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Johnson is new United Way of Hastings president

Joy Johnson is the new president of the United Way of Hastings’ board of directors. (Photo courtesy of

The United Way of Hastings’ board of directors has elected Joy Johnson to be its next president for 2014. The appointment began at the beginning of the month.

This is Johnson’s third year on the board of directors. Prior to joining the board, she was a volunteer for various events with the United Way, and before becoming affiliated with that group, she had volunteered for a number of church events.

“I just volunteered my whole life and wanted to find something else to volunteer with regularly,” she said.

Joining the board of directors was a way for her to learn more about the events she volunteered at. Then she realized she wanted to help others learn as well.

“Learning more got me more excited about teaching others and leading them,” she said.

Last year, when Johnson was elected vice president, she was asked to commit to a three-year leadership role. Last year she served as vice president and this year she is serving as president of the board. Next year, when her term ends, she will shift into the role of past president, acting as an advisor to next year’s president.

The board is just getting started with organizing its goals for the year. Johnson said that already, changes have come to Hastings and the United Way since the last planning meeting. The big change is the addition of Helping Kids Succeed to the list of agencies the United Way helps. For the board, change is always happening.

“As the community changes, we have to change our focus to support the community,” Johnson said.

Last year, the United Way helped 18 agencies in Hastings. This year, there are 15. There are also more than 20 programs or activities the organization funds, either in part or in full. Agencies and programs the United Way supports can be found online at www.united

Johnson has some personal goals for her time as board president.

“My biggest goal is education regarding the United Way with all the residents in Hastings,” she said.

She said she hopes to help educate the board more on all the organizations they help and to encourage those associated with the United Way of Hastings to talk more with people about what the organization does.

In just about a week, one of Johnson’s big projects will come to a close. She’s the co-chair of the United Way of Hastings’ 50th anniversary gala event, which is scheduled for Feb. 8. She’s been leading that effort with co-chair Martha Sullivan.

Keeping with her own theme of education, the gala is going to be more of an educational event than a fundraising one. It’s also going to be a unique event for Hastings.

“It’s going to be an event that Hastings hasn’t seen before,” Johnson said.

The gala has taken up much of her time, so she’s looking forward to seeing the event come to life and then getting to work on the rest of the year’s plans.

“It’s going to be a fun year,” she said