Campaign Coordinator Spotlight: The Roanoke Times

We asked Candace Lucas of The Roanoke Times to share her experience as Employee Campaign Manager (ECM). Candace was nominated for the Campaign Coordinator Spotlight for her sincere dedication to the United Way mission, as well as to her colleagues at The Roanoke Times. She worked incredibly hard with her campaign team to make sure what they did was effective in educating and inspiring their workforce on UWRV’s impact in the community, and made it an enjoyable team-buildling experience. Because of Candace’s dedication, the campaign was the best its been in years and The Roanoke Times raised more money in 2016 making them one of the Top 50 Most Generous Workplaces in the Roanoke Valley.

Tell us a little about your company, your role and the number of years you’ve served as United Way ECM. 

I recently had my one year anniversary working for The Roanoke Times as their HR Generalist. I was nominated to our internal United Way committee about six months ago to help create a team to engage the employees for our UW event week.

What do you enjoy about serving in this important role?

I didn’t realize such a positive impact our team would have on the employees which in turn created such a positive outcome for our community.

When and how did you first learn about United Way?

Growing up watching football, with my dad, was probably the first time I learned about the United Way.  The NFL has been in a long lasting relationship with the UW since 1973.

Share an example of how you’ve volunteered or advocated for United Way of Roanoke Valley.  How did it make you feel?

During our first staff meeting, I introduced the RYSE – Rehousing Youth for Success in Education program and the importance of advocating for our children in our community.  This is an extremely important initiative the United Way has brought to the forefront because our children are our future.

Tell us about someone or something that inspires you to support United Way of Roanoke Valley.

Being a mother of two boys inspires me and also, being a past preschool teacher, I have witnessed the impact of children being without the necessities and how it affects their schooling.  The RYSE program is a huge benefit to our community for so many reasons such as providing the necessary support to these families in need.

Share one or two popular activities or strategies that your company has found successful during your Annual Campaign or for year-round engagement with United Way of Roanoke Valley.

We held UW Event Week which turned out to be very successful and we received a lot of positive feedback from our employees. During the week we collected the UW pledge forms and on our first day, we held a BBQ lunch with guest speaker, Jeff Collignon, Vice President of Resource Development for United Way of Roanoke Valley. During the day we arranged a scavenger hunt throughout the building—employees needed to find at least 10 United Way logos to receive participation tickets. On Wednesday, employees enjoyed playing games such as putt-putt, corn hole, and Plinko. We concluded on Friday by randomly selecting the participation tickets for prizes such as Roanoke Times merchandise, Roanoke Downtown and Kroger gift cards, as well as an extra day off from work.

What is the funniest/most memorable thing that has happened during your time as an ECM?

The most memorable occurrence during our Event Week was on Game Day when we encountered so much laughter and unity.

What do you wish other people knew about United Way of Roanoke Valley?

How simple it is to give to the United Way and, again, the positive impact on our community:

• $1 (the cost of a downloaded song) per week provides a family of four with food to eat for two weeks.*

• $5 (the cost of a gourmet coffee drink) per week allows a homebound senior three hot meals a day or a middle schooler can receive afterschool homework help.*

*Information from the Employee Campaign Manager & Guidebook