The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

June 18, 2013

United Way adds to number of Pacesetter companies

By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — United Way of Enid and Northwest Oklahoma is re-inventing its annual Pacesetter campaign and already has the first company signed up.

Wymer-Brownlee volunteered to be the first Pacesetter company of the 2013 United Way campaign, and will be one of the companies leading the way to start the funding drive.

“Last year we had three Pacesetter companies, and this year, I hope to have at least 30 Pacesetter companies,” said Pamela Ballard, executive director.

“As a corporation that strives to be an excellent partner in all the communities we serve, we felt being a United Way Pacesetter would not only set a good example for other organizations to follow, but would also be a wonderful way for our staff to be even more involved in the great work of the United Way,” said Aaron Brownlee, chief operating officer of Wymer-Brownlee.

This year’s Pacesetter drive will be different from those of the past, Ballard said. In addition to simply completing a campaign early, Pacesetters will be known for “jump-starting” the campaign, she said.

“Previously, I think there was a misconception that Pacesetters were larger companies or needed to raise a certain amount of money. All companies and organizations are eligible to participate and are welcome,” Ballard said.

Joining Wymer-Brownlee as Pacesetter companies are OG&E Electric Services and Parrish Enterprises.

“We are thrilled to have Wymer-Brownlee on board as a Pacesetter. They have already contacted me twice to see when they could get their packets and get started,” Ballard said. “I have assured them they are first in line. Additionally, OG&E and Parrish Enterprises Ltd. want to run an early campaign.”

This year’s campaign chair is the Enid Fire Department, which expects to kick off the campaign in September, she said.

To be a Pacesetter organization and be eligible for a Pacesetter award, organizations should meet five of the following 10 criteria:

• Participate in the Pacesetter Corporate Challenge. Ballard said the challenge is a fun event with games and a texting race.

• Have the CEO or executive director show support by writing a letter or sending an email to all employees, in addition to attending to the company or organization campaign event.

• Personalize employee pledge cards.

• Host a leadership meeting.

• Organize an employee rally with a United Way speaker.

• Have a partner agency representative speak at an employee rally.

• Show the United Way campaign video at an event.

• Have 100 percent employee education about United Way of Enid and Northwest Oklahoma.

• Thank employees for their contributions.

• Plan an employee tour of the United Way office or a partner agency.

To sign up your company for the Pacesetter campaign, call Ballard at the United Way office, 237-0821.

The 2013 campaign goal has not been announced. Last year, the goal was $700,000 and the campaign raised more than $751,000.

United Way partner agencies are: Booker T. Washington Community Center, Cimarron Council Boy Scouts, Cimarron Valley Chapter American Red Cross, Community Development Support Association, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Central Oklahoma, Denny Price Family YMCA, Enid Community Clinic, Enid Metro Area Human Service Commission, Garfield County Child Advocacy, Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma Inc., Hedges Regional Speech & Hearing Center, Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Retired Senior Volunteer Program of Enid, The Salvation Army, YWCA of Enid and Youth and Family Services of North Central Oklahoma.