Barbara Carswell's mission is to make the organization's work known throughout Douglas County.
Teaching more people about United Way and increasing participation are the main goals Barbara Carswell plans to bring to her new position as 1996-97 campaign drive chair of United Way of Douglas County.
"I want to make sure that everyone gets to know what United Way does and gets an opportunity to participate," Carswell said Thursday.
Carswell, assistant vice president/branch manager of Capitol Federal Savings and Loan Assn., 1046 Vt., was introduced as the campaign drive chair at a press conference at her workplace.
"We're very excited about the fact of her participation and her agreement to do this," said Steve Johnson, president of the United Way of Douglas County board of directors.
"It's a big job," Johnson said. "We want to make sure that someone can take it enthusiastically. ... We couldn't have chosen a better person than Barbara."
Carswell has served as the internal coordinator for her company's employee campaign since 1991.
"I think it's a great challenge," Carswell said.
The 1996-97 drive will start in the fall. The 1995-96 fund drive brought in $1,109,113 in pledges. The United Way supports 30 local service agencies.
"We want fair participation from the community," Carswell said. "I think we have about 8,000 participating in United Way, and, as you know, that's a small percentage of the county's population. ... I don't think that's because of the people. I think it's because, perhaps, they're unaware of what we do."
Carswell, who has worked at Capitol Federal since 1987, graduated in 1972 from St. Mary's College of Education, Belfast, Northern Ireland. She received a master's degree in education from Kansas University in 1983.
She has served as a Laubach literary tutor with the adult education program in Lawrence. She also has been a member of Tenants to Homeowners since 1991 and served as vice president of that organization's board from 1994 until this year.
Both Carswell and her husband, Bill, were born in Ireland. He is a KU associate professor of architecture.
They have two children: a son, Jaimie, a May 1994 KU graduate who received a master's degree form the University of Birmingham, England, in October; and a daughter, Fiona, a KU freshman.