United Way says goodbye and hello to employees

Published 11:05 am Friday, March 13, 2015

Cameron Johnson stands with Chris Grev in front of the United Way of Mower County sign Tuesday afternoon.  -- Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Cameron Johnson stands with Chris Grev in front of the United Way of Mower County sign Tuesday afternoon. — Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

The United Way of Mower County has said goodbye and hello to two employees within a few short weeks.

Project Coordinator Cameron Johnson started at the end of January, taking the place of former United Way of Mower County Marketing and Communications Director Chris Grev, who left the position about two weeks ago.

Johnson, 27, is not unfamiliar with United Way. The Houston, Texas, native previously worked for United Way of Brazoria County.

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“I’m very familiar with the organization and the great work that they do,” Johnson said.

Johnson has a bachelor’s degree in English and has worked with several organizations similar to the United Way.

“It’s right up my alley so I’m loving it,” she said.

Johnson moved to Austin as a trailing spouse in September when her husband — who is originally from Litchfield — got a job with the National Resource Conservation Service in Albert Lea. But she didn’t stay that way for long.

“I quickly found something that I just love so it’s all worked out fantastically,” she said.

Her new position will take on projects such as the coat drive, the backpack program and Day of Caring, along with many other initiatives.

Johnson admits she is still figuring out everything her new job works with.

“It’s a little bit of everything, to tell you the truth,” she said.

But Johnson has had plenty of help in taking on her new role. Johnson was trained in by Grev. Grev has faith in Johnson for the new position and has high hopes for the staff still at the organization.

“I think Cameron will do well,” Grev said. “She’s young, she’s energetic, she’s got great ideas, she’s got experience with United Way.”

Johnson makes for the second new employee in a year at the United Way of Mower County, as Diane Baker took over as executive director last April and her first annual campaign as director raised more than $1 million. Grev credited the United Way’s board with making for a smooth transition.

“I think the United Way has a really active, involved board,” Grev added. “The new staff at the United Way is really focused and dedicated to creating change.”

Although Grev enjoyed her job, she felt it was time for a change after about eight years as an employee and more as a volunteer.

“I loved the job, but it was just life changes — just time to move on,” Grev said. “I just needed a little bit more free time.”

Grev, 50, said she already misses her job, but it was the right time in her life to move on to something else. She noted she has more time to spend with her family now, which is one reason she decided to make the change.

Yet her absence from the United Way of Mower County does not mean she isn’t still involved around town.

“I’m still involved with a lot of volunteer activities in the community,” Grev said, listing activities her children are involved in as example.

Grev said she also hopes to continue volunteering with the United Way of Mower County, as some of her best experiences were with the organization.

“My experience at the United Way opened up a whole “nother side of the community that I wasn’t aware of and I wasn’t involved with,” Grev said. “And I met a lot of really great people. And that’s that part that I’m going to miss is working with people, helping people and strengthening the community. It was a great job, it was a great place to work, it was fulfilling.”