An Innovative Leader Focused on Creating Meaningful Change
in the Southern Nevada Community

After a comprehensive nationwide search, United Way of Southern Nevada’s (UWSN) Board of Directors is proud to announce the appointment of Julian High as their President and CEO.

Julian High

HIGH NOTES

Follow along Julian’s journey to connect local families and individuals with the resources that they need to succeed.

High Notes Volume 1

Hello Friends,

I want to welcome you to “High Notes,” my weekly note to our friends and supporters in Southern Nevada.  At the heart of “High Notes,” is my desire to bring all of you along with me on this journey to connect our entire community to critical resources to provide everyone the opportunity to succeed. 

In case we haven’t met, I wanted to share about what brought me to my highest honor in being named President and CEO of United Way of Southern Nevada. As a native of Las Vegas, and a son of this entire valley, coming to this organization founded by Bill Boyd some fifty years ago is a dream come true. 
My first week has been incredibly transformational. As I visited the Westside of our community that I grew up in, I was inspired by the amazing work that our community partners and others do to deliver on the promise of being actively engaged in the community that we are meant to serve. 

I saw the power of providing a safety net of support during visits to two of our 38 community partners Chicanos Por La Causa Nevada (CPLC) and Family Promise of Las Vegas. At CPLC, it was an honor to meet Mamar, a student who now has the training and support he needs to attain his aspirations of a career in architecture and computer design. I met the CPLC team and learned how they are helping to provide homeless individuals a home, an opportunity to volunteer and access pathways to employment. At Family Promise, I learned about individuals who reached out for help for the first time after they suddenly lost their jobs due to COVID-19. They received kind, individualized support for all of the necessities and most importantly, they were able to keep their families safe with a roof over their heads. 
I witnessed the power of bringing the community together when we had the momentous opportunity to host the Nevada Recovers Listening Tour. We brought elected officials, nonprofit organizations and community members together to forge the future for our great community. I saw smaller, new organizations have the same opportunity to speak as larger more established organizations with Governor Sisolak taking notes about how to allocate federal funding. 

As I look forward to my first Day of Caring on October 8, I am inspired by the amazing stories from years past and what this day represents for our community. This day is a true representation of our Southern Nevada community coming together to create impactful change. 
I invite you to join us for our Day of Caring and join our work to help ensure that every person has a roof over their head, a good job and access to a quality education. In the coming weeks, months, years and decades, I hope the “High Notes” will become part of your weekly read.  

Thanks to all of you for your support. I look forward to working with you to realize the mission of the United Way of Southern Nevada. Thank you for reading and thank you for caring.

Until next week........stay tuned.

Dear Friend,

I wanted to share with you my deepest gratitude for your support. As United Way of Southern Nevada’s President and CEO, I am humbled by this opportunity to serve the community where I grew up. I will share my journey through these “High Notes”, so that together we can realize the mission of United Way of Southern Nevada.

When I think about what our United Way team has accomplished for our community, I am incredibly inspired. This team raised over $2.4 million during the pandemic to help over 179,000 individuals and families keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.
 
Amazon co-founder MacKenzie Scott was so moved by the work that we provided to our local community that she invested $10 million to help ensure more individuals would receive support. This provides a critical foundation upon which we can collectively build to increase our impact in the community.
 
I am proud to announce funding to 38 organizations, five times as many than in years past, that will help provide quality education, workforce development and support to our community.  Most importantly, these 38 organizations will help a diverse group of individuals throughout Southern Nevada.
 
This week, I had the opportunity to see this investment in action and meet two of our community funded partners, Leaders in Training and Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada. At Leaders in Training, I saw the power and vision of founder Erica Mosca in action as she helps first-generation college students accomplish their dreams, attend college, and come back to serve our community. At Catholic Charities, I saw the critical work of this organization in keeping individuals safe and off the street by providing support, a warm meal, and shelter.
 
We couldn’t do any of this work without the support of our dedicated Board of Directors. During our first Board Meeting together, I witnessed the true partnership that it takes to create change in our community. I was inspired by one of our board members, Marta Poling Schmitt, who demonstrated her commitment by holding an Oktoberfest Fundraiser garnering new support for UWSN.

When I look to the future and all that we can accomplish together, I am so excited to meet you next Friday, October 8 at our Day of Caring. We need your support to help nonprofits across the Valley, so I invite you to come out and join our team.
 
