On Thursday night, 150 members of United Way’s Emerging Leaders, Women Leaders, Leadership Circle and Corporate Board of Directors gathered at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena for a fun and informative social networking event.
Roughly two dozen Emerging Leaders Cabinet members enjoyed a private, guided tour of the facilities where they learned more about the recent Mars landing of JPL’s Curiosity Rover before joining fellow attendees at the von Karman Visitor Center.
The lab’s Deputy Director, Lieutenant General Gene Tattini, opened the program by discussing the importance of UWGLA’s work in the local community as well as his own decades-long involvement in the challenging mission to Create Pathways Out of Poverty.
“If you think landing on Mars is tough, let me tell you something: it’s easy compared to the kinds of things United Way is trying to do for the people of Los Angeles,” he said.
“I contributed to this organization during my entire 36-year military career through the Combined Federal Campaign and as chairman of the drive, I strived to achieve 100% participation. When I realized that there really was such a thing as homelessness and children living in poverty, running the campaign became more than a demonstration of leadership for me…it became a passion.”
A presentation on the Curiosity Rover’s touchdown in early August followed as Flight Director Bobak Ferdowsi – often referred to in the media as the “Mohawk Guy” – offered an inside look at one of the most amazing feats in the history of space exploration.
UWGLA President and CEO Elise Buik and Emerging Leader Victor Luo, an Applications Software Engineer at JPL, rounded out the evening by thanking guests for their unrivaled support of the ten-year plan to end homelessness, increase the graduation rate and ensure the financial stability of all Angelenos while also calling on them to continue giving, advocating and volunteering on behalf of those in need.