Three of Mile High United Way’s staff members recently received statewide or national recognition for their leadership and service in their roles related to the 211 Help Center.
In August, Lori Griffin, 211’s training and quality assurance lead, was named the Community Resource Specialist Person of the Year by Inform USA; Kasey Harlos, our senior director of 211 and disaster response, was named chair of Colorado Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (COVOAD); and Chief Operating Officer Wade Treichler was named co-chair of the 211 Colorado Collaborative.
Every day, our 211 Help Center staff work tirelessly to connect families across Metro Denver to the resources they need to thrive. The 211 database contains more than 7,000 resources for critical needs like housing, food assistance, transportation, child care and more.
National Recognition for Mile High United Way Team Member
Lori’s national award from Inform USA, formerly known as Alliance of Information & Referral Systems (AIRS), honors the community resource specialists who exemplify excellence in their area of certification, going above and beyond their basic responsibilities.
Last year Lori helped nine coworkers complete the AIRS certification, which establishes standards, training and support for agencies providing health and human services information and referral services across the United States. AIRS certification helps navigators as they listen to each callers’ unique concerns and provide unbiased, helpful resources.
“Lori is always someone we can rely on. She’s willing to lend a hand, take on more work and she never complains. She serves her community with a full heart. She volunteers and leads so many activities for our team to build our culture of not just caring and helping others out, but also self-care,” said Monica Heredia-Corona, 211 manager.
Leading the State’s Coalition of Disaster Recovery Organizations
Kasey, who leads our 211 and disaster response team, is taking on a statewide leadership position as chair of COVOAD. Kasey leads our organization’s efforts to help coordinate, support and stabilize following a natural disaster, or when unforeseen circumstances occur.
Whether it’s wildfires or floods, a pandemic or a humanitarian crisis, we mobilize to connect families to the resources they need most. In 2022, our 211 Help Center provided long-term support to 1,500 people affected by the Marshall Fire. We also connected 900 migrants, immigrants and the agencies supporting them to the resources they need.
As a part of COVOAD, Kasey partners with key stakeholders across Colorado in times of uncertainty.
“I am honored to take on this opportunity to lead our efforts together. I look forward to continuing to build relationships across the organizations and networks,” Kasey said.
Bringing Together State’s 211 Agencies
Wade, our COO, was also appointed to a statewide position as co-chair of the 211 Colorado Collaborative. The 211 Colorado Collaborative consists of seven partner agencies: five Colorado United Ways, plus the Senior Resource Development Agency and Hilltop, located in Grand Junction.
Wade will work closely with the 211 Collaborative Chair Lyle Smithgraybeal, the chief operating officer of United Way of Weld County.
“We’ve reached an incredible place of partnership within the collaborative where everyone is focusing not just on how we can improve 211’s services, but also how we can expand our footprint across the state,” Wade said.
Presently, 211 serves all 64 counties across Colorado. The collaborative also focuses on advocating for additional statewide funding for 211. Last year, Mile High United Way championed efforts to secure $1 million in annual funding through the State Legislature. This marked a landmark victory, as more than 100,000 people sought assistance from our 211 Help Center last year.