Life and Leadership in 2020: We’re all in this together

By Mary Richter, Shareholder at Schneider Downs & Co., Inc. and Executive Team Member of United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council

There’s plenty to be said about 2020.  If you’re looking for a silver lining, perhaps it’s that we have all found ourselves, more or less, in the same boat. Focused on getting through the next week, the next month. Staying positive. Looking for opportunities to connect.

In true 2020 fashion, United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council recently celebrated our 19th Annual Kickoff with a virtual panel discussion. Hosted by NEXTpittsburgh’s Tracy Certo, local leaders Trisha Gadson, Mary Finger, Karen Larrimer, Tami Minnier and Bobbi Watt Geer opened up about how they’re handling the unique challenges this year is throwing at us.

From their personal lives to professional experiences, here are three takeaways we can all identify with:

  1. We’re all in this together.
    We should all be extraordinarily proud of the way that our community has banded together over the last several months. It is absolutely crucial that we listen to our family, friends and colleagues. We all have concerns or get weighed down by a bad day. Reach out. Listen and try to relate. We may not all have the same life experiences, but we can learn from and help each other. Think about what is truly important in your life!
  1. Do your part to help.
    It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the state of things. This includes being shocked by the number of our neighbors in line at food distributions. The truth is, that need has always been there but now it’s greater than ever. If we all pitch in and step up – by donating, by volunteering, by sharing information – that’s when we shine as a community.
  1. Appreciate what you have, give what you can.
    In the last nine months, we, as a community, have demonstrated such great strength and resiliency. Now, we truly understand the razor-thin line between ‘making it by’ and ‘struggling to survive.’ For many of us, donating a little more this year won’t make a big difference to our monthly or weekly budget. But to a neighbor in need, it could be a lifeline.

If you’re looking for connection and a community of caring women working together to make our region stronger, learn more about United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council at