Purdue Profiles: Jeff Kanable

August 23, 2011

Jeff Kanable,  assistant director of sponsored program services contracting, is serving as a loaned campaign representative for this year's Purdue United Way Campaign. (Purdue University photo/Mark Simons)

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It didn't take Jeff Kanable long to become involved with Purdue's United Way Campaign. Only 12 weeks after starting at Purdue as assistant director of sponsored program services contracting, Kanable didn't hesitate when asked to serve as a loaned campaign representative for the University.

As an LCR, Kanable will make presentations throughout the area about United Way and the services of the 23 partner agencies. 

Why did you decide to become a loaned campaign representative?
It has been a long time since I've volunteered. Too long. There's something different about a person who volunteers; they have a broader perspective of the world and where they fit into that world. I strive to be different in that way. When  asked, it felt right for me to say yes.
How have you been involved with supporting United Way in the past?
This will be my first time working with United Way. I have, however, benefited from United Way's participating organizations throughout my life -- organizations like the YMCA, where I spent a great deal of my childhood. I understand Purdue has a long history in partnering with United Way, and it's great to be included in that. 
Where does your passion for this cause stem?
The United Way is important to Purdue so it's important to me. I owe much to Purdue. I grew up in this community, graduated from Purdue and now work here. Purdue has been the foundation on which I have stood throughout my career both in this country and abroad. My affiliation with Purdue has always benefited me, and now it's time for me to give back. The United Way is unique in that it adds value directly to the Greater Lafayette community by enabling people to help one another right here. That's important to me -- knowing that meaningful improvements can be made in the lives of my community. 
When did you start giving presentations about United Way?
Local companies began requesting LCRs to visit in July.
How did you prepare for the presentations?
I prepared by learning as much as I could about United Way. As part of our LCR training we were able to visit participating organizations and see first-hand the impact United Way resources have on serving the overwhelming need of the community.  For example, did you know that through United Way's partnership with FamilyWize, individuals in Tippecanoe County were saved more than $510,000 on prescription costs? The FamilyWize card lowers the cost of medicine by an average of 30 percent or more.
What do you hope to convey to people through these presentations?
I hope to convey the effectiveness of United Way in its outreach to our community by citing real-world, local examples of lives that were changed as a result of United Way and its 23 participating organizations. Some examples of these organizations are American Red Cross, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Food Finders Food Bank, Hanna Community Center, Lafayette Family YMCA, Riggs Community Health Center and many more.
Why is it important for the Purdue community to support United Way?
The United Way educates us about the needs of our community. It also communicates availability of services for Purdue employees who may be in need. Imagine the sense of pride knowing you may have helped someone as close to you as a co-worker. The United Way is an accessible tool by which we can mobilize our resources to help our friends and neighbors lead productive and happy lives.

More about Purdue's United Way Campaign
Purdue's United Way Campaign kicks off at noon Sept. 13 at Beck Agricultural Center. This year's theme is "Growing our Future, Living United." Purdue's campaign chair is Al Diaz, executive vice president for business and finance, treasurer, and the vice chair is Maryann Santos de Barona, dean of the College of Education.

To schedule a presentation
In addition to Kanable, Purdue has two other LCRs for 2011: Valerie Lawless, alumni center facility and events administrator, and Ed Wiercioch, coordinator of early field experiences in the College of Education. To schedule a United Way presentation, call 742-9077 or visit www.uwlafayette.org/Schedule_An_LCR.html.