Each year, United Way of Porter County establishes a trusted group to serve on its Board of Directors, and one of these individuals is appointed to be their campaign chair to spearhead fundraising initiatives that support United Way’s mission to serve Northwest Indiana. This year, that honor belongs to Scott Casbon, vice president of commercial lending at First Merchants Bank. After being a long-time donor to United Way, Casbon began working with the organization in 2017 as a campaign cabinet member and then joining the board in 2019. Shortly thereafter he took on the role of 2020 campaign chair.
“I was extremely humbled when first asked to accept the appointment,” Casbon said. “There have been many great community leaders who served in this role before me and to be honest I was a little apprehensive about being able to live up to the standards that they set. Having said that, I am truly excited to serve and I am enthused about the great things we will accomplish despite the troubling circumstances we find ourselves in today.”
In accepting this new role, Casbon hopes to help United Way further its mission to the best of his ability.
“I want to build on the efforts put in place by those before me,” Casbon said. “I also want to increase the understanding of the exceptional need present in our Northwest Indiana communities and how United Way works tirelessly to address those needs.”
For Casbon, one of the best parts about United Way is that while the organization works cohesively with its nonprofit partners, it also has developed and administers 14 complementary programs and services that are not provided elsewhere.
“This creativity and determination to make sure no one is being left out is something truly special and a point of pride for the organization,” Casbon said.
Through his years of involvement with United Way Casbon has come to appreciate the team of dedicated staff members who drive the organization forward, and he looks forward to working with them in his new capacity as campaign chair.
“The staff at United Way of Porter County are some of the most dedicated, hard-working, caring people that I have had the opportunity to serve alongside,” Casbon said. “They work long hours to make sure that the community needs are being met and they do it with a smile. I love the positivity they bring to their roles and it truly does make our area brighter and a better place to live.”
Cabson will lead a cabinet of ten individuals to head up United Way’s fundraising activities. Kasandra Tenbarge, Director of Development for United Way, coordinates and trains the cabinet each year, and is in the process of recruiting cabinet members to serve with Casbon.
“Cabinet members are very special folks and play a vital role in helping United Way efforts each year,” Tenbarge said. “I look for people who have some knowledge of the work and impact we have in the community. Individuals come from a variety of backgrounds. Some come from board service, many from volunteer roles and others from many organizations that partner with United Way.”
Cabinet members implement fundraising strategies under the leadership of the campaign chair and help United Way make valuable connections with community leadership.
“Cabinet members visit organizations and individuals with us to talk about the importance of the work we are doing and to garner support for increased education and gifts to our United Way,” Tenbarge said. “This year, given the unique circumstances of COVID-19, the cabinet members will likely come on board on a rolling basis. I have had several people already say that they are willing to serve on the cabinet.”
For Tenbarge, the best part of what United Way does is support and provide critical programming for those who need it most.
“We respond quickly to the ever changing needs in our community by securing and providing funding to support those programs,” Tenbarge said. “Regular every day basic and reliable programs that people need to help make ends meet is what United Way has been doing for 60-plus years: housing assistance, food programs, childcare, mental health services to name a few. And, when crisis strikes for individuals, or the entire community, we help with that, too.”
The remaining cabinet members are expected to be announced sometime this fall. Congratulations to Scott Casbon as he embraces his new role as campaign chair for United Way of Porter County. The community looks forward to seeing that all he brings to the table comes to fruition.