For UWDOR President and CEO Jeannie Montano, service is a way of life. Jeannie has worked in the nonprofit field for over 20 years, many of those years spent in an executive capacity. She joined UWDOR just 5 months ago and couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of the mission. “I love to be part of an organization that truly helps the community,” said Jeannie.
Upon reflecting on her wealth of experience she quotes the great Albert Einstein “Only a life lived for others is a life worth living.” She exemplifies this statement in her everyday work as UWDOR CEO.
After a career in airline management, publishing, and advertising, Jeannie found her true calling in nonprofit work. She sought career advice from her mother who has always been her closest adviser and cheerleader. Her mother encouraged her to follow a career path in which she could make a difference in people’s lives. From thereon she never looked back.
“My mother has always been my biggest advocate, from the time she raised me in the Bronx to encouraging me to follow my passion and work at impactful community organizations,” explained Jeannie.
Jeannie suffered the tragic loss of her young brother to blood cancer. When she began her nonprofit career two decades ago she joined an organization which advocated for the expanded research of blood cancers and other life-threatening diseases. And though her current work is less focused on public health, she still finds time to volunteer to diminish such diseases. For the last number of years she has volunteered at various public health focused nonprofits that combat kidney disease and help children suffering from brain injuries. For Jeannie this tragedy was an impetus to help others, both during her time at work and outside of it.
Joining United Way has been a life-changing decision for Jeannie. She is grateful to have a tireless staff, engaged Board of Directors, and to work with numerous Hudson Valley leaders who have welcomed her with open arms. Jeannie “feels privileged” to be a part of such a critical community-based organization and has enjoyed engaging with the dozens of nonprofit partners that United Way supports, “I feel like I have found a home in the Hudson Valley.”
Jeannie’s commitment to service extends beyond the 9-5, and so does her family’s. She met her husband through her volunteer work. “That we have volunteering and giving back in common, that was a bonus!” She has also made devoted volunteers out of her daughter and stepsons.
Jeannie cannot say enough great things about volunteering, “It builds self-confidence and is truly a rewarding experience, and it’s easy; just give us a call (or visit volunteer.uwdor.org)!”
Aside from the countless hours that Jeannie devotes to working to improve the community, she is also a certified scuba diver. She has dived in such exotic places as Hawaii, the Dominican Republic, Key West and the Bahamas. She can’t wait to scuba dive in the islands of St Thomas and St John’s later this month!
Jeannie has lived a selfless life of service and is pleased to start her next chapter at UWDOR. Upon reflecting on her new role “I am proud to LIVE UNITED; when we work together as a community the possibilities are limitless! “
—Melissa Clark, Manager of Community Mobilization