United Way accepts award, hands out others

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 9, 2001

F.M. “Easy” Biedenharn holds up the National Championing Diversity Award given to the United Way of West Central Mississippi Thursday evening, left, and Bob Peterson, right, accepts the volunteer of the year award from United Way of West Central Mississippi President Barbara Tolliver. (The Vicksburg Post/PAT SHANNAHAN)

[02/09/01] The United Way of West Central Mississippi formally received one of two national diversity awards for 2000 Thursday night and then honored its volunteers including two for volunteer of the year and the leadership award.

Bill Miles, vice president of diversity of the United Way of America, handed the National Championing Diversity Award to F.M. “Easy” Biedenharn, chairman of the board of the local United Way when the award was earned.

The only other community in the nation that won the diversity award was the United Way of Minneapolis. To be eligible, local United Way organizations had to work to have their staff and volunteers mirror their communities by race and gender.

The Volunteer of the Year Award for 2000 was presented to Bob Petersen and the Leadership Award went to William F. “Bill” Lauderdale Jr.

Petersen is employed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and as a United Way Volunteer, he is a member of the executive board, chairman of the allocations committee and helped revise the Agency Relations Manual.

Lauderdale is the District 4 delegate to the Warren County Board of Supervisors. He has been a member of the board for the Child Abuse Prevention Center for 11 years and is also on the board of the Salvation Army. He is a past board member of the Chamber of Commerce and of the board of Keep Vicksburg Warren Beautiful and helped coordinate the county government class for Leadership Vicksburg and helped organize a mentoring program.

During the meeting, the United Way elected Bryan Brabston chairman of the board, Abraham Green first vice chairman, Steve Wagner second vice chairman, Ken Hicks immediate past chairman and Joe Lambiotte treasurer.

The members of the board of directors are Mickey Robertson, Virginia Perkins, Ronald Yates, Paul Banchetti, Randy Nailor, Jessica Williams, Joy Wing, Ravinder Kumar, Renay Jenkins, Jose Oakley, Maria Ferrer, Sammie Good, Col. Robert Crear, Abraham Green, Russell Hawkins, Shirley Smith, Albert Spears and Nathaniel Williams.

The award for campaign coordinator of the year went to Joyce White of Trustmark National Bank. The award honors the campaign coordinator who conducts an outstanding United Way campaign at his or her workplace.

The United Way also presented an award to Tracy Trichell of the Vicksburg National Military Park as Combined Federal Campaign coordinator of the year.

The United Way conducts an annual campaign each fall to provide money for about 24 human service agencies working in Warren and Claiborne counties. The operation based in Vicksburg has been a national leader for at least 10 years.