Heart of Florida United Way is excited to announce that Thomas K. Sittema, chief executive officer of CNL Financial Group, has stepped forward to chair the 2013-2014 fundraising campaign, which officially kicks off on Tuesday, September 17th at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando.
Honored to Lead
Sittema said he is honored to lead the campaign, which last year raised nearly $17.5 million to help Central Floridians in need.
“I am honored to lead the 2013 campaign and to work side by side with other business leaders that have a heart for our community,” he said. “Together, we can make a difference in the United Way’s focus areas of education, financial stability, and healthy children and families. I am blessed that the CNL Financial Group platform affords me the opportunity to serve in this important role with this group of distinguished leaders. As a community, it is important to recognize that we are only as strong as our weakest neighbor.“
Influential Business Leader
Robert H. (Bob) Brown, United Way President and CEO, said Sittema’s generous decision to lead the campaign reflects the tremendous dedication that has made him one of Central Florida’s most highly respected executives.
“We are now looking ahead to the coming year and thank incoming Campaign Chair Thomas Sittema for agreeing to carry the torch forward with a visionary approach to meeting our next annual goal,” said Brown. “We are grateful for his enthusiasm for and dedication to United Way’s mission.”
Sittema is the CEO of CNL Financial Group, a leading private investment firm that provides global real estate and alternative investments. He also serves as vice chairman of CNL Lifestyle Properties, Inc. and CNL Healthcare Properties, Inc., and as chairman and director of Corporate Capital Trust, Inc.
Active in the community, Sittema serves as Secretary/Treasurer of the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission, and is a member of the James Madison Institute, and is on the advisory board of the Center for Real Estate for Belk College of Business, University of North Carolina, Charlotte.
Stan Van Gundy, a former National Basketball Association coach and an education advocate, will serve as the keynote speaker at the 2013-2014 Heart of Florida United Way campaign kick off on September 17th. Van Gundy, a longtime United Way supporter, said he is honored to be a part of the annual campaign that helps fund 70 local health and human service programs.
The kickoff event will take place at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando beginning with registration and networking at 11:15 a.m. Seating will follow from 11:45 a.m. until noon. A lunch program is scheduled from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Cost for the luncheon event is $10. For more information, call 407-429-2129 or email LiveUnited@hfuw.org.
Early Campaigns Already Running
Although United Way’s overall campaign doesn’t officially kick off until next month, many leading corporate partners, including Publix, Orange County Government, UPS, Progress Energy, Target, Adventist Health System, Macy’s and others are already running early fundraising efforts. Dollars raised last year helped improve the lives of more than 347,000 Central Floridians in need.
If your company would like to schedule a workplace giving campaign, please contact Robert Haight, United Way Senior Vice President of Resource Development, at (407) 835-0918 or e-mail Robert.Haight@hfuw.org.