UWEL members are professionals under age 40, who support United Way’s strategic efforts to address the most challenging issues impacting our community — issues such as poverty, hunger, homelessness, and low graduation rates. In addition to helping fund solutions, members also have opportunities to network, socialize and collaborate with local leaders and other young professionals while participating in meaningful volunteer projects.
UWEL has started a new initiative called “Lunch with Leaders” to help young, upwardly mobile professionals connect with local executives to hear how they have achieved their level of success. UWEL offers this opportunity quarterly to our members and encourages new prospective members to join this group of committed up and coming leaders.
The free series kicked off in March with guest speaker Tony Jenkins, Market President for Central and Northwest Florida with Florida Blue. This past month we welcomed David Fuller, President, CEO and Chairman of SunTrust Bank, Central Florida. David also serves as a board member on Heart of Florida United Way’s Executive Committee. We were happy to have him share some stories with us from his personal life.
As a young man who came from modest beginnings, David would return to his grandfather’s farm during the summer months to help harvest cotton as well as other crops. After attending Baylor University, he accepted an offer to work for Bank One (now Chase Bank) where the young banker learned to keep focused on the things he could control.
With realistic career expectations David managed to attain more responsibility and move up through the company. However, he realized that as the job became bigger, he soon became unhappy and stated that “sometimes the way up isn’t always up.”
If you missed the presentation, you also lost an opportunity to have lunch with a CEO and ask your most burning leadership questions. David offered advice on what to do when you get your shot at your first leadership position, how to set yourself apart from your peers and how to manage your time.
We look forward to seeing you at our next event. Join us for the “Emerging Leaders After Hours” social event at Blue Martini Orlando on Wednesday, July 24 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. For information on UWEL or to register for the event at Blue Martini, call 407-429-2157 or email EmergingLeaders@hfuw.org