Leading the Way

Employee spotlight: How Emily Hopkins supports United Way

Emily Hopkins, director of Customer and Benefits Support, has been with Unum for the past five years.

Here, in a Q&A with WorkWell, she shares how she supports the United Way of Portland by identifying community needs from a more holistic approach.

WorkWell: How did you get involved with the United Way? 

Hopkins: I got started with the United Way when I moved to Columbia, S.C. as part of Unum’s Professional Development Program. The local United Way agency had a program called Young Leaders Society. It was a great way to get involved in a community that I was brand new to. It also helped me connect to the United Way of Greater Portland when I returned home.

WorkWell: What are you doing with the United Way of Portland?

Hopkins: I’ve been part of the United Way through the Brick + Beam society for almost two years. As they set priorities for their organization, they established a group geared toward new leaders around the community, and having a place for them to come together under the United Way umbrella. Now, I’m the chair of the Brick + Beam society, which is just about to hit its one year anniversary. We have over 60 members and have had a full year of events, education and philanthropy.

WorkWell: What have you experienced by working with United Way that has inspired you? 

Hopkins: I’m inspired by the way the United Way has committed to engaging the next group of philanthropists and volunteers. I’m part of the Brick + Beam society which lets young leaders in the community design the way we come together to volunteer, network, become educated on community events and determine where we use our money to drive change on a specific issue.

WorkWell: Why do you volunteer your time with the United Way?

Hopkins: One of the things I like the most about the United Way is how it supports the overall community. I moved to Portland five years ago, and I want to be a part of this community for the long term. The United Way is an organization that supports the community holistically. I’ve learned a lot about how all the pieces of our community impact each other, and I appreciate being part of a group that looks at how we can affect our community more broadly.

WorkWell: What does Unum’s support of United Way mean to you?

Hopkins: Unum’s support has made a significant difference in my ability to spend time with the United Way. They have made it easy to be involved in campaign opportunities, made it easy to give through the campaign, and support time I spend on UW initiatives. Community involvement is so ingrained in our culture here, and that’s clear on a day-to-day basis as I have support from leadership, peers and others in the company.

WorkWell: Why should Unum employees support the United Way?   

Hopkins: I think we all have a shared ownership in making our community the strongest it can be for the future- and United Way is a great partner to help ensure we are all working on collective goals in order to get there. United Way is a great place to give- either with time or dollars, and working together collectively helps us drive big changes in the community.