Woman of the month - Carol Bates!

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Hard work and determination are two traits that come naturally to Ms. Carol Ann Bates, who serves as Vice President, Regional Partnerships here at the United Way of the Bluegrass (UWBG). Carol is featured as the “Woman of the Month” during March, which also happens to be Women’s History Month.

Carol, a native of Scott County, has worked faithfully here at the UWBG for the past 29 years, marking her work date anniversary this past March 15. When she started she performed a variety of jobs such as working with the labor unions as a liaison. She has also had experiences with workplace campaigns and working with volunteers. Today, in her current position, she provides assistance through area-wide development, relationships with regional volunteers, civic clubs, and government leaders promotes the mission and goals of UWBG throughout its nine county regional areas.


She also assists all departments here at UWBG, as well as supporting the Board of Trustees structure.  Carol truly represents UWBG in many unique ways by constantly building and maintaining relationships in many community, county, and city governments, community chambers of commerce, and at community events. She is extremely dedicated to UWBG and its mission work.


Her strong work ethic and positive attitude about her job come from one of her favorite books written by Stephen R. Covey, entitled “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.”  In his book, Covey highlights those seven habits as to 1) Be Proactive;  2) Begin with the end in Mind; 3) Put First things First;  4) Think Win-Win;   5) Seek first to Understand, then to be Understood; 5) Synergize or have a Change of Attitude, and 7) Sharpen the Saw.  These seven points constantly drive Carol to do her best at the workplace, taking the initiative and also the responsibilities and consequences that follow. She recommends this as a must read to those in leadership positions.


When Carol is not busy here at work, she can be found relaxing with husband Michael Bates. Carol and Mike have been married 10 years on this year's April 26 anniversary.  She also enjoys spending time with her 8 year old Jack Russell Terrier she fondly calls “her baby”.  Her favorite vacation spots include anything with water—beaches, lakes and the ocean, and what would be her favorite color?  Blue of course—like the warm relaxing waters she so loves to be around!


Other favorites for Carol include her love of cooking, which she says gets rid of stress in life. She especially loves canning, with her all-time favorite foods being her very own canned jar of fresh tomatoes. Her and her husband love eating at the Ace Oyster Bar in New Orleans.   They both love the food and atmosphere of this delightful southern city and would love to spend more time there.


Carol gets a lot of inspiration from her mother, who recently celebrated her 80th birthday. Her mother is her role model and has encouraged her to work wisely and always follow the Golden Rule.   She also admired her grandmother, who lived to be 92 years of age. Her grandmother married late in life, raised a family and was a hard worker during difficult economic times. Carol remembers her grandmother having a strong inner strength and being a strong Christian role model for her growing up.


Many may not know that Carol has been a strong political activist all of her life—always being concerned with the human rights of others. She has made at least 5 to 10 trips to Washington, DC in support of civil, women and worker rights, joining thousands in protest to support the cause.  One of her greatest experiences was being interviewed by Connie Chung, who then was a reporter for CBS News. Her interview regarding her thoughts on worker rights aired on the CBS evening news.   


She also supported the campaign of Thelma Stouvall who ran for governor of Kentucky.  In addition, she has worked on local city council campaigns.  She continues to serve as a Sheriff and precinct officer in her community. She has served for the past 20 years and feels voting is one of the greatest rights we have as Americans.


When looking to give advice to young females as they graduate from college and enter the workplace, she feels it is so crucial for them to know who they are and have confidence in themselves.  She says “Be your number one fan”---if people follow this advice and know their own values—they will be less likely to make mistakes in life. She is a strong supporter of women in leadership roles.  Carol admires seeing women excelling as plant managers and performing non-traditional jobs.


Right now Carol is enjoying her life and is not thinking about retirement. She feels as long as her health permits she wants to stay active and live life to the fullest. She looks forward to having more time after retirement than during her career to take advantage of volunteer opportunities.   Her bucket list includes a two week trip to Alaska (actually scheduled for July of 2014) and trips to Greece, Hawaii and the Grand Canyon.  A lot of travelling looks to be at the top of her list!


But for now….we appreciate Carol Ann Bates for her magnificent spirit, gift of life  and strong work ethic she brings each day to the United Way of the Bluegrass!



Alyce S. Emerson, Ed.D

Community Investments Coordinator

Focus area: Education