Women’s Leadership Council Member, Judy Kotsiopoulos, was honored as one of Lake County’s most remarkable women by Shaw Media and Lake County Magazine.
United Way of Lake County is proud of Judy’s accomplishments in the Lake County Community. Here is her testimonial of her philanthropic work:
I have been advocating and volunteering for over 20 years now, serving the greater needs of the community and making an active, philanthropic investment into Lake County, my home.
I got into making a difference through volunteerism, philanthropy and leadership development, volunteering with my father at Peace Memorial Church, who organized many different events.
Currently, I am involved with United Way of Lake County, where together, with like-minded business, civic leaders and community partners, I am working towards educating at-risk children in Lake County and preparing them to succeed in a changing world. I have served on the United Way Board of Directors and continue to be a dedicated Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) member. Nationally, United Way’s WLC is the most successful philanthropic network of its kind. In Lake County, WLC is a group 75 accomplished women taking action to ensure children living in Lake County’s most at-risk communities are prepared for Kindergarten and ready to succeed. It is also a great honor to serve as the Chairperson of WLC’s Power of the Purse, their annual signature fundraiser, aimed at raising funds for the Little Kids, Big Futures philanthropy fund to help advance the common good through early childhood education and literacy programs in Lake County.
I am also associated with the American Cancer Society, where I serve as a volunteer, have coordinated a relay for life team and wellness education development in Lake County. I am a member of Joy Lutheran Church and have planned their family picnic, summer pool parties, and serve as a VBS leader. I am associated with Canine Companions for Independence and serve as the Fundraising Chairperson. I also volunteer with Orphans of the Storm and PADS, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing emergency shelter, permanent supportive housing, and comprehensive resources to families with children and individuals experiencing homelessness in Lake County. I was involved with United Way of Racine County, as a Corporate Campaign Manager. Have also served as a troop leader for 12 years and Service Unit Manager for 2 years for Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and NW Indiana.
The reason I serve on various nonprofit organizations and human service agencies is personal gratification and as a local professional with two daughters, I see first-hand the need for a strong community. Also, I am now passing along the important things I learned from my father to my beautiful daughters: to think of other’s lives as connected to their own and show compassion for others.
Judy Kotsiopoulos – Women’s Leadership Council Member. Along with her social responsibility commitments, Judy worked as the Human Resources Global Employee Services Manager for Hollister Incorporated. Before joining Hollister Incorporated, Judy worked for Circon Surgitek Corporation. She held several strategic roles in the company such as New Products Manager, Materials Manager, Purchasing and Distribution Manager, and assisted the Plant Manager on special projects. She is the mother of two beautiful daughters, Devan and Ava, and lives with her husband John, in Gurnee, Illinois.
On Wednesday, October 14, 2015, United Way of Lake County held its annual Leadership Breakfast at Independence Grove. The sold out event brought together the most influential people in our area including our keynote speaker, First Lady of Illinois and President of the Ounce of Prevention Fund, Diana Rauner.
Rauner holds a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Chicago, an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor’s Degree from Yale University. If that isn’t prestigious enough, as the President of the Ounce of Prevention Fund, she aims to spread awareness of the importance of early childhood development. Rauner believes that investing in our children from the beginning can completely change a child’s future and the community for the better.
Her views echoed the remarks of President and CEO of Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Midwestern Regional Medical Center and Chairman of our Board of Directors, Scott Jones.
“A pipeline of available talent is at the core of what drives the local economy,” said Jones. “From early childhood development to recruiting young professionals, our efforts need to be strategically coordinated to provide the talent solutions businesses need.”
The Breakfast’s sponsors were as follows: Presenting Sponsor – Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Midwestern Regional Medical Center , Platinum Sponsor – Comcast, Gold Sponsors – AbbVie and BMO Harris Bank, Silver Sponsor – Baxter International, Inc., Bronze Sponsors – Aon, Nicor Gas, NRG Energy, Inc. and Trustmark Companies, Table Sponsors – Abbott, B.E.S.T. Kindergarten Readiness Committee, Early Childhood Community Coalition, North Chicago Community Unit School District 187, One Hope United, and United Conveyor Corporation, A/V Sponsor – David Michael Productions.
United Way of Lake County is proud to announce its partnership with Jimano’s Pizzeria for the second year in a row. Jimano’s will be donating 1% of all sales from October 1st to December 31st, 2015.
Their 5 Lake County locations will be participating in the fundraising efforts again this year: Waukegan, Mundelein, Round Lake Beach, Gurnee and Antioch.
We hope that you will give back to the community and support Jimano’s during this special promotion. All food items (i.e. pizzas, pastas, catering) apply during this promotion. Use this link to place an order today: https://bit.ly/1CCITKw.
Caring. Committed. And Growing. Our Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) continues to make an impact on the lives and educational futures of children in Lake County. Learn more about the WLC at www.LIVEUNITEDlakecounty.org/womensleadershipcouncil.
I am honored to serve the United Way of Lake County Board as an At-Large Member, since 2006. Together, with like-minded business, civic leaders and community partners, we are working towards educating our at-risk children in Lake County and preparing them to succeed in a changing world.
The reason I serve on the United Way of Lake County Board is personal gratification and as a local professional with two children, I see first-hand the need for critical early literacy programs. Programs that ensure the foundation for strong and successful academic futures for the most vulnerable children in Lake County. Be it programs aimed at providing children with the core skills to succeed in school, building literacy skills to ensure all students are able to read at grade level by the end of 3rd grade and engaging students in school to reduce truancy and improve graduation success – United Way of Lake County (UWLC) is addressing most critical local needs of the community.
