Spotlight - Nancy Kern Eaton: Community Impact Award

Hi Nancy, I wouldn't wear a tie for just anybody, just so you know. But first, I'd like to start by congratulating you on this award. It certainly speaks to your commitment to this community, but also your passion. And maybe let's start there and talk to us a little bit about what drives that passion.

Well, let me start by thanking you Steve, I'm so humbled, and I'm really honored to be recognized with two amazing women. I love connecting with people. To me, that's one of the greatest gifts in life, is having connections. And so I've been blessed to do this work alongside incredible people who are colleagues, board volunteers, community members, who all believe in people and opportunity and community. So it's not hard to be passionate when you have the chance to spend your time working with and dreaming with people who agree and believe in possibilities.

Thank you, So Nancy You've held various roles throughout the community in Central New York. How is that experience helped you throughout your career?

You know, as I think about all the people, I've had an opportunity to connect with whether it was Vietnam veterans, when I was working as an advocate at the Mental Health Association in Erie County, working with folks to think about neighborhoods and quality affordable housing, and first-time homeowners, to working on the root causes of poverty and really thinking through what we could do, to change those systems that really make poverty so complex and pervasive. And with people who had all kinds of disabilities, and really learning about the incredible determination, and the need to level the playing field for everyone. What I've realized more and more is, it's about the community, it's about everyone working together, and so I am honored to be in this role. And I think that United Way's about the community, and it's with the community we move forward.

Well, speaking of United Way, and the work that you do, it's impacted so many lives across the center New York Community, maybe can tell us a little bit how people can get involved, especially during these challenging times.

We've been working alongside the county team, the city team, the other funders and the human service organizations from the beginning, to think together about what we could do to address that the issues that have arisen during the pandemic, I have to salute our local leaders, I think the county executive, the mayor have done extraordinary work. And we in the funding community have joined with private businesses as you know. So what I would say is, we're still dealing with this crisis, but we need to plan and so planning involves monitoring need, finding ways to meet those needs, whether it's by donating money if you can, because we're going to have a lot of gaps to fill and keeping programs going, donating items that are needed for these vital non Human Services, keep nonprofit human services, and looking at volunteers cny.org, and learning about how you could get involved.

So finally, what advice would you give entrepreneurs, particularly women entrepreneurs?

What I would say is that if you have a dream, do your homework, do your planning, listen to smart people who know about business like he advisors and also amazing women entrepreneurs in this community, some of whom are honored today, and do the work necessary to put together a good plan, so your numbers make sense, You know your market, you know how to do it, and you listen, and then go for it, 'cause why not try out and go for your dreams?

You are true inspiration to many women across this community. So thank you again for joining us today and congratulations again on being named the 2020, key4 Women Community Impact Award winner.

Thank you.

Nancy Kern Eaton, President at the United Way of Central New York and recipient of Key4Women’s Central New York 2020 Community Impact Award, talks about why community is central to addressing the root causes of poverty and changing the systems that make it persist. She gives us tips on how to get involved, plus she reveals the simple advice she followed to pursue her dreams.

The Support You Need

For more Key4Women resources to help you reach your goals, visit key.com/women, or email us to learn more.

For more information about the United Way of Central New York, visit UnitedWay-CNY.org.

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Clients using a TDD/TTY device:
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