Workplace giving is in United Way’s DNA. Since the Great Depression, the relief fund that would later become United Way of Metro Chicago has been rooted in employee contributions and employer-matched dollars, centralizing funds to have greater impact in community.
As we kicked off the 2022/2023 Campaign season in July, we are grateful for our partners who are keeping this legacy of employee giving alive. The Campaign Cabinet members volunteer their time to share our vision and energize their colleagues to join us as we help build a stronger, more equitable Chicago region where all individuals and families can thrive.
We connected with a few of our Campaign Cabinet members who shared their stories, what motivates them to volunteer and give through United Way, and their hopes for the 2022/2023 Campaign year.
Wendell Dallas, 2022/2023 Campaign Chair
President and CEO of Nicor Gas
“Earlier this year, as I took on the role of president and CEO of Nicor Gas, I had a lot to learn about my new home in Illinois. As a lifelong Southerner with roots in Alabama and Georgia, I have been welcomed with Midwestern hospitality and kindness.
While I may be new to the Chicago area, I am not new to United Way and its deep connections and impact in the community. I have donated to United Way for more than 30 years, so it was a natural fit to join the United Way of Metro Chicago Board of Directors—and I am thrilled to jump right in and serve as the 2022/2023 Campaign Chair.
At Nicor Gas, we believe in giving back to our communities, and our nearly 70-year partnership with United Way is the perfect way to deepen this commitment. For more than 90 years, United Way of Metro Chicago has been working side-by-side with community leaders and agencies to respond to the immediate needs of our neighbors, build partnerships and provide resources so all people can thrive.
Nicor Gas is thrilled to be a part of this vital work as a key funder of the Neighborhood Network Initiative in our suburban communities. I am grateful for the incredible network of United Way supporters and for their leadership and generosity as we come together to ensure every child has better access to quality education, our communities are safer, our neighbors are healthier, incomes increase and our region prospers.”
Teresa Wilton Harmon, 2022/2023 Campaign Vice Chair, Corporate
Managing Partner, Sidley Austin LLP
“I grew up in Memphis and came to the University of Chicago for law school, where I promptly fell in love with the beauty and culture of the city and knew this was where I wanted to build my life. So it made sense that I found a career home at Sidley Austin, another great Chicago institution. Sidley was a perfect fit for me because of its clients, its supportive culture, and its commitment to the community. And I knew I was in the right place from the moment I walked in the door. That was 27 years ago—27 years of building an exciting practice and strong relationships while also raising three kids with my husband.
Sidley has a long-standing relationship with United Way, so getting involved was natural when I became managing partner of Sidley’s Chicago office. Linda Imonti from KPMG asked me to join her Campaign Cabinet team, and I jumped at the chance. The Cabinet’s work is rewarding, educational, and collegial. I have learned so much about the strength and opportunities in Chicago’s neighborhoods, the terrific organizations and community quarterbacks who make a difference every day, and the ways the business community can provide support. And seeing United Way’s commitment and successful approaches up close has been a treat.
This is an important moment for Chicago and its neighborhoods—one with challenges but also with immense opportunities. I hope the Campaign’s success in 2022/23 can provide additional support for the great work being done in Chicago. I am excited to jump in with our new team and to prove once again that the generosity and collaboration of Chicago’s civic community sets it apart. And to see what United Way and our communities can do next.”
Wolfe Tone, 2022/2023 Campaign Vice Chair, Individual
Partner, U.S. Deloitte Private Leader, Deloitte LLP
“I was born and raised north of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, before attending college at the University of Iowa. After graduation, I moved to Chicago to join Arthur Andersen as a tax professional. Quickly, I was enamored with Chicago—its rich history, its diversity, its culture, and its unique neighborhoods. In 2002, I transferred to Deloitte and have remained in our Chicago office ever since.
Since my first day at Andersen in 1996, United Way was instilled as part of our cultural DNA. In 2017, I became our Chicago Office Workplace Giving champion, with United Way serving as our platform, and in 2019, I accepted a position to serve on the Board of the United Way of Metro Chicago.
Given my professional network within the Chicago business community and my unwavering passion for United Way, serving on the Campaign Committee was a natural invitation. As a board member, I now have complete visibility on the positive impact that United Way is making through its Neighborhood Networks. We are truly making a difference for those less fortunate and in a very systemic and efficient manner. Collectively, we are leaving an indelible mark and will continue to do so for years to come.
Quite simply, my aspiration for the 2022/2023 Campaign Year is to raise more money than the prior year’s campaign. While last year was great, I am convinced that we can do better. Moreover, I hope to serve as a strong advocate for United Way and encourage more people (both young and old) to see the positive impact that United Way is making in the neighborhoods that need the most assistance. Together, when we share our time, talent, and/or treasure, we will drive positive change in Chicago.”
Thank you to all of our Campaign Cabinet members for their leadership and commitment! Together, throughout the 2022/2023 Campaign season, we look forward to investing in continued progress and working to ensure every person has equitable access to opportunities and neighborhoods can thrive.
Join us! Now is the time to think big and drive change as we build a stronger, more equitable Chicago region. Donate to the 2022/2023 Campaign.