Volunteer Spotlight: Jodi Harris

Jodi Harris has been a long time United Way ambassador, first as a Young Leader, then as a Loaned Executive. This year Jodi is the co-chair for Central Hudson’s United Way Workplace Campaign. In her new role she has managed several events aimed at increasing employee giving and participation. “The United Way campaign is ingrained in our company culture, I just try to keep the momentum going.”

Jodi is helping to institute many campaign ideas and hopes to have more participation than ever before. She has set up raffles for vacation days, gift cards, and premium parking spots. Additionally, there are prizes available based on employees’ giving levels. With strong support from Central Hudson, who matches donations to the community fund dollar for dollar, Jodi’s goal is to take this campaign to the next level with more employee engagement in the work of United Way. “The campaign season is very hectic. While keeping up with all other responsibilities and commitments, I have to make sure I give the campaign my all. It’s helpful that I get along with the Campaign Chair so well, we have a lot of fun!”

Jodi has been at Central Hudson for 8 years and was recently promoted to Senior Regulatory Planning Analyst. In her role, she works extensively with the Public Service Commission. Born and raised in Poughkeepsie herself, she and her husband and their two young children love calling Poughkeepsie their home. She plans to teach her children to grow up to be volunteers just like her. “My grandfather inspired us to always volunteer at church and be good community members; my hope is that my children will share these values.”

In addition to managing the campaign, Jodi has participated in a number of other volunteer events. She acted as team captain for Rebuilding Together, helped coordinate community events, and has been a presenter at United Way’s Loaned Executive training. On October 23rd, she is looking forward to leading her team in a volunteer effort at the Poughkeepsie Farm Project!

Jodi also volunteers her time as a member of the Board at the Mid Hudson Children Museum. She has gained so much from this experience.  Speaking of the United Way funded Mid Hudson Children’s Museum program Connect, Engage, Prepare, Jodi explained, “In my work with the Children’s Museum, we have the opportunity to reach local children and provide them with opportunities to learn and grow that they would not have otherwise, such as regular educational field trips to the museum. They can also take their families there on the weekend.”

For Jodi, she is grateful that Central Hudson has encouraged her to be a community leader. “There is a true community philosophy at Central Hudson.”

According to Jodi, Central Hudson serves as a service entity of the Hudson Valley; they serve their customers and the community at large through specialized programs and their employees’ volunteer efforts.

Jodi’s United Way journey has allowed her to see all sides of the work, from running an internal campaign as campaign co-chair, to running other organization’s campaigns as a Loaned Executive, to volunteering in the community as a Young Leader. Jodi loves all facets of the work, “United Way truly does so much, there are so many ways to get involved!”

To learn what volunteer opportunities await you visit volunteer.uwdor.org.


―Melissa Clark, Manager of Community Mobilization