UWCA’s Board of Directors is a group of dedicated volunteers that shape the vision for the organization’s future and provide critical support in achieving ambitious goals for positive change in our community. In October, UWCA welcomed 3 new board members:
- Ben Bentzin, CEO of Interactive Health Technologies, Inc.
- Don Kendrick, Regional President for Wells Fargo’s Central Texas Region
- Sheila Plank, retired strategic marketing and management executive
They join Bill O’Brien, elected Board Chair in August; Gayle Greer, who joined the board in August; and 12 other passionate and committed board members.
“I’m excited to see the latest additions to our board,” said Debbie Bresette, President, United Way Capital Area. “They represent unique and important voices in our community that will help United Way deliver on our promise to create measurable, positive change.”
UWCA is proud to welcome these 5 standout professionals in their new roles and we are thankful for the invaluable leadership of our board.
Ben Bentzin is a Lecturer in Marketing at McCombs and CEO of Austin startup company Interactive Health Technologies, Inc. In his previous ten-year career as a Dell Inc. executive, Ben had various responsibilities for marketing, product development and e-commerce.
As a community leader, Ben is co-Chair of the UWCA’s 2011-2012 Workplace Giving Campaign and over the past 17 years has served as a board member and officer for organizations including Austin public radio station KUT, the Center for Child Protection, The Helping Hand Home for Children, The Long Center for the Performing Arts and Ballet Austin. Ben also serves as a leader for Boy Scout Troop 990.
“Ben will play a major role in the future of our community- a passionate and active leader, he cares deeply about Austin and will guide United Way to be innovative, creative and successful,” said Debbie.
Don Kendrick leads Retail and Business Banking in 180-plus banking stores with more than 1,700 team members throughout San Antonio, Austin and the Hill Country as Regional President for Wells Fargo’s Central Texas Region. Don has been with Wells Fargo since 1983 in numerous positions including Community Banking president for the Kerrville, Hill Country and San Antonio markets.
Dedicated to his community, Don currently serves as the Corporate Walk Chair for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s South Central Texas Chapter Light The Night Walk and previously served as co-Chair for the 2008 United Way Capital Area Campaign and Chair for the 2006 Juvenile Diabetes Walk To Find A Cure. At this time, Don participates on several non-profit boards including PeopleTrust – Austin’s Community Land Trust, the Greater Austin Economic Development Corp., and Ballet Austin.
“Wells Fargo is one of our top corporate partners and we’re excited to have Don at the table, on our Board,” said Debbie. “He shares our values and is enthusiastic about investing in our community through United Way and our partners.”
Sheila Plank retired in Austin following a thirty-year career, on the east coast, as a strategic marketing/management executive and business owner. Previously, Sheila was a senior executive at United Way of America (now, United Way Worldwide) for almost ten years, working to build the organization’s relationships with corporate partners, local United Ways, professional leagues, and other constituents. She then served as CEO of the National Center for Children with Learning Disabilities in New York City for two years.
In 1991, she established her small, referral-based consulting and project implementation business which operated successfully for over 17 years. The business focused on major fund raising activities and campaigns; pro sports sponsorship development and management; marketing and promotion. Her eclectic client mix included national corporations; prominent athletes; major arts organizations and national non-profits.
In Austin, Sheila has been instrumental in shaping the role of UWCA’s President’s Cabinet and currently serves on the organization’s Strategic Planning; Marketing & Communications; and Governance Committees.
“Sheila brings with her tremendous experience on the national level, working successfully with leaders across all major sectors,” said Debbie. “She has already provided our United Way so much by serving on the President’s Cabinet and will continue to help us create positive change in our community.”
Bill O’Brien is a retired Executive of the IBM Corporation. Bill has been supporting UWCA with Board service and community involvement for almost three decades. He served as the Campaign Chair in 1989 and Board Chair in 1992. More recently he has served as a volunteer CFO and is a founding member of the President’s Cabinet.
In addition to supporting UWCA, Bill has served on Boards of People’s Community Clinic, Meals on Wheels and More, Austin Humane Society, Austin Museum of Art, Austin Quality Council and the Advisory Council of the Salvation Army. He is a past Chair of the Board of United Ways of Texas and currently serves on their Board as Chair of the Finance Committee.
“Bill came in as Chair at the perfect time,” said Debbie. “He brings with him the rich and dynamic history of our organization, the time and experience to help UWCA be a leader among non-profits and within Central Texas and a keen understanding of the unique role that United Way fills in our community.”
Gayle Greer retired in 1998 from Time Warner Entertainment, which at the time was a division of AOL Time Warner. During her 20-year tenure, she served in numerous capacities including Senior Vice President of Time Warner Communications Group and Group Vice President of Time Warner Cable.
Before moving to Austin, Gayle was the first female Chair of the Board of Trustee for the Mile High United Way in Denver, Colo. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Daniels Foundation in Denver, CO, which is very active in K-12 education. Since relocating to the Lone Star State, Gayle has served on UWCA’s Youth Leadership Council, the Board of Directors of One World Theater, and volunteered on the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
“Gayle has a remarkable breadth of knowledge about United Way’s history as well as a vision for our future,” said Debbie.