By Julie Krienke
DELANO, MN Nichole Krause, who was born and raised in Delano, was recently appointed as the new executive director of the Delano Loretto Area United Way.
Krause has worked at American Family Insurance in Delano for about seven years. Alex Roeser, Krause’s boss and a United Way board member, got her involved in the organization.
“He mentioned to me that they were looking for somebody,” Krause said. “He thought I would be a good fit.”
After that, everything sort of fell into place. Krause completed an interview process with the United Way president and other board members. She was then named the new executive director and welcomed into the United Way.
Because she was just announced as an officer at the June 8 meeting, Krause is still learning a great deal about the United Way organization.
“My first impression is that they support the community through fundraising and their yearly campaign,” Krause said. “Their main mission is just to make the community a better place.”
Roeser is also new to the United Way, and recently joined the organization as a board member.
“He’s very passionate about helping the community, and I think it rubbed off on me,” Krause said.
The United Way is a worldwide organization that works with communities around the world.
“There is basically a United Way in just about every town,” Krause said. “The Delano chapter has been around for about 40 years, and we have about 12 board members now.”
The Delano Loretto Area United Way is comprised of a part-time staff as well as a board of directors. Krause is a member of the newly appointed part-time staff.
Krause’s duties as executive director of the United Way are widespread.
“I’m more or less between the board and community,” Krause said. “I handle board requests, keep the website up-to-date, and work with businesses.”
Anyone who wants to serve their community can join a local United Way chapter.
“It is open to anyone who wants to get involved in the community,” Krause said. “We are always looking for new board members.”
The Delano Loretto Area United Way conducts meetings every other month. Along with the six yearly meetings, additional meetings take place when campaigns get closer.
According to Krause, the local United Way chapter is hoping to hold more consistent campaigns in the future.
“I guess you could call this a kind of transition year,” Krause said. “We partner with businesses around town to help make us more visible to the community.”
Several goals have emerged this year for the Delano Loretto Area United Way, but there is one in particular that stands out.
“Visibility is our main concern this year,” Krause said. “The opportunity is there that we haven’t been able to take advantage of because of lack of board members or visibility.”
As a new member, Krause hopes to assist the United Way in growing this year.
“There is so much opportunity out there that the Delano chapter can access if we use it,” Krause said. “I want to get the organization out in the community for visibility.”
Krause took the position of executive director for many reasons. She wants to help the community, but she also hopes to grow personally.
“Community service was a big part of it, but I wanted to step out of my comfort zone a little bit,” Krause said. “I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and try something new.”
As a member of the United Way, Krause hopes to get involved in the community and local businesses. She also would like to become a better public speaker.
Perhaps, working with people in the insurance business will help Krause with her work in the United Way.
“I think being in the insurance company helps because we are involved in the community,” Krause said. “I also grew up here.”
According to Krause, every dollar raised by the United Way goes back to the Delano-Loretto area. “That is part of the reason I did it,” Krause said.
Money that is raised is donated to large organizations including the American Red Cross of Central Minnesota, Children’s Home Security, and Courage Center.
Donations are also made to local groups in the area including the Delano Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, the Delano Public Library, and the Delano Senior Center.
Each year, the United Way partners with local companies to collect contributions. This year, partners include Coborn’s of Delano, the State Bank of Delano, Delano Schools, and ER systems.
In addition to the United Way, Krause is also a member of the Delano Jaycees, a state volunteer organization.
According to its website, the purpose of the Jaycees organization is to promote community service as well as personal growth and leadership abilities.
“We just do fundraising for the community,” Krause said. “Every dollar raised goes back to the Delano community in some way.”
Krause graduated from Delano High School in 2002 and went on to get her business management degree from Rasmussen College.
Now, Krause occupies much of her time engaging in community service.
Whether it is working with the Jaycees or the United Way, Krause simply enjoys serving the city of Delano and its surrounding area.
“I like to support the community that I grew up in,” Krause said.
To become involved in the United Way as a board member call (763) 972-4429 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the Delano Loretto Area United Way, visit www.delanolotettouw.org.