headshot melate

In the first of an ongoing series, we’ll introduce you to United Way of Greater Los Angeles team members who help bring our programs and advocacy to life! Get to know us better, one staffer at a time — starting with Melate Bekele, Leadership Giving Specialist!

How long have you been with United Way of Greater Los Angeles?

10 months!

We revamped Leadership Society, a giving society comprised of donors that give $1,000+ annually and you were integral to making that happen. As the new Leadership Giving Specialist, what are you looking forward to accomplishing with the new formation of this group?

Creating an exceptional donor experience with meaningful engagement and transforming lives. I look forward to giving Leadership Society members a chance to advocate, volunteer, and donate in better ways than before. I hope to connect donors’ passion and resources to provide a stronger impact.

What inspires you the most about working at United Way?

Having an opportunity to see the work firsthand and see how we are changing lives.

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

I am looking forward to HomeWalk. Last year I did not know what to expect and was fairly new. This year I will create a team and am excited to be a more integral part of the program and planning of the event.

Ok, now some personal questions to learn how you tick! Let’s start easy: what’s your favorite snack?

Cookies or sunflower seeds, depending on my mood.

Okay, now, a little deeper: what book are you reading now?

“When God Winks at You” by Squire Rushnell — a friend recommended this book to me.

Now let’s get inside your head! You’re a new addition to a crayon box. What color would you be and why? 

Yellow because it’s a vibrant color and gives a good energy.

What is your favorite thing to do on a weekend morning or after work hours to fuel your vibrant color and good energy? 

I love finding a new restaurant to eat at with my husband and our family and friends.  

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

I used to do acting and commercials when I was younger. I was in a Disney California and a Sylvan Learning Center commercial.

Lastly, who do you admire most and why? This could be anyone!

My dad, Bekele Demissie, is the person I most admire. My father is the most loving, compassionate person I know. He is always looking for ways to help people and give back. He has done a lot for the Ethiopian community and people in need. My father sees the good in situations and people even when no one else does. He has accomplished so much in his life while remaining humble and challenging himself.