ALICE Task Force Chair
Board Member since: 2016
Our engaged and passionate ALICE Task Force chair, Chris shares about how United Way has helped him connect with and build a meaningful impact on our community. He talks about COVID, mental health, and how when neighbors are helping neighbors, that's the essence of #LivingUnited. We’re proud to have Chris on our team!
[*The following interview has been edited for clarity and length.]
What makes you proud to be living in north Idaho?
I’m proud to be living in north Idaho because it means I’m working with organizations that partner with United Way to promote and foster a community that is working towards growth and improvement for all.
How did you come to connect with our local United Way? How long have you been serving on the Board?
Advanced Benefits is a huge supporter of United Way. We have participated in the Day of Caring and supported a company campaign for many years. I have been serving on the United Way Board for 4 years and I am in my second year as Chair of the ALICE Task Force.
Who inspires you in our community? Who are the hand-raisers and game-changers in your life?
I am blessed to work with several hand-raisers and game changers. Mark Fisher and JP Dupin have been blazing trails in this community for years and I am doing my best to meet and hopefully exceed what they have done for our community.
Success can mean different things to different people. In your eyes, what would it look like when every youth in north Idaho “succeeds”?
For our youth to succeed we need to first create an environment that gives every youth regardless of social & economic status the same opportunities to receive education and the support needed to flourish. This is not really a definition but what comes to mind regarding youth success.
What does a healthy community look like to you? What is your vision of a healthy north Idaho? Where does UWNI fit into this vision?
I believe we all have a personal responsibility to understand and work towards life balance that includes physical, mental and financial wellbeing. UWNI fits in this vision by cultivating a community that supports these areas through education and awareness.
How has COVID-19 highlighted the importance of health as a pillar of Living United in our north Idaho community?
COVID-19 has been a challenge for everyone in our community and those challenges look different for everyone. COVID-19 has shed light on the importance of mental health. I recently read a report that stated one in four people that tested positive for COVID faced mental health issues. There are plenty of tools and resources available to help, we just must do a better job of community education and support.
Which health projects and partnerships are you most proud of at UWNI?
I am proud of all UWNI projects because they are well researched and vetted before a decision is made to deploy a project. UWNI partners with many excellent agencies that focus on the betterment of health. A few that come to mind include:
Panhandle Health District- Diabetes Education and Support Program.
Safe Passage- Emergency Shelter & Teen Outreach
Onsite for Seniors- Telehealth Services
Northwest Infant Survival and SIDS Alliance-Safe Start Program
What does it mean to you to Live United?
In its simplest form, to Live United is when neighbors are helping neighbors.