United Way picks president, hands out awards during meeting

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Steve Fisher wants to be like Mike.

Fisher, an F&M Bank executive, was named the new president of the Rowan County United Way during the agency’s annual meeting on Tuesday. Following the completion of a $1.97 million fundraising campaign, Fisher expounded on goals for the agency’s future. He joked that he wanted to be like basketball legend Michael Jordan and previous United Way President Mike Williams.

“It’s always fascinating to watch someone who is highly skilled at their craft,” Fisher said. “We all love that and it’s a fascinating thing to watch, but it’s a moving thing to watch a highly skilled person with a passion that burns deep inside of them do the same thing. They’re doing it for sheer love and not for any other reason.”

Fisher continued, saying Jordan was a highly skilled basketball player with a passion for the game. He said Williams, as the previous president, is similar.

“Under Mike’s leadership, we did a couple of great things this year,” Fisher said. “We’ve added a new agency for the first time in a long time. We have a new grantee agency in Smart Start Rowan and we’re finally going to start addressing literacy in our community at the pre-school level, which is so critical. By the time they get into school, it’s too late, folks.”

Describing characteristics of Williams, Fisher said non-profit agencies need to be accountable.

“You want to know your dollars are going where they’re supposed to be going,” Fisher said. “And, you want to know they’re being spent the best they can be spent.”

Fisher said as the incoming president of the Rowan County United Way, he only has one goal.

“I want to be like Mike,” he said.

Fisher’s short speech came at the end of the annual meeting where the United Way’s board members and directors handed out awards for donors and participants in the 2014-2015 fundraising campaign. The fundraising effort, led by the previous campaign chairman Greg Dunn, surpassed its initial goal by over $100,000.

One of the top honors handed out on Tuesday — the Helping Hand Award — was given to Marcie Puckett of Freightliner. The award recognizes a specific individual for outstanding service to the United Way of Rowan.

During the award presentation, Williams said Puckett is always willing to help and has a positive attitude. Puckett’s campaign has a 148 percent increase, Williams said.

Individual agencies were also honored during the annual meeting. Awards went to:

• The Arc Rowan

• Communities in Schools

• Families First

• Meals on Wheels

• The Rowan County Rescue Squad

• Rufty-Holmes Senior Center

• Trinity Living Center

• Vocational Opportunities

• The YMCA

• Youth Services Bureau

The Rowan County United Way is one of more than 1,000 local branches of the national organization. The United Way raises money to help with important local issues, such as literacy.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.