Butler County United Way 
Live United - United Way
Happy Thanksgiving
A Letter from our President

Change is not only inevitable,
it is essential to survival. Why
fear it or fight it when you can
simply embrace it?

Wow, can I talk about change! After thirty four years in the banking industry and 29 of those years at First Financial Bank I began on October 21st as the new President/CEO of Butler County United Way. As I sit in my office writing this, I reflect on the poster hanging on the wall about change. It is a picture of a beautiful forest and the leaves are changing from lush green leaves of the summer to beautiful hues of the fall. Actually this is my favorite time of year. The mornings have a crisp refreshing chill, some days the skies are so blue with not a cloud in the sky and the air is so clean. After the beautiful days of fall we face reality of winter (ugh). Actually, the change of seasons is totally amazing. As we move to the next season we have something to look forward to or not (depending on your perspective). But, we do adapt to the change. So why do we all resist change so much? It is hard to get out of our comfort zone. But when we do, we realize it's not so. Some of us in our private moments actually have to admit it is very exciting. Change forces us to get our creative juices flowing again.

I am experiencing this as I start my new career at United Way. It is exciting and refreshing to learn something new each day. I have been overwhelmed by the support of the community and the team at Butler County United Way. It was difficult to retire from First Financial and leave my customers but when I accepted the position I never had a doubt. Personally this was the right direction for me. I loved working at First Financial all these years and I want to publicly thank them for their donation to BCUW in my honor and sponsoring our celebration breakfast on November 14th at the Fairfield Community Arts Center.

Everyone wants to know what Mag Baker's vision is for BCUW. As of this writing I have been on the job for exactly nine days. I have been meeting with people to gather information, ask lots of questions, and listen....listen....and listen some more. I am not sure I could or should outline a vision at this point. But, I do know this: the vision will continue to change and adapt to our surroundings based on factual feedback from the stakeholders in our community.

So here are some thoughts ad observations at this point in time.

Vision is defined in several ways such as the ability to see: sight or eyesight; something that you imagine: a picture that you see in your mind: something that you see or dream especially as part of a religious or supernatural experience Well, I have a lot of faith buy I have not had a supernatural or religious vision about United Way. Not sure if I will but I can see a picture in my mind. Butler County United Way is a great organization and we have been in existence for over 90 years. We have made our community stronger one person at a time. I want to thank all of my predecessors over the years for their vision and leadership of Butler County United Way. Here is one observation in my brief tenure. we have done a lot of things right, but we can always strive to be better.

I believe working as a team is better tan working alone. Helen Keller said "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." I will embrace and promote collaborations to achieve our goals. We need leave to out egos, territories and personal agenda's at the door. We must united and leverage our relationships throughout Butler County and the Greater Cincinnati Region in order to continue our work by funding programs that have successful and measurable outcomes. In addition we need to find more dollars for funding initiatives that improve lives, one person at a time, in our communities. We need to do more collaboration such as Booker T. Washington Center in Hamilton. The community came together to make this happen. What an outstanding example of collaboration with the City of Hamilton, Great Miami Valley YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, The Fitton Center for Creative Arts, S.E.L.F., and Miami University coming together to make this happen and providing a variety of programs in one location. I applaud Woody Fitton President/CEO of the YMCA and his team for taking a leadership role in this endeavor.

In the private sector, whether selling product or service, we always talked about customer service. How do you define customer service in the nonprofit world? Who are BCUW's customers? I believe we have four levels of customers not in any specific order: Our donors, our volunteers, the people in our community who utilize the programs our agency partners provide and our agency partners. These are the stakeholders of Butler County United Way. As we plan and talk about changes we need a balanced approach. By balanced I mean we must, to the best of our ability, understand how those changes and plans impact each and every stakeholder.

I worked in an environment over the last 34 years where accountability was not a passing thought. We were held accountable to our shareholders, depositors and regulators. Accountability has a bad reputation at times. My grandmother always told me "Do what is right and you have nothing to fear." What a simple statement but how true. I believe our society continues to move away from accountability and wants to point the finger at someone else for our mistakes. We all make mistakes, just own up to them and you will sleep better at night. Truth is, nobody intentionally makes mistakes. But when we do, we need to learn from them and move on.

One of my primary responsibilities as President?CEO is being visible in each of our communities throughout Butler County. In that role I should be spending 60% of my time fundraising and building awareness of United Way. We cannot continue to blame the economy for not hitting our campaign goals. Mitchell Willis has done a tremendous job over the last three years as our Development Director but he cannot do this alone. Krystal Tipton was hired in January of 2013 as the Administrator for Marketing and Development. Mitchell, Krystal, and I will work closely together to continue building awareness, fund raise and get the people of Butler County excited about the work of our agencies and United Way. We want our youth to become successful adults, adults to become self-sufficient and improve people's health and independence in our communities throughout Butler County.

