You are here

UWTC Recognizes Champions for the Community

Heather Knox is Volunteer of the Year for United Way of Transylvania County for her efforts with the Early Childhood Book Shower and with the workplace giving campaign at PNC Bank Brevard.

Some of the top workplaces supporting United Way show recognitions: (l-r) Amber Webb for First Citizens Bank’s 100 Percent Participation Club, Stacey Gash for Western Carolina Community Actions’s Highest Donation from a Partner Agency, Kevin Smith for Transylvania County Schools’ Workplace Champion and Highest Number of Donors, and Scott Strickler for Rosman Elementary and T.C. Henderson Schools’ Top Campaign Coordinators.

Gold level awards are displayed by (l-r), Sheila Cozart for Transylvania County, and Kevin Smith for Transylvania County Schools. Gold level recipients not pictured: Transylvania Regional Hospital and Duke Energy.

Silver level recognitions are displayed by (l-r), Amber Webb for First Citizens Bank and Rev. Dr. David Joyce for Brevard College. Silver award level recipients not pictured: Fifth Third Bank, MAC Heating and Air, and Wells Fargo.

Bronze level recognitions are displayed by (front row, l-r) Melissa Saltz for Asheville Savings Bank, Trudy Pierron for Brevard Academy, Sara Jerome for Brevard Music Center, Elizabeth Morgan for PNC Bank, (back row, l-r) Kimberly Best for Brevard Academy, Mary Lynn Manley for United Community Bank, and Stacey Gash for Western Carolina Community Action.  Bronze level awardees not pictured: Brevard Belk, Blue Ridge Community College, City of Brevard, Comporium, Ecusta Credit Union, Haywood EMC, MB Industries, The Transylvania Times, and Walmart.

United Way CEO Steve Pulliam (left) thanks Phil Borgia, boxing trainer, for serving as “Campaign Champion Trainer” for the workplace giving campaign.

Steve Pulliam, United Way CEO, thanks Cathy Strassner of First Citizens Bank for her service to the community as United Way’s Campaign Committee Chair.

United Way of Transylvania County (UWTC) and its event sponsor, The Phoenix and the Fox, dished up breakfast and appreciation to representatives of local workplace giving sites Friday, February 23. As tokens of thanks for being “Community Champions” through United Way, attendees received framed certificates to take back to their workplace teams.

Terry Decker, UWTC Board Chair, thanked 2017-2018 Diamond Sponsor Transylvania Regional Hospital and 2017 Small Business Rally participants for their valued support before introducing special guest Phil Borgia.

Borgia, a Vietnam Veteran and boxing trainer, opened this year’s workplace giving campaign back in July. At last week’s event, he praised the workplace champions for their efforts and energy on behalf of United Way. He also encouraged the group to continue making others aware of the importance of living united.

Steve Pulliam, UWTC CEO, thanked Cathy Strassner of First Citizens Bank for her volunteer work when she was Campaign Chair for UWTC’s Board.

Saunders Grommesh, Resource Development Director for UWTC, presented a brief annual campaign update before announcing workplace-giving recognitions. Grommesh reported that UWTC had received pledges for 65 percent of this year’s goal of $510,000.

“Workplace-giving accounts for 11 percent of the pledges received thus far. That is extremely important, and we are exceedingly grateful. At this point, United Way still needs $175,922 to meet its pledge goal for programs this year, so we still need your help,” Grommesh said.

Heather Knox was selected as Volunteer of the Year Award for her year-long efforts supporting United Way. Knox was instrumental in implementing the Early Childhood New Book Shower in July, she conducted this year’s workplace campaign at PNC’s Brevard Branch, she consistently advocates for United Way for office and meeting space, and she assists the treasurer with formatting financials on a quarterly basis.

Duke Energy was named this year’s “Outstanding Community Champion.” Duke posted the largest dollar increase in donations, had 100 percent participation, made grants to the community, and even altered their campaign timing to allow employees responding to last summer’s hurricanes to make their pledges.

Haywood EMC was this year’s “Pace Setter” for being the first to conduct and complete their campaign this year.

Transylvania Regional Hospital was recognized for having the highest total campaign amount, posting the largest pledge, and for conducting a workplace campaign in addition to being UWTC’s Diamond Sponsor.

First Citizens Bank Brevard Branch was thanked for 100 percent of its employees participating in its workplace campaign for United Way.

Transylvania County Schools employees were recognized as the official “Workplace Champions” due to their coordinated efforts to distribute information about United Way programs in schools and throughout the community.

Transylvania County Schools also had the highest number of donors. Additionally, Top Campaign Coordinators Jennifer Worley at Rosman Elementary School and Kim Moore at T.C. Henderson School each conducted 100 percent participation campaigns at their schools.

MAC Heating and Air received this year’s Team Spirit Award for demonstrating a high level of enthusiasm and matching employee donations dollar-for-dollar.

Blue Ridge Community College was recognized for posting the largest percentage increase in donations. Employees there increased their gifts by 65 percent.

Western Carolina Community Action, a United Way of Transylvania County community partner agency, was recognized for scoring the largest pledge amount from a partner agency.

Bronze level recognitions for workplace employee campaigns generating up to $1,999 went to Asheville Savings Bank, Belk of Brevard, Blue Ridge Community College, Brevard Academy, Brevard Music Center, City of Brevard, Comporium, Ecusta Credit Union, Haywood EMC, MB Industries, PNC Bank, Transylvania Times, United Community Bank, Walmart, and Western Carolina Community Action.

Silver level recognitions for workplace employee campaigns generating $2,000 up to $4,999 went to Brevard College, Fifth Third Bank, First Citizens Bank, MAC Heating and Air, and Wells Fargo.

Gold level recognitions for workplace employee campaigns generating $5,000 and up went to Duke Energy, Transylvania County, Transylvania County Schools, and Transylvania Regional Hospital.

Organizations giving sponsorships rather than payroll deduction campaigns included Egolf of Brevard, Hampton Inn of Brevard, Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI), and Transylvania Vocational Services (TVS).

About United Way

Campaign contributions support initiatives including community-wide volunteer opportunity listings, the 2-1-1 information and referral service, TRAIN (Transylvania Resource Access and Information Network) non-profit support, Familywize and Coast2Coast prescription discount cards, the Tiny House Initiative for Brevard, and free state and local tax preparation and filing assistance.

United Way of Transylvania County (UWTC) contributions also fund approximately $300,000 annually in grants to local health and human service non-profit programs and collaborative actions. UWTC funds actions providing early childhood education resources, after-school and summer youth programs, adult day care, health services, financial education and counseling, youth conflict resolution training, parenting education and resources, and programs preventing homelessness, abuse and neglect.

UWTC empowers people to improve their lives.  Specific goals are for all residents to achieve their full academic potential, maintain a financially stable household, and live a healthy lifestyle.

To volunteer or financially support the United Way of Transylvania County, call 828-883-8822, visit the office at 101 W. Jordan Street, #4 (below PNC Bank in downtown Brevard), send US Mail to PO Box 53, Brevard, NC, 28712, or visit  or  

GREAT things happen when we LIVE UNITED for our community!