I look forward to the opportunity to get to know you, so please do not hesitate to reach out. Together, we can accomplish so much more. If you would like to receive a weekly update, please send an email to Marketing@uwsn.org. I appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you!
 
Thank you for reading and thank you for caring.

Hello Friend,

What a phenomenal, exciting week! Our team has been working day and night to prepare for our Day of Caring, our community’s largest day of volunteering. I invite you to come out and join us tomorrow, October 8 at 8:30am and make a difference for your favorite nonprofit. We will be meeting at Town Square on The Green (next to Guitar Center). If it’s raining, we will move the kickoff indoors to Stoney’s Rockin’ Country near The Green. A huge thank you to Chris Lowden and the Lowden family for their generous donation of our alternative indoor space.
 
Even during the pandemic, over 550 volunteers are giving back during our Day of Caring to help 40 agencies with 54 projects. We still have in-person and virtual family-inclusive volunteer opportunities available. Volunteers have the opportunity to help beautify apartments for local families, clean up gardens at Southern Nevada schools, create care packages for soon-to-be college students among many other opportunities.
 
When I think about how this work will make an impact for young students, families, seniors, and those who depend on the important work of our nonprofit partners, I know that we are fulfilling our mission in a meaningful way.
 
I am incredibly grateful for the support of our amazing sponsors featured below. Thank you to our media sponsors, Las Vegas Review Journal and KTNV 13 Action News for helping us to engage the community. A special thank you to our board chair, Ann Simmons Nicholson, and board member, Marta Poling Schmitt for your Day of Caring sponsorship.
 
I look forward to working closely together with you to help provide everyone the opportunity to succeed in our beloved city. I appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you at our Day of Caring!
 
Thank you for reading and thank you for caring.

Hello Friends, 

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support of our Day of Caring last Friday, October 8. It was so inspiring to see our community unite in such a meaningful way to help thousands of families, students, seniors and individuals during our Day of Caring. We demonstrated our true Las Vegas spirit and deployed over 650 volunteers who served at 40 agencies with 54 projects.

I am incredibly grateful for the huge outpouring of support from our 21 corporate partners featured here and all of the volunteers, nonprofits and individuals that made this year’s Day of Caring so amazing. Thanks to the incredible generosity of Chris Lowden and the Lowden family, we were able to bring our event inside at Stoney’s Rockin’ Country. The energy was contagious, and we were all thankful to be safe and warm and out of the rain!

During this important day, we saw the power of our United Way coming together as we provide support for one in four individuals in Southern Nevada. Please check out the Day of Caring photos here and if you have feedback about the event, please reach out to Savanna Sibley, our Volunteer Engagement and Events Manager at SavannaS@uwsn.org.

I had the opportunity to visit Salvation Army and the Just One Project. At Salvation Army, I joined a group of young volunteers from Cristo Rey St. Viator College Preparatory High School to help sort over 1,500 toys that will be distributed to children in need during the holiday season. At the Just One Project, we distributed bags of food to over 150 cars that depend on this support to feed their families and volunteered with our media sponsor and master of ceremonies, Tricia Kean from KTNV Channel 13. A huge thank you to our media sponsors KTNV Channel 13 and the Las Vegas Review Journal and all of the media outlets who provided the incredible media coverage.

It’s an exciting time for our United Way. The community is stepping up to support us in an amazing way with $27,500 donated in just one day thanks to the generosity of Cyrus and Joanne Spurlino of The Spurlino Foundation and Steven Comer. Thank you to all who joined us to celebrate and lift up the voices and stories of our Hispanic brothers and sisters during our Hispanic Heritage Month #United4Equity Screening and Panel of the documentary “Dolores. Rebel. Activist. Feminist. Mother.” We were truly amazed that the star of the film, Dolores Huerta, joined us for our Hispanic Heritage Month panel that also featured Councilwoman Olivia Diaz, Bliss Requa-Trautz from Arriba Las Vegas Worker Center, and Professor Ruben Garcia from the UNLV William Boyd School of Law. We want to extend a special thanks to our event partners, the Office of Councilwoman Olivia Diaz, La Voz Las Vegas, UNLV William Boyd School of Law, and Art Houz Theaters.

As we look forward to upcoming events, we invite you to help empower local women return to the workplace and gather your women’s professional items for our Women United Suit Drive on November 4-5. To learn more and be a part of this dynamic group of women leaders, visit uwsn.org/WomenUnited.

Thank you for reading and thank you for caring.