I have been associated with United Way for over 20 years and I am on the Board with United Way of Lake County to unite leadership and resources to create lasting changes to improve lives of children in Lake County. I support United Way of Lake County because to solve the current Lake County children education crisis. We all need to unite and take action by giving, advocating and volunteering. We will not succeed without your partnership and the support of the entire community. Working with nonprofit agencies and community partners, funding to United Way of Lake County is invested locally into quality educational programs for children leading to a systemic and sustainable change for our community.
I thus urge you to get involved and join me as we work towards advancing the common good of children education, for a stronger Lake County community. Engage with UWLC through volunteerism, philanthropy to improve the odds for most vulnerable children and be stewards for others in Lake County to make a difference in wake of you. That’s Living United.
By Tejal R. Vakharia, Board Member
It is a great honor to serve as the Chair of the Women’s Leadership Council’s (WLC), Little Kids, Big Futures Philanthropy Fund Committee. Working with passionate women, united as a driving force to close the gaps in childhood literacy in Lake County, has been quite self-actualizing.
As women united in Lake County, Little Kids Big Futures is an initiative of the WLC Philanthropy Fund, established 17 months ago. Our purpose is to ensure that children living in Lake County’s most challenged communities are prepared for kindergarten and ready to succeed. Through the philanthropy fund, we distributed grants to three early literacy programs in Lake County totaling $26,000 in 2014, to support a Kindergarten Camp, a Summer Enrichment Program and a comprehensive tutoring program for Pre-K students in North Chicago.
This year we are celebrating the extraordinary achievement of having raised more than $47,000. Directed by members, funds have been allocated to four early childhood literacy programs.
The year 2014-2015 has been an incredible year for WLC as our Little Kids Big Futures’ philanthropy fund has grown over 80%. The largest grant has grown by 83% which helped us fund more programs this year. This is attributed to the continued growth of WLC which is now over 70 women strong. Caring, committed and growing each member of the WLC makes an annual gift of $1,000 or more and the first $500 of every member’s contribution goes into the ‘Little Kids Big Futures’ philanthropy fund. Also, our signature fundraising event ‘Power of the Purse’ netted $15,000 this year which majorly contributed to the increase in the funding allocations.
Thinking ahead to 2015 and beyond, we are positioned to continue this remarkable growth and will continue to mobilize women through leadership and resource development to support critical early literacy programs. Programs that will ensure the foundation for strong and successful academic futures for Lake County’s most vulnerable children.
I would like to invite you to join us, and build the strength of women leaders, for creating lasting changes in lives of the children in Lake County. To learn more about the Women’s Leadership Council, please contact: Diana Nielander at Diana.email@example.com.
About Tejal R Vakharia
Chair, Little Kids, Big Futures Philanthropy Fund Committee
Allscripts Healthcare Solutions
By Diana Nielander, Social Enterprise and Affinity Group Manager
United Way of Lake County’s Women’s Leadership Council Allocates $47,000 Towards Funding for Early Literacy Programs
LAKE COUNTY, IL (June 16, 2015) – United Way of Lake County’s (UWLC) Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) allocated $47,000 of its funding through its Little Kids, Big Futures Philanthropy Fund to support four critical childhood literacy programs, that will ensure the foundation for strong and successful academic futures for Lake County’s most vulnerable children.
Directed by WLC members, the following programs will receive grants this summer:
$22,000 – B.E.S.T. Kindergarten Readiness Program
(In Partnership with B.E.S.T, a group of service providers that work together to improve the lives in Round Lake)
Funding will provide scholarships for a classroom of children ages 3-5 years old who would not otherwise have access to preschool.
$12,000 – Success By 6 – Kindergarten Countdown Camp
The funds will be used to execute the first year of this summer camp program to prepare children, in Waukegan, who have had no preschool experience for their new roles as Kindergarten students.
$9,000 – Success By 6 – Expand to Zion
The grant is for program expansion of Success By 6 into Zion for the first time, with baseline assessment and Early Learning Clubs for approximately 45 families in Zion.
$4,000 – Reading Success – Summer Enrichment Collaborative
(A partnership with Waukegan Public Library, Waukegan Park District, United Way and the Kohl Children’s Museum)
Funds will be used to provide scholarships for 10 Waukegan school children in need, to participate in a program to address summer learning loss.
As women united in Lake County, Little Kids, Big Futures is an initiative of the WLC Philanthropy Fund, established 17 months ago, to ensure that children living in Lake County’s most challenged communities are prepared for kindergarten and ready to succeed. Through the philanthropy fund, grants totaling $26,000 were distributed to three early literacy programs in Lake County last year, to support a Kindergarten Camp, a Summer Enrichment Program and a comprehensive tutoring program for Pre-K students in North Chicago.
“The year 2014-2015 has been an incredible year for WLC as our Little Kids, Big Futures Philanthropy Fund has grown over 80%, which allowed us fund more programs this year”, says Tejal R. Vakharia, Chair of the Little Kids, Big Futures Philanthropy Fund Committee. “WLC has grown and we are now over 70 women strong. Committed and growing each member of the WLC makes an annual gift of $1,000 or more and the first $500 of every member’s contribution goes into the Little Kids, Big Futures Philanthropy Fund. Also, our signature fundraising event Power of the Purse netted $15,000 in 2014 which majorly contributed to the increase in the funding allocations”, she added.
Thinking ahead to 2015 and beyond, UWLC’s Women’s Leadership Council is positioned to continue mobilizing women through leadership and resource development to support critical early literacy programs that will change the educational futures for Lake County’s most vulnerable children.
To learn how you can get involved in UWLC’s Women’s Leadership Council and to know about the Little Kids, Big Futures Philanthropy Fund Guidelines, please contact Social Enterprise and Affinity Group Manager, Diana Mines Nielander, at Diana.Nielander@uwlakeco.org.