Humanitarian Society

Volunteer Views Profile

Our “Volunteer Views” series seeks to share United Way of Greater Cleveland’s partners who generously give their time and talent through the gift of volunteerism. Their continuous work helps make our community a greater place to live, work and play. This month we are featuring Gary Poth, executive managing director, head of Key Family Wealth.

Questions and Answers

How did you get involved with volunteering early on in life?
I learned the importance of helping others from an early age by serving in my church and also the gratification that comes from caring for others. In my adult life, I became more deeply involved in serving others when my career brought me back to Cleveland about 10 years ago.

Since then, I have been fortunate to serve on the board of several nonprofits. I love helping people and working with organizations that have the heart to help others. It’s very fulfilling for me to help organizations like United Way. I am currently serving on the boards of the Cleveland Sight Center; Cleveland Institute of Music; Community Partner Arts and Culture; and the Holden Arboretum.

Why did you choose to volunteer with United Way of Greater Cleveland?
United Way is a great organization with a stellar reputation and, because of the fundraising capacity, United Way has the single biggest impact on our community. As a member of the KeyBank team, I am fortunate to be part of an organization that has always been a strong supporter of United Way and places a premium on employees giving back to the community.

Over the last several years, I have had the pleasure of co-chairing United Way’s Humanitarian Society along with Kelly Tompkins of Cleveland Cliffs. The generous members of the Humanitarian Society makes up about 20 percent of all giving to United Way.

What are some causes/issues that resonate with you? If so, what is it and why?
As someone who was the first person to attend college in my family, I know firsthand the doors that are opened from a solid education and how it can break the cycle of poverty. In far too many of our neighborhoods, we still have capable and talented children that never realize their potential because of the lack of a good education.
What are your personal and professional aspirations for the people of our region and our communities we live and serve in?
We’re on a good trajectory here in Cleveland. To continue that momentum, we need to be able to retain our best and brightest talent. Cleveland has always been a great place to live and raise a family, but we are making it a great place to have a career as well.

There is a real entrepreneurial spirit here with new companies now popping up every day. Our ability to sustain this momentum ties back to making sure that we have an educational system that provides our young people with the skills required for a successful career.

For those looking to possibly volunteer their time in an age where we’re all so incredibly busy, what would you say to those who may be on the fence about volunteering?
The old adage that “It’s better to give than receive” is so true. The personal fulfillment one gets from helping others is tremendous and well worth the costs. In addition to the personal satisfaction of helping others, volunteering connects you to other leaders throughout our community that share your passions expanding your professional network, which can have an enormous impact on your career.
Gary Poth
Executive Managing Director, Head of Key Family Wealth
Gary Poth, Key Family Wealth
One of the oldest and largest family offices in the country, serving roughly 500 of KeyBank’s largest families across the country and managing $12 billion in investments.

Learn more about volunteer opportunities at United Way of Greater Cleveland.


A message from the Humanitarian Society Co-Chairs

Thank you, Humanitarians!

Gary Poth and Kelly Tompkins
Gary Poth and Kelly Tompkins

As Thanksgiving approaches, we thank you for supporting United Way of Greater Cleveland. The holiday season is a time of reflection and gratitude for all the blessings we’ve been given. We have so much to be thankful for this year. Our great city and surrounding communities continue to show an upward trend of economic growth and stability. The Cleveland Cavaliers are world champions and the Cleveland Indians took the Chicago Cubs to a historic game seven of the World Series. But, there remains much work to be done and we can only accomplish the work with you by our side.

Continue reading “A message from the Humanitarian Society Co-Chairs”

Humanitarian delivers

Dempsey HeadshotCandice Dempsey has been giving for a decade – and is just getting started. The UPS sales manager says her interaction with United Way began 15 years ago through a standard workplace campaign, but with each passing year, she has become more active as a volunteer and donor.

Dempsey has been a Humanitarian-level donor for nearly a decade. Humanitarian Society donor contributions (donations of $1,000 to $9,999) typically represent 25 percent of the campaign total each year. The generous support of Humanitarians joins the contributions of all donors to facilitate United Way’s work as a change agent to ensure kids succeed in school and healthy families and individuals achieve and maintain financial stability, all as a means of combating the effects of generational poverty.

“UPS is a major contributor to United Way; when I started working there 15 years ago, I signed up for the payroll deduction,” Dempsey said. “Over the years, I began volunteering at United Way events. When you see what they do, you see the impact.
Continue reading “Humanitarian delivers”