Meet #TeamUnited: AndyMike Emata, Major Accounts Manager

Meet #TeamUnited: AndyMike Emata, Major Accounts Manager

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As one of United Way’s Major Accounts Managers, AndyMike Emata does more than just champion for local companies like Target to help create pathways out of poverty. As part of our ongoing #TeamUnited series, we’re introducing you to the passionate staff and team members making an impact in L.A. County. Here’s what AndyMike has to say:

How long have you been with UWGLA?

I joined in January 2016. I started my United Way career at United Way for Greater Austin (UWATX) in 2007 as a Community Impact intern during my final semester in college. After I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2007, I was hired as a Campaign Associate, then a Finance Associate, and finally as a Corporate Relations Account Associate.

A year later, I left UWATX to move to Los Angeles!

We know there’s a lot more to you than your work with United Way. So how about a few random questions? For instance, what’s your favorite snack?

This is tough because I love food so much. My Instagram is 85% food. Fried pickles, fried calamari, shrimp chips, anything with Sriracha or bacon, brussel sprouts, grilled cheese sandwiches, fried egg sandwiches, salt & vinegar kettle chips, Snapea Crisps, taro froyo, shaved ice cream...the list goes on and on!

What book are you reading now?

“Al Franken, Giant of the Senate,” a political humor autobiography. It’s sort of perfect since I just finished binge watching “The West Wing” again and have been glued to the summer special, SNL’s Weekend Update.

Where’s your favorite place in L.A.?

I love hiking up Echo Mountain in light springtime fog and watching the City unveil itself as the haze burns off at the summit.

What is your favorite thing to do on a weekend morning or after work hours?

A weekend morning hike followed by brunch with friends or football watching parties. After work hours, I enjoy outdoor live music performances or watching movies where I can picnic -- places like Hollywood Bowl, Grand Performances, Levitt Pavilion, Eat|See|Hear, and Street Food Cinema.

Is there a random fact about you that you want to tell us?

I had to teach myself two semesters of Algebra during the summer between 8th grade and freshman year in order to take honors math in high school. Now math is one of my strongest subjects. Also, I own 23 self-tie bow ties.

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Any fun hobbies?

I am a singing member of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, which has allowed me to perform with amazing artists like Alan Cumming, LeAnn Rimes, Lady Gaga, Stephen Sondheim, Conan O’Brien, and Melissa Etheridge, to name a few. During the 2017-2018 season, I’ve been elected Membership Vice President, so I’m looking forward to all the fun membership events this season.

Who do you admire most and why?

This is a tough question to answer because I admire many people. I admire Terry Gross (WHYY Fresh Air) for her over 30 years of public service journalism; Nelson Mandela for his tireless fight to end apartheid, continued activism, and philanthropy; and every foster parent out there who is breaking the cycle of poverty for our roughly half million foster youth in America.

Speaking of inspiration, what inspires you the most working at United Way?

Developing systems change with partners from across the community to break the cycle of poverty.

No one person or organization can do it alone and I firmly believe United Way’s collaborative approach will make a collective impact on the lives of struggling Angelenos. Seeing formerly homeless individuals thriving in permanent supportive housing, celebrating graduation day with high school students who have the tools to navigate career training and college, and connecting unemployed veterans to good-paying jobs inspires me because I know what we’re doing at United Way is working.

There is truly something magical about the synergy that’s created here.

My amazing United way team members energize me every day – there is truly something magical about the synergy that’s created here.

What your favorite thing that you’ve accomplished with United Way?

I’m proud of the number of L.A. County high school students who have successfully completed a workplace learning internship with Target.

At 16 years old, my first job was with Target. The skills that I learned -- like public speaking, working as a team, and providing excellent guest services -- has stayed with me to this day. I’m excited to connect more students to these opportunities to learn outside of the classroom.

What event are you looking forward to participating in this year?

I’m looking forward to the 2017 HomeWalk on Saturday, November 18. I love the energy that’s created when 15,000 Angelenos come together -- friends and families building awareness on issues of homelessness and making a collective impact. It’s also a chance to celebrate the impact we’ve made since starting HomeWalk in 2006. This year’s HomeWalk will be our biggest yet!