Erin, well known for her work at the Chamber of Commerce, joins President/CEO Barbara Cruz and Office Manager Gwen Schafer as the operational team at the United Way South Sarasota County. The UWSSC is in the midst of a Covid-19 Response, Recovery & Relief Fund campaign, challenging individuals to donate $30 and local businesses to donate $300 - $3,000. All funds raised will be distributed in South County, with zero funds going towards administrative costs. Generous donors may ‘Text UWSSC to 243725,’
Erin is very excited to join the United Way South Sarasota County as Public Relations & Development Director. The position came her way by surprise. “Our President/CEO Barbara Cruz messaged me via Facebook and said she had heard I had left the Chamber,” Erin explains. “She said, ‘We are a small team, but you will have creative license.'" Erin felt it was a perfect fit and remarked that she is most energized by organizations that are on the launchpad with a new project or image they are building. "Barbara wants to shine a light on the great nonprofit work we do locally. I have a public relations and advertising background and Barbara is an amazing lady with a highly effective, encouraging and positive leadership style. She builds her team up personally and allows them to flourish or be in the spotlight in lieu of herself at times in order to get their job done more effectively, and she’s really dedicated to our mission. That spoke volumes to me about why she has been so effective in building this organization."
Among its many projects, UWSSC is using a Modern United Way Blueprint as a roadmap forward through COVID, and has just recently achieved an important IMPACT INITIATIVE three years in the making, securing funding for a much needed Homeless Case Worker in North Port in conjunction with other key non-profits in Sarasota. United Way is now promoting its Covid-19 Local Relief Funding which targets but is not limited to the A.L.I.C.E. (Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed) population in South County.
“Laurel Civic Association and North Port Social Services take the applications and do the vetting for us," says Erin, "and we distribute the funds. These funds are for anybody in South County who can document that they have been negatively affected by Covid-19, whether they have lost a job, been furloughed, or have medical bills from Covid-19. We do not take admin fees out of the donations we raise.”
Calling Venice home the past seven years, Erin is well known around town for her work the past two years at the Chamber of Commerce, and board service with the Sarasota Medical Alliance Foundation and the Suncoast Ad Federation. She recently joined the Sertoma board.
An advertiser at heart, Erin loves the creativity that goes into public relations and development campaigns, as well as all the creative people she meets in her work. Originally from Richmond, Virginia, she earned a degree in Rhetoric and Communications Studies from University of Virginia, and later a Masters in Public Relations from the University of Southern Mississippi. Her husband Michael is a minimally invasive and DaVinci robotics surgeon for HCA, her daughter Jordan studies Motion Design at Ringling College, and her son Jacob attends SCF Collegiate School.
“The United Way is an amazing organization,” Erin says. “What is so fulfilling here is that this is about directly helping people in our community.”
157 Havana Road, Venice. 941.484.4811. UWSSC.org. Development@UWSSC.org