Hello Friends, 

As Hispanic Heritage Month concludes, we are so proud to celebrate the local heroes who work tirelessly for our community.
 
We were inspired to personally meet Dolores Huerta and hear about her journey in the fight for racial and labor justice during our #United4Equity Hispanic Heritage Month Panel Discussion of the PBS Documentary DOLORES. We are incredibly grateful for the support of Councilwoman Olivia Diaz during the panel and for being a long-time advocate for the Hispanic and Latino community in Southern Nevada. We are creating a stronger community thanks to local champions like Councilwoman Diaz, Bliss Requa-Trautz of Arriba Las Vegas Worker Center, and Professor Ruben Garcia from the UNLV William Boyd School of Law. In the words of Dolores, "we've got the people power" and we can use it to make our community better together.
 
The COVID-19 pandemic brought to light the urgent need to connect deeper with our local Hispanic and Latino community. Through the leadership of Janet Quintero, Director of Community and Government Affairs at United Way of Southern Nevada (UWSN), UWSN began hosting “Junta Comunitaria del Sector Social,” the Spanish-language version of UWSN’s Nonprofit Sector Call. Janet also began hosting “Unidos Por Nevada,” a bi-weekly radio show on 1460AM to connect the Spanish-speaking community with trusted and reliable resources.
 
Through visits with our 38 funded nonprofits, we have witnessed the incredible impact that our partners like Chicanos Por La Causa have made in empowering the next generation of Hispanic and Latino leaders. This inspiring organization delivers an array of education, trade training, and workforce services to young adults in Southern Nevada.

In the coming weeks, we will help local women prepare for career opportunities by providing professional items to those returning to the workplace through our Women United Suit Drive. You can support local women and help them gain the confidence to succeed as they get ready to take the next step in their careers by donating to the drive from November 4 through 5 at the UWSN Office.

Your continued partnership and support means so much to families, students, seniors, and individuals across Southern Nevada.

Thank you for reading and thank you for caring.

Hello Friends, 
 
It has been an incredibly inspirational week! I had the opportunity to be inspired by stories from local students, connect with community leaders, and speak to the media about the importance of supporting local women through our Women United Suit Drive.

At the Project 150 partner tour, we heard stories of students who are focused on beating the odds, going to college, and securing a career that will lead them on a path to success. One student that had a huge impact on our team was Rosy. As the granddaughter of immigrants, Rosy was inspired to fight for her grandparent’s dream of a better future for their family and worked hard to realize this dream by excelling in her education. Through hard work and dedication, Rosy beat the odds by graduating high school as valedictorian with a 5.2 GPA. Thanks to the support of United Way of Southern Nevada (UWSN) and Project 150, Rosy will be attending UNLV Medical School in the Fall.

As we connect with the community and bring partners together for change, I had the distinct honor to attend the “Freedom Fund” NAACP of Las Vegas 2021 Gala and the 2021 Silver State Equality Awards. The intersectionality of the important work we are doing in support of our neighbors and friends in Southern Nevada was magnified in a moment of solidarity with the amazing leadership and courage of our own local NAACP. There is so much to be done and we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the NAACP and other important partners ready to get the work done. Thank you Roxanne McCoy, Tony Gladney, Hannah Brown, Gene Collins, and many others in our local NAACP for the work you are doing to help make Southern Nevada a better place for everyone. The incredible leaders whom I met at these key events showed the impact that we can have when we work collaboratively as a community.
 
As our team continues our quest to help local women prepare to return to the workplace, I had the opportunity to share more about our Women United Suit Drive with “97.1 The Point” Host, Stephanie Mackenzie and other media outlets throughout the community. We invite you to join us and donate your women’s professional items during the Women United Suit Drive November 4 through 5 at the UWSN Office.

When we work together, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish. As Helen Keller said, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”. Let’s continue to unite our diverse community to ensure that every person in Southern Nevada has the opportunity to succeed.

Thank you for reading and thank you for caring.

Hello Friends,

Thank you for another incredible week! As we work to ensure everyone has the support they need to succeed, we’re grateful for the opportunity to meet with local leaders such as Councilwoman Olivia Diaz and hear the amazing stories of impact from our Day of Caring.

We were truly inspired after meeting with Councilwoman Olivia Diaz, her team members, and intern from Cristo Rey St. Viator, Anacidalia Rivera. Councilwoman Diaz connected with our team about what it means to be a trailblazer and create change within our community. Anacidalia shared about the significant experience of being represented by a councilwoman that looks like her and has a similar background. We were proud to see Councilwoman Diaz including our next generation of leaders in these important discussions.

