“It’s amazing to witness over and over, the spirit of compassion that drives people to give their own earnings to meet a basic need for complete strangers. Working as a fundraiser for United Way has given me an opportunity to witness the best part of humanity every day.”
Feb. 28, 2023 -- After a long career of serving her community, with four of those years at United Way of Monroe County, Sherrie Shuler is retiring. Although we know Sherrie as a seasoned Resource Development Director, she holds an eclectic set of experiences.
Seven years ago, Sherrie moved to Bloomington to be closer to her children and grandchildren. Prior to that, she lived in Tennessee for nearly 30 years. Sherrie engaged her wealth of skills to build up and manage an art publishing house in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains that became a popular tourist destination, opened her own business creating artistic installations, and spent more than 20 years fundraising and marketing for nonprofits. And along the way she raised a creative and compassionate family.
“I came to United Way because I saw an opportunity to impact large numbers of people across a broad spectrum of needs -- more than I would have had access to otherwise. I am very pleased to have been a part of the solution for many programs and services over these last four years.”
She was instrumental in launching our Legacy Giving program, the Opportunity Fund, the Wake Up with United Way series, and the annual Freezefest Chilly Cook-Off benefitting United Way.
One year into working at United Way, the pandemic erupted. Sherrie reflected, “I learned the great goodness of people who responded decisively and compassionately to the COVID-19 Relief Fund that we established at United Way. It was astonishing to see people come together on such a large and impactful scale, and I find it personally very meaningful to have been involved in all of that.”
“The most rewarding aspect of working at United Way has been meeting with donors to learn what resonates with them and moves them to reach into their own personal funds to willingly, cheerfully hand those funds to someone they will likely never meet,” remarked Sherrie. “It feels great raising money knowing that for months and years ahead others will benefit from all that effort.”
Randy Rogers, United Way of Monroe County President & CEO, shared, “Sherrie has made such an impact on staying in touch with our donors, especially over the last few very challenging years. United Way, the agencies we serve, and the donors who believe in supporting our community will be forever grateful for Sherrie's caring approach.”
Reflecting on the years they worked together, Efrat Feferman, past United Way of Monroe County Executive Director, observed, “Sherrie brought the expertise needed for the position but also her sincere focus on connection and a personal touch that is often lacking in fund development. When we entered the pandemic, she helped us evolve and expand avenues of connection despite the challenges before us. She truly is a professional in her field, and beyond that, a warm and thoughtful person. United Way is fortunate to have had her on the team these past few years.”
In retirement, Sherrie is looking forward to devoting daily time to creative endeavors like painting, writing, gardening, working with textiles, and ballroom dancing. She plans to create an in-home studio space to focus on her antique business including art pottery and china restoration.
Of course, she is eager to elevate spoiling her five grandkids with “impromptu trips, ice cream cones, jaunts to the park, and crazy good times.”
Travel is also at the top of her list with trips planned to Tennessee, Miami, and the South of France to visit family, friends, loved ones, and dance partners.