Tenecia Ross says Pittsburgh feel like home thanks to WLC.
“I really love advocating for employees, improving culture and creating workplace initiatives that feel welcoming and inclusive to all,” Tenecia Ross says with conviction. As the director of human resources with the Mount Lebanon School District for the past three years, she’s had plenty of opportunities to make change for the better.
A big proponent of volunteerism and community engagement through giving back, Tenecia was first drawn to United Way through a Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) breakfast she attended. WLC is an organization that unites more than 2,200 women leaders in the region to foster strong professional and personal bonds and collaboration among like-minded women who make a difference in their own communities. WLC programs also connect members to United Ways’ investment priorities—meeting basic needs, moving toward financial stability and building for success in school and life—each of which profoundly impact women and their families across the region.
“They embraced me immediately and made me feel very welcome,” Tenecia said of her initial experience with WLC. Five years later, she still attends the breakfasts regularly because she gets to connect with other women from diverse backgrounds and experiences. “Everybody’s there with the sole purpose of helping other women and their families. It’s like being a member of a sorority where we’re not the same. But we all share something in common: our desire to give back.”
As she sees it, there is a big difference between United Way’s WLC versus other organizations. “WLC empowers and encourages its members to take action and create positive change in the community.” Knowing this, it’s no shock that Tenecia is a big fan of the ongoing programs offered by WLC. “Recently I attended a workshop that was all about professional branding and we had our headshots taken. I really love the activities that are offered to the membership. They continually exceed my expectations by helping each of us with our own personal growth and development.”
And she has leveraged this growth by sitting on the boards of numerous organizations. She supports the executive board as both the fundraising co-chair and community service co-chair for the National Panhellenic Council’s Pittsburgh chapter. She also previously served on the executive board of the National Association of African Americans and Human Resources (NAAAHR). Originally from Maryland, Tenecia admits that WLC is a big factor in keeping her tied to the Pittsburgh area. “I had a real struggle connecting to people before I joined WLC. But my work with United Way has kept me engaged and focused. It has made Pittsburgh feel more like home, which I love.”
To learn more about United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council, contact Lynne Popash at email@example.com in Allegheny County, Terri Dominick at Terri.Dominick@unitedwayswpa.org in Westmoreland County, or Sherrie Dunlap Gallagher at firstname.lastname@example.org in Butler County.