The agency executives and their teams have the heavy lifting to provide programming to address the needs in our communities. The partner agencies have embraced accountability in the form of Impact measurement. As an organization, United Way is a catalyst for raising funds and being good stewards of our donor money. Shari Hedrick who leads our action and impact councils has a wealth of talent and experience in grant writing and work in social service agencies and programming. She has done a great job working with our agencies in regard to our RFP process and Impact Measurement. We need to utilize her expertise with grant writing for new initiatives. We need to find more capital in order to fund initiatives via collaborative efforts, grants and partnerships throughout Butler County and Greater Cincinnati. Shari and I will continue to fine tune this effort.

I would be remiss if I didn't say thank you and recognize Jan Troutman, who served as interim President/CEO during the search process. Jan did a tremendous job keeping the organization focused and provided excellent leadership. We are very fortunate to have Jan as CFO. Jan provides a lot of historical knowledge along with solid financial analysis skills. We must continue to maintain the critical balance between creative vision and financial stability. As we have over our 90 year history BCUW will operate in a fiscally responsible manner and Jan Troutman is instrumental in insuring we do.

Also, I would like to thank Karen Mueller, Chairman of the Board, the Board of Directors and the CEO search committee for their vote of confidence affording me this opportunity.

Thank you to Tim Abbott for his leadership as our campaign chairman and his campaign cabinet. I keep telling Tim we will meet goal! So if you haven't donated to this year's campaign please do so!

Well this is my "vision" at this point in time. I cannot guarantee each and every person in Butler County and the greater Cincinnati Region will always agree with our initiatives or changes we make. But I can guarantee that Change is not only inevitable, it is essential to survival. Why fear it or fight it when you can simply embrace it? Will you join us as we embrace change and move Butler County United Way from an already great organization to an even better organization? I am confident you will and I thank you for your continued support of Butler County United Way.


Join us for Breakfast as we Celebrate our Campaign Progress and Meet our new President and CEO Mag Baker   

Thursday, November 14th, 2013
Fairfield Community Arts Center
411 Wessel Drive
Fairfield, OH 45014

$15.00 per person

Celebration Sponsored by

To RSVP or more More Information


Windy City Bus Trip


Each month, partner programs of 
Butler County United Way are in the
spotlight. It is this work that brings 
change to our community.
For November, the FOCUS is on the funded                                 
programs of Boys and Girls Club of Hamilton.

Boys & Girls Club aims to inspire and able all youth, especially those who need them most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring individuals. In order to do this, Boys & Girls Club offers an array of programs including; homework and reading assistance, art and drama, physical education, and intentional asset development programming.  Boys & Girls Club currently serves over 700 young people annually, 95% from the East side of Hamilton, specifically Riverview and Crawford Woods Elementary Schools.


For many children within Butler County, Boys & Girls Club also provides a safe place to spend time during non-school hours, a chance to play, learn, and have ongoing relationships with caring adults. These caring adults are trained youth development professionals, ensuring that children at Boys & Girls Club experience a positive environment, reinforcing a sense of belonging, personal accountability, civility, and civic responsibility.


In a Harris Interactive survey, 57% of Boys & Girls alumni said the Club "saved my life". Whether it is through 45 youth reading 1095 books during summer program, experiencing perseverance and creativity through building sculptures, or running a mile in each physical education class, Boys & Girls Club continues to positively impact and change youth's lives.


This job is all about the kids says Karen Miller, Executive Director. "When Jesse comes around on lap 25 with a huge smile on his face and announces 'I did it' and Lucia reads a second grade book and gets a 100 on the quiz and says 'I did it' and Kemaree breaks 140 jumps in a minute and shouts 'I did!' - it that makes every grant worth writing, and every fund raiser worth the effort. "


With the support of Butler County United Way, great futures are starting here with important successes such as improved fitness, better grades, and caring behaviors.


For more information on Boys and Girls Club or if you are interested in volunteering, please contact Karen Miller of Boys and Girls Club, at 

513-893-0071 or email [email protected].


Butler County United Way is looking for Volunteers to 
support our day to day business operations.
For more information, please contact Krystal Tipton @ 
(513) 863-0800 or [email protected]

The Fireside Conversation

The Women's Leadership Council continued their series of "Community Conversations" at the home of Butler County United Way Board Chair, Karen Mueller.

Pictured right, Johnna Reeder, Vice President of Community Relations for Duke Energy let the evening with amazing impact. She shared personal and professional stories of just how life truly is...everyday...no matter what you do.

"I thoroughly enjoyed the Fall 2013 Fireside Conversation! I don't have time to say yes to everything. However, the Women's Leadership Council "conversation" evenings continue to impress me as must-attend opportunities. These meaningful nights leave me feeling recharged about my life, my aspirations, and my community sisterhood." -Laura Hoppa

Much gratitude to WLC Co-Chair Jessi Hill for finding our guest speaker. The Women's Leadership Council hopes to continue the conversation in January/February at a location in Cincinnati.


Volunteer Recognition and Awards Breakfast / Day of Caring-Spring 2014 Friday, April 11th, 2014 from 7:30AM-9:00AM Location TBD

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