Diana Bolivar is all business—she’s always thinking about how business impacts the community we live in. Diana, president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, believes that partnerships and collaborations are what make Central Florida great. And she believes that’s true for non-profits as well, which is why she’s such a strong advocate for United Way. Collective impact is necessary to make real and lasting change.
Why were you inspired to become involved with United Way?
From a business perspective, I wanted to get involved because United Way is an organization that is community centric – its work is a reflection of community priorities. From a personal perspective, I decided to get involved after meeting Bob Brown. I fell in love with his leadership style and his passion for the cause. It’s inspiring to be around people like that.
What inspires your volunteerism?
I’ve been a giver for as long as I can remember. My vision for personal and professional giving is figuring out what you can give, not what you will receive. I frequently ask myself, “How can I make a difference?” I have to have a purpose… the place where I live, work, learn and play. I – we – need to take ownership of our community. Everyone needs to find a way to give back.
What do you see as the greatest community need?
We have many, but I think that the homelessness issue is pressing right now. As much as Florida and Central Florida is growing, we need to consider a social service system that is able to address needs for this growing population. Homelessness is a big piece of that.
What were your thoughts when you saw the United Way ALICE Report for the first time?
I wasn’t surprised… I was concerned. I’ve heard for a very long time that most people across the nation are one paycheck away from a financial emergency. But to see the true numbers right in our backyard made me worried for my neighbors. As a community, we need to think about all of the factors contributing to ALICE’s situation – affordable housing, access to healthcare, job growth potential, etc. – and do something about it.
What do you think the business community can do?
I think we have to take ownership of what’s happening. We have to educate ourselves and our employees. Show the statistics. We can start in our homes…the places where we work…in our business meetings. Every staff member has a story to tell about a family member or someone they know who had their world turned upside down by one little thing. Everyone can relate to the work United Way is doing.
What one word would you use to describe UW’s impact on Central Florida?
“Comunidad.” To me, United Way represents community. It represents everything that surrounds you and is what makes a home.