young Professional Leaders (YPL) and other community members who are thinking about leveraging the Global Payments Match to become a Tocqueville Society member?

My advice is to think carefully about your overall philanthropic philosophy – what are your priorities, what causes and organizations give you the most fulfillment (and why), and where does United Way fit into that philosophy.  Many people prefer concentrating their giving into one or two primary causes where they can have significant impact, rather than making a diffuse array of smaller contributions that will help a lot of organizations, but only incrementally.  If you share that mindset, then United Way is an excellent way to concentrate your philanthropic efforts – and United Way, in turn, can direct your gift to the organizations most in need of it in Atlanta.  So many nonprofits are doing such amazing work in Atlanta, and you may never have heard of them, but when you do hear of them, it’s really inspiring.  United Way does that research, tracks down these inspiring agencies and their creative programs, and directs our donations to where they are most needed.  The match helps you ease into Tocqueville-level giving, while increasing the dollars flowing to United Way and the organizations they support.  It’s a win-win!

What advice do you have to navigate the COVID-19 crisis (from a personal and/or corporate perspective)?

What a weird time this has been …. I don’t profess any sort of expertise in this area, but from a personal perspective what seems to have helped me along the way is to keep to some kind of structure for the work week and to punctuate the weekends.  I try to keep to my normal schedule for work (albeit from my basement), to dress nicely for work (at least for what will show on video conferences!), and set aside time each day for family and “me” time, some reflection, and, time permitting, some exercise.  Proving that I am not an original thinker, I, like so many others, took up cycling in the pandemic, and I have really come to look forward to nice bike rides on the weekends!  I have been pretty determined to keep my weekends free of work and have used that time to rest, recharge, exercise, fix a nice breakfast, fire up the grill for dinner (or support one of our local restaurants via takeout, and a generous tip!), read a good book, go for walks in nature (while socially distanced, of course), and even organize a few kitchen cabinets!  It’s also important to reach out to others, even by phone or email, just to see how they are doing – I could do a better job of that.

Thank you, Amy, for your insights, leadership and support of United Way of Greater Atlanta and the entire Atlanta community!

For those interested in learning more about joining Tocqueville Society by way of the Global Payments match, please click here, or email

Lyn and Bob Turknett of Turknett Leadership Group use an IRA to support the work of United Way of Greater Atlanta.
What inspires you to live United?

We have been committed to United Way – as volunteers and donors – for decades, because we have seen the power of tackling community problems TOGETHER. UWGA is a powerful force for real change in our community and has the ability to bring all the community together – nonprofits, businesses, local communities, government agencies – all of us – to effectively address our most difficult problems. As a longtime volunteer at the local level I have seen the power of United Way up close and personal.

What prompted you to utilize your IRA for your Cole and Tocqueville Society contribution?

We are old enough to be required to take distributions from our IRA, and, of course, those distributions are taxable as ordinary income. When a gift is given directly from the IRA to a qualifying charity, the income is NOT taxable, but still counts toward your minimum distribution.

How did you learn you could use your IRA for charitable purposes?

From my sister! She and her husband had seen something about this in a newsletter from their financial advisor, and Bob and I began looking into it.

What advantages do you think this method of giving has over others?

Likely only right for some, but it fits for us because it minimizes tax liability.

Would you recommend others to also utilize this method?


Who do you think would benefit from using this method?

Probably most people like us who are still working but who are old enough to be required to take minimum distributions from an IRA.

For more details on using your IRA to help our community, click here. Talk with your financial advisor or tax professional to determine your best strategies. For a confidential conversation about ways to save on taxes while supporting our community, contact your United Way of Greater Atlanta representative.

We are thrilled to introduce LaShonda Foy, our Vice-Chair of Tocqueville Women United!   As a member of the Ivan Allen Circle, Tocqueville Society, and our Tocqueville Women United Cabinet, LaShonda is a community leader who is working to create lasting change for Greater Atlanta.  Tocqueville Women United is a group of female Tocqueville Society members and community leaders who help generate, organize, direct, and influence the activities and dollars of the United Way of Greater Atlanta.   

LaShonda Foy is an experienced financial services and insurance leader. She is a Senior Vice President and Strategy Leader for Wells Fargo – Wholesale Control. She has experience in strategic planning, enterprise global services, risk management, underwriting, operations, and business development. As a Strategy and Control leader, she has responsible for driving risk management transformation, business integration, new business initiatives oversight, and an enhanced control environment. LaShonda earned her MBA in Finance and BS from Florida A&M University. She also holds professional industry designations – Associate in Risk Management (ARM), Associates in Claim (AIC) and Associate in Underwriting (AU).   

LaShonda is committed to youth advocacy and financial literacy. In addition to her leadership role with Tocqueville Women United, she serves as a board member and troop leader for Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, and youth volunteer for Northpoint Ministries. She has also served on the Board of Directors for Atlanta Insurance Ministries, Board of Directors for Next Century Youth; Fundraising Officer for Integrity Children’s Fund; Board of Trustees for New Fellowship of Praise, and Mentor for Young Risk Professionals. Additional volunteer experience includes Junior Achievement, Hands on Atlanta, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Literacy Volunteers of Atlanta, and Ray of Hope Children’s Ministry.   

LaShonda is married to Devin Foy and has four daughters.  In her spare time, she enjoys outdoor activities, running, dancing, watching her daughters sporting events, and planning family reunions. Her personal mission is to help identify and develop the best in others; foster physical, spiritual, and financial health; and share a spirit of compassionate giving. 

Join us in thanking LaShonda for her leadership and passion! Follow Tocqueville Women United to stay up to date on those who are leading the charge and inspiring the change!