Greta SouthardWomen United Spotlight
“KIDS ARE OUR FUTURE. WE NEED TO INVEST IN THEM.”
Meet Greta Southard. Leader. Server. Reader. Speed Walker 🙂
Greta has had a diverse career with many talents in her back pocket. As a trained librarian serving as the Executive Director of the Public Library Association, she has worked as an electronic database vendor as well as a law librarian. She enjoys using her servant’s heart to give back to her community on many boards that include the Allen County Bar Foundation, the Volunteer Lawyers Program Board of Directors, Women United Steering Committee as co-chair, and the United Way Board of Directors. Greta just concluded her service on the Visit Fort Wayne Board of Directors. On top of all these positions of leadership, she finds spare time to read and exercise. In her words, “I am a lapsed runner. The spirit is willing, but the legs just do not seem to self-propel.” She must be a comedian on the side as well because she’s also pretty funny!
Greta is also very passionate about early childhood education, part of the reason she was introduced to Women United. She was invited to an update on legislation that would negatively impact early childhood education. With Greta’s research she says, “The data in Indiana was shocking and it was clear that there was a lot of work to be done…” Presenting at this event, she found Women United spoke to issues close to her heart: families, education, health.
“I was hooked. These women are such a passionate, committed, and caring group focused on making a difference,” says Greta.
Embedded within Greta’s core is her family. Her mother was a large role model in her life as she represented what it means to be a strong woman. Greta’s mother overcame the adversity of having a 5-year old child, Greta’s brother, diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Going through clinical trials for a new drug was a turbulent journey with tough decisions throughout. This clinical trial established the cancer treatment protocol we still use today. Greta says this experience taught their family, “…people are what matter, not things.”
Greta is speaking up and using her voice, a quality her parents taught her, to speak about her vision for Allen County. She trailblazes for early childhood education and believes that, “all children should start school ready to learn and read with the social and emotional skills they need to be successful in school.”
She is excited to continue raising awareness for childhood education issues with Women United.
WOMEN UNITED – learn more about the affinity group of United Way of Allen County.
MEMBERSHIP – If you would like to become a part of the change, join Women United today, with a donation.