At United Way of the Bluegrass (UWBG), we are currently celebrating our centennial year, highlighting 100 Heroes who have been important in our fight for the basic needs, education and financial stability of our neighbors over the past century.
We recently spoke with Brock Saladin, Lexmark's current Chief Commercial Officer and a former UWBG Board member, to learn more about his role and relationship with United Way of the Bluegrass.
What are your current or former positions with United Way of the Bluegrass and Lexmark and what does a typical day look like in these roles?
I served on the Board for United Way of the Bluegrass. I was there when we started to develop the diversity policy and other initiatives such as 211. My time was spent providing guidance to the team, listening to initiatives and trying to help by using my life experience in business to help United Way of the Bluegrass be successful, grow and serve all the various constituents they help in the community. We had a quarterly meeting and met for other activities outside of that.
In terms of Lexmark, I am currently the Chief Commercial Officer. I am responsible for all of our sales, marketing and what we call our customer operations around the world. My day is spent in meetings, developing strategies to help the company grow, understanding how we plan to satisfy our customers and helping customers solve issues and problems. I have groups around the world that I meet with, and we work to provide the best customer service we possibly can.
What is your favorite project that you have worked on with UWBG or that you have seen UWBG work on?
211 was probably the most interesting one for me. The 211 initiative and expanding its services is something that is pretty unique. It’s a way to generate revenue while still helping constituents. Coming into a nonprofit organization, I hadn’t thought about all of the different avenues to raise revenue in order to help everyone in need. 211 is a very interesting way to leverage an infrastructure that was developed for a specific purpose and branch it out to use it as a revenue generation in order to help more businesses, families and groups around the Bluegrass.
What do you think is the most special thing about United Way of the Bluegrass?
The commitment that everyone has at United Way of the Bluegrass. The teams are extremely committed to the cause. It was very apparent and clear anytime someone came to present or give updates. Another thing is the breadth of the number of programs and organizations UWBG serves. There are so many. There are other groups that are more singular focused, but the breadth of all the organizations they help stands out to me. United Way of the Bluegrass encompasses a lot of people and organizations.
If you were encouraging someone to get involved with United Way of the Bluegrass, what would you encourage them to do or what advice would you give them?
I would give them two steps. The first is to understand what the purpose of United Way of the Bluegrass is, and the second is to pick a project or initiative and get involved.
Understanding what United Way of the Bluegrass is all about, who they serve and all the good they do is important. If people start to understand that, there is a natural tendency to want to feel involved because it’s so far-reaching. Then, I would recommend that you get involved in some small way whether it’s through the Board or a volunteer project. The more people you meet at UWBG, the more you will want to get involved, and the more you’ll want to do.
If you were to move away, what would you want to take with you from the Bluegrass area or what would you miss most?
The standard answer would be UK basketball. It’s such a deep-rooted activity that I would miss.
The other thing, having traveled around the world, I would miss the beauty of the area. The rolling hills and horse farms make it a great place. The people are extremely friendly here. Bluegrass culture is parallel to some of the cultures I visit in the Philippines. The beauty, people and UK sports are things I would miss for sure.
What is your favorite place and thing to do in the Bluegrass?
I love going to see the Wildcats play, going to Keeneland and taking long drives around the countryside through the horse farms on a warm Sunday afternoon. It gives me time to decompress, reflect and enjoy the beauty of the Bluegrass.
Thank you for being such a strong part of UWBG, Brock! We appreciate you and all that you've done and continue to do.
"The more people you meet at UWBG, the more you will want to get involved and the more you will want to do." ~Brock Saladin
To learn more about how we are continuing to serve the Bluegrass in 2022, click here.
Do you know someone who has worked alongside United Way of the Bluegrass in the past century who should be considered for our 100 Heroes series? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your nomination!