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Lisa Huey – Philanthropist and YWCA Donor

By Lisa Huey, YWCA donor
November 29, 2017
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“My first gift to YWCA Minneapolis was at the Circle of Women event. I had been so touched by the event speakers. My father taught me that you need to leave your community a better place for your having been there. YWCA Minneapolis was the vehicle for me to accomplish this goal.

I want my gift to empower girls to make good choices. Empower children to be the best they can be. Expose kids to experiences that would eliminate ceilings and stereotypes. I want the next generation to grow up without prejudices and racism. I know this can happen; and I know YWCA Minneapolis can accelerate the process.”

Why does supporting YWCA Minneapolis matter to you?

As a girl growing up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, I didn’t know what opportunities were available to me. I knew no women who were doctors, lawyers or other professionals. When I attended college, I didn’t know that the business school could be a place for me. It took me a long time to figure that out. If I, as a girl, didn’t know my possibilities, how would a girl who didn’t come from the advantages I enjoyed know what was available to them?

How long, and in what ways, have you been involved with YWCA Minneapolis?

I first became involved with YWCA Minneapolis when I was invited by a board member to attend the Circle of Women event. I was moved by the programming of YWCA; the impact it had on the girls and women who took advantage of the programs and the impact these programs had on our community. I vowed I would try to attend the Circle of Women event every year. I became friends with Julianne Bye, when she was Director of Individual and Planned Giving for YWCA Minneapolis. She talked to me about YWCA and its programming, and introduced me to several board members. I was very impressed with these women, and I wanted to know them better. I was asked to become a member of the investment committee, and I accepted with pleasure. When I was asked to become a Board Member, I was flattered. Of course I accepted. As the chair of the investment committee, at the time, I believed there should be a close relationship between the finance committee and the investment committee, so I joined the finance committee to be that liaison. My first year as a board member, I volunteered to work at the YWCA Minneapolis Women’s Triathlon. I was so inspired by all these women that I committed on the spot to participate in the Women’s Tri the following year. In August 2017, I completed my second Women’s Tri.

When I was invited to co-chair the Girls and Youth capital campaign I accepted because I am passionate about empowering girls and helping them realize all the possibilities for them. I am especially interested in exposing girls to opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math. Keeping children from having children and keeping them out of the juvenile justice system are also important programs for the girls in our community.

What would you want others to know about YWCA’s Girls and Youth programs?

These programs expose girls to professions they had no idea existed; they show girls there are ways to accomplish their goals; and that the ways of their neighborhood or peers may not always be the best ways. YWCA Girls and Youth programs empower girls to see past their perceived limits. These programs empower girls to be the best they can be.

Who have been the leaders and mentors in your life’s journey? Why and how have they affected you?

My parents were strong leaders and mentors. My first professional job in Minneapolis was at a company with few women professionals. I was given every opportunity to succeed and there were several people there who encouraged me and mentored me. I became a leader under their tutelage. This was not my goal as a girl, but it became my goal when I knew it was a possibility for me.

What would you like to pass on to the next generation?

That your possibilities are boundless. That hard work and perseverance will get you to your goals. That everything is possible, but you have to make good choices. Sometimes you may not make a good choice, but you must learn from it and move forward making better choices.

Your personal mission statement?

Be kind, be honest and behave with integrity. Leave your community in a better place.

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