March is National Women's History Month. Everywhere you look, there is a remarkable woman in the making - leading an organization, heading a worthy cause on behalf of others or trailblazing the way for someone else to follow in her shoes. Maybe that remarkable woman is you, your sister, your aunt, your mother, your daughter or your friend. This community is filled with remarkable women. From the private sector and public sector to the educational field, Gainesville and the surrounding north central Florida region has women in all areas of leadership who are helping to make our community a brighter, better and more compassionate place where all citizens have a voice and a purpose. How do we know that? Because we are the United Way, and we are where women leaders are often born.
Did you know that in 1999 three women leaders -- Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, Ann Stallard and Anne Kaiser - at the United Way of Greater Atlanta created the industry's first Women's Leadership Council? Today, that group exists all over the country. Here at your United Way, we call it Women United. These groups of outstanding women and volunteer leaders are helping take on serious challenges in our communities like poverty, childhood literacy, hunger, financial fitness and leading people to a life of sustainable change.
Younger women have banded together in groups called Emerging Leaders to deal with equally important issues that plague communities and keep them from becoming the great systems of equity where all citizens can thrive. United Way is a place where volunteers come together to tackle community challenges where no other organization has the connections and the capacity to do so. It is the one place where people unite with one goal in mind - to change what must be changed in order for everyone to succeed.
These accomplishments were all initially spearheaded by women because women make it happen!
So, in honor of National Women's History Month, we salute women of the past and the future because if you want things done right, put a woman in charge! Isn't that what your momma said?