Over the course of 2021, we will feature 100 Heroes who have been instrumental in our fight for the basic needs, education and financial stability of our neighbors for the past century. To learn more about how we are continuing to serve the Bluegrass in 2021, click here.
Today we are interviewing Mike Hockensmith, who is a former member of our Board of Directors and a current member of our Scott County Board of Trustees.
What is your role with UWBG?
I first got involved with United Way back in 1978 and have been somewhat involved for pretty much every year since. I’ve served multiple terms on the Scott County Board of Trustees and have been the Scott County Board Chair. I’ve been Campaign Chair a couple of times, and I also served as the Chair of UWBG’s Board of Directors in 2013. I was on the selection committee to select the new president of UWBG and have been on task forces as well. In 2013, I also received a leadership award from United Way of Kentucky.
Where were you the campaign chair for?
I was the Campaign Chair for the overall Scott county campaign, but also do my own company’s campaign every year. The Hockensmith Agency has participated in UWBG’s fundraising every year since the 1980s when it was formed. We’ve had a UWBG drive every year since 1982.
What did this role include? What would a normal day look like for you?
When I was chairman of the board for UWBG, I chaired the board meetings and was brought in for visits with key givers and met with potential new givers. I also dealt with other things that came with that role, such as personnel changes.
As the Chair of the Scott County Board of Trustees, I’m involved more in the fund distribution side of things. I’ve served on multiple fund distribution teams for both Scott County and the Bluegrass area. That involves studying submissions and making recommendations to the Board on behalf of the fund distribution team. At that point, the Board would either approve or disapprove. I spent a bit of time in those areas as well.
What do you think is the most special thing about UWBG?
There are a lot of things about UWBG that are special. My commitment to UWBG from the early days was due to the fact that our donations were helping multiple people and multiple organizations. Whereas if I gave an individual donation, it would have just gone to one organization and wouldn’t have helped nearly as many people. The diversity of the organizations and the different impacts that can be made with a single donation was also very appealing to me.
In your opinion, what positive change has UWBG made in the Bluegrass over the past 100 years?
The most positive change I’ve seen over the years is that UWBG started focusing on the impact areas of financial training, tax help, and other things that help low-income families and individuals.
What’s your favorite place in the Bluegrass?
Keeneland is definitely one of my favorite places.
What’s your favorite thing to do in the Bluegrass?
I love to go to UK sporting events.
Thank you for being such a strong part of UWBG, Mike! We appreciate you and all that you do.
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 email@example.com to share your nomination!