United Way of Greenville County presents 2016 Spirit Awards

06/21/2016

Honoring the spirit of collaboration, community impact and strategic vision, United Way of Greenville County presented its 2016 Spirit Awards to three community leaders during a special ceremony Tuesday night in downtown Greenville.

Honorees were recognized for outstanding achievement in three categories: corporate leadership, nonprofit leadership and community leadership.

A long-time partner of United Way of Greenville County, GE received the Spirit Award for Corporate Leadership. GE embodies the overall spirit of giving through contributions of time, leadership and resources in support of United Way’s work to build a Cycle of Success in Greenville County.

Financially, GE and its employees show their caring through their generous support of United Way’s annual campaign. In 2015, the company became just the fourth workplace campaign to raise $1 million for United Way of Greenville County.

Volunteerism is a vibrant part of GE's culture, as both an individual employee activity as well as an organizational effort. GE and its local employees further their community impact through a robust volunteer program that includes monthly service projects for staff during the workday. GE also fields the largest corporate volunteer team for United Way Hands On Greenville Day with more than 500 employees and their family members donating a Saturday to help our community.

United Way community partner The Hispanic Alliance received the Spirit Award for Nonprofit Leadership. Since its inception, the Hispanic Alliance has worked through collaboration to build partnerships between the Hispanic community and the community at-large, especially existing service providers, such as public schools, local hospitals and healthcare providers.

The Hispanic Alliance helps partner agencies serve the local Hispanic population in a culturally, linguistically and socially appropriate way through grassroots outreach, training and community events. As part of their work, the organization holds open meetings on the second Wednesday of every month to convene a diverse group of agencies, educational institutions, businesses, churches and individuals interested in the well being of the Hispanic population in the Upstate.

Rev. Sean Dogan, senior pastor at Long Branch Baptist Church and Greenville native, received the Spirit Award for Community Leadership. Dogan has been the pastor of Long Branch Baptist Church since his senior year at Clemson University. The Greater Sullivan neighborhood church has grown in size and impact over the last 19 years thanks in large part to Dogan’s leadership.

His commitment to community service has led to the development and growth of a variety of neighborhood initiatives, including Mill Village Farms, which houses a solar-powered greenhouse on the church’s grounds.

In addition to his service on United Way of Greenville County’s board of trustees and its Faith-based Roundtable, Dogan volunteers with United Way partners SHARE (Sunbelt Human Advancement Resources) and Senior Action. He also serves on the board of the Greenville Health System and Pendleton Place for Children and Families.

Now in its fifth year, the United Way Spirit Awards recognize and celebrate the people, companies and nonprofit organizations that exemplify the generosity, leadership, and caring spirit of our community.

Past Spirit Award honorees include leaders in United Way’s work to build a Cycle of Success for all in Greenville County, including Minor Shaw, Greenville County Schools, Community Foundation, Hollingsworth Funds, Bob Yeargin, Fluor Corporation, Greenville County First Steps, Greenville Health System, Susan Shi, CommunityWorks Carolina, Michelin North America, Elizabeth “Ducky” Gower, and Pendleton Place for Children and Families.

“Today, we add three more names to that extraordinary list,” said Hendry. “Through their foresight, expertise, innovation, leadership in collaboration and commitment to making a difference, this year’s honorees epitomize the spirit of our community and our United Way.”

About United Way of Greenville County: United Way of Greenville County brings people and resources together to build a Cycle of Success where all children start school prepared to learn and go on to graduate, well-educated graduates find good jobs and create stable homes, and children from stable homes continue the cycle because they start school prepared to learn.