We want to thank you again for helping to make meaningful change during our Day of Caring. We heard gratitude from nonprofits about the support that they received and from sponsors who appreciated the opportunity to give back to the community. Volunteers shared with us the excitement of being able to unite together with others and provide help to nonprofits throughout Southern Nevada. We invite you to check out this video that captures the energy of this important day!

As we look forward to the upcoming week, we are thrilled to experience a life-changing event – the presentation of four refurbished vehicles to four deserving Las Vegas families, including two veterans in need of reliable transportation. Thank you to the National Auto Body Council Recycled Rides program for hosting this event at our office and allowing us to be a part of this momentous day.

As Seth Godin said, “Empower a new generation to teach itself and to go further and faster than any generation ever has.” We invite you to inspire our next generation of leaders and continue to encourage them to be all that they can be.

Thank you for reading and thank you for caring.

Hello Friends,

What an inspiring week it’s been! A huge thank you to everyone who helped to make this year’s 14th Annual Women United Suit Drive an incredible success!

It was incredibly heartwarming to see our Women United members and individuals from across the Valley donate an amazing 5,506 women’s professional clothing items! Thanks to the LIVE interviews on FOX 5 Vegas and KTNV 13 Action News, we saw a huge influx of clothing and accessories donations that will support local women as they prepare for job interviews and achieve financial stability. We are proud to work with our fellow nonprofit organizations including Catholic Charities, Dress for Success of Southern Nevada, Goodwill of Southern Nevada, HELP of Southern Nevada, SafeNest, and S.A.F.E. House to ensure that these items are distributed to those who need it the most in our community. To view photos from this year’s event, click here.

As we look forward to the holidays and increasing support for those struggling to provide for their families, we are thrilled to announce, “Everyone Deserves Hope.” Everyone Deserves Hope is an opportunity to help local individuals stay in their homes, provide for their families, and assist students to graduate and succeed. We look forward to sharing stories of the impact of your donations. We invite you to join us and learn more at uwsn.org/hope or text “HOPELV” to 313131.

As Jonas Salk said, “Hope lies in dreams, in imagination, and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality.” We encourage you to help individuals, families, and students in Southern Nevada make their dreams a reality by giving the gift of hope today.

Thank you for reading and thank you for caring.

Hello Friends,

What a rewarding week it’s been! We were incredibly honored to host a Thanksgiving Meal distribution with Las Vegas Raiders player, Casey Hayward, and his foundation, Hayward’s Hands.

In partnership with the Hayward’s Hands Foundation, we distributed Thanksgiving meal packages to 60 elementary school students and their families from Matt Kelly E.S. through a contactless drive-through event held at the United Way of Southern Nevada (UWSN) office. UWSN is dedicated to providing hope to local families in need and we were proud to help Southern Nevadans receive essential support during this holiday season.

As we show our appreciation, we would like to give a special thanks to Congresswoman Susie Lee for meeting with us on Veteran’s Day and for taking the time to discuss the myriad of issues facing the nonprofit sector in Southern Nevada. We would also like to welcome our new community partner The Tapestry Foundation to Southern Nevada and thank them for their generous support. We look forward to continuing to build great relationships with our community leaders and fellow local nonprofit organizations.

Most recently, we are thrilled to engage with some of our most steadfast supporters, Tocqueville Society, through a gathering of our members yesterday evening. Tocqueville Society members are philanthropists who have demonstrated extraordinary generosity to our community by investing $10,000 or more annually. These members make an outstanding commitment to ensuring Southern Nevadans have the opportunity to succeed. Special thanks to Ann Simmons Nicholson, Diane Carlson, Rev. Dr. Marta Poling Schmitt, Gloria Fine, Sue Lowden, and Lynn Weidner for your tremendous support of this event. We look forward to sharing more about Tocqueville Society in later editions of High Notes.

As Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” We encourage you to join us and give hope to those who need it most this holiday season by visiting uwsn.org/hope.

Thank you for reading and thank you for caring.

STAY CONNECTED

To stay connected with Julian’s journey in the coming weeks, please send an email to Marketing@uwsn.org to subscribe to “High Notes,” a weekly communication from Julian, outlining his strategy for uniting Southern Nevadans to better the community together. 

Meet Our President and CEO: Julian High