Julie Love became involved with the Chamber of Commerce through her employment at Campbell-Becker. She enjoys networking and meeting people who care about volunteering
It was a poignant moment, and one which Julie Love will always remember.
As president of the Leadership Lawrence Alumni Assn., Love had the good fortune and honor last month of presenting the organization's first Distinguished Alumni Award to her boss and good friend Charlie Becker, executive vice president of Campbell-Becker, a venture capital company.
"It was especially nice for me to be able to present that award to someone who has been such a role model for me and is such a good friend," Love said. "It was pretty difficult and emotional to get through because Charlie's a really special person. He's a very dedicated volunteer in this community."
Love, vice president of Campbell-Becker, Inc., has followed Becker's lead as a charitable and giving person in the community, volunteering with a plethora of organizations over the years. Her volunteer spirit began about 10 years ago when she began working at Campbell-Becker.
She graduated from the Leadership Lawrence program in 1994. The program is sponsored by the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and is designed to educate residents about Lawrence and provide leadership skills and networking opportunities. The alumni association was created as a "way people could continue the learning process begun by the Leadership Lawrence Program."
In addition to her position as president of the Leadership Lawrence Alumni Assn., she currently serves on the board of directors for Leadership Lawrence, Crime Stoppers and Achievement Place for Girls. Love has also been involved with the Chamber of Commerce for nine years and is chairman of the board of Kansas International, Inc. She is a graduate of the Lawrence Police Department Citizens Academy.
Love, 42, has volunteered with additional organizations in the past, including membership of the Broken Arrow Site Council and the Southern Parkway Homeowners Assn. She said Campbell-Becker has been extremely supportive in allowing her the time and freedom to volunteer in the community.
"Campbell-Becker has always been a very community-oriented company," Love said. "Our company believes it is important to make time for community projects. Something I'd really like to see is other businesses allowing their employees the time to serve on these community projects, time out of their workday."
Love became involved with the Chamber of Commerce through her employment at Campbell-Becker. She enjoys networking and meeting like-minded people who care about volunteering and making