Fourteen Individuals Graduate from United Way Catalyst Program

May 17, 2022 at 10:27 am by WGNS


On May 19th, fourteen individuals will graduate from United Way’s nine-month Catalyst program. The class of business leaders has participated in the program to become engaged in social responsibility through the means of advocacy, giving and volunteerism.


The Catalyst program’s goal is to train volunteers to serve in nonprofit leadership roles, such as nonprofit boards, in Rutherford and Cannon counties. Participants in the program gather monthly to learn about governance, financial accountability, diversity, equity and inclusion, and more topics as they relate to nonprofit leadership. The program also offers opportunities to connect directly with local non-profits through agency tours and projects.

This year’s class engaged in projects to understand the different structures and models of nonprofit boards. Participants paired up with a local nonprofit, and then spent their time in the program observing, researching and analyzing the Board of Directors for that organization. In many cases, this activity identified local nonprofit needs and opportunities for our graduates to become involved and give back. 

“It has been a pleasure to watch this year’s participants learn, grow, and become more engaged with our nonprofit community. They are a passionate group of community leaders who are equipped to make a big impact on some of the greatest needs in our community,” stated Ella Weaver, Catalyst Program Coordinator and Director of Strategic Initiatives and Programs at United Way.

 2021-2022 Catalyst Participants include:

• Kara Carpenter, Roscoe Brown, Inc.
• Charles R. Frazier, Esq., The Law Offices of Charles R. Frazier
• Tamara Gwyn, Middle Tennessee Electric
• Bernard James, Property Management Inc.
• Hayley McCracken, Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford
• Dena Oneal, Stones River Consulting
• Alicia Stachura, Amelia’s Closet/Liberty’s Station
• Denise Sweeney, The Law Office of W. Scott Kimberly, PLLC
• Christian Acosta, Volunteer State Bank
• Lula Ogunpola, Social Worker
• Leslie Pionke, Wilson Bank & Trust
• Francela Salas, Redstone Federal Credit Union
• Tunisia Scott, First Baptist Church Murfreesboro
• Don Stewart, First Baptist Church Murfreesboro

The program is sponsored by First Baptist Church Murfreesboro. Applications for the 2022-2023 Catalyst class will be available in June.


About United Way
United Way advances the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all. United Way focuses on education, health and financial stability – the building blocks for a good quality of life. United Way recruits people and organizations who bring the passion, expertise, and resources needed to get things done through giving, advocating, and volunteering.


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