What a way to start the new year–this week on our first Familiar Faces Friday, we are introducing Kristi Long, the President and CEO of United Way of Lake County! Keep reading to learn more about Kristi and her incredible role here at United Way.
When did you start working at United Way of Lake County?
I joined UWLC in May 2002. I came from the United Way of Greater Salt Lake.
What is your title and role?
President & CEO. I have the awesome job working with our entire staff and Board of Directors on our mission of helping children build their education foundation – especially kindergarten readiness and early literacy.
What made you want to be a part of this organization?
First, I love the Midwest. Born and raised in Omaha, I missed the great people in the heartland! Second, when I joined the organization, the Board of Directors were looking for a new direction. They were very interested in placing more resources into prevention and I thought that was exciting. They also viewed resources as greater than just money. They truly valued Lake County citizens who can give through money, time or talent.
Which of United Way’s programs do you connect to most and why?
Early learning is close to my heart. My Mom was young when she had me and she depended on her parents to help her. They played a large part in my early life and I know because of them I was cared for, read to, and was constantly engaged in learning. Today in Lake County many families need that extra support to get their children ready for their first day of school. I think the two items that are so critical are – “learning starts at birth” and “parents are their child’s first teacher”.
What is your favorite part of your job here?
I love working with our staff, Board of Directors and volunteers – they are so committed to helping Lake County families! In today’s world everyone wants to know about results. And I’m so proud of the evaluation we do of all of our programs and grant recipients. I also feel the work we do to empower parents is the most important element of our work. If we can help parents gain confidence in their skills whether it’s reading to their child every day or advocating for them at school, we are making a lifelong difference for that family.
When you are not at work, what kinds of things do you do with your time?
Living in the Chicagoland area, I love to take advantage of the arts. I also co-lead a Girl Scout Daisy Troop – working with these 5 and 6 year olds brings home many of the lessons I’ve learned through our education programs. And, anyone who knows me at all knows my devotion to Lucy, my 8 year old poodle/Lhasa mix. She is the best dog ever!!
Thank you for joining us for another Familiar Faces Friday. To meet more people on staff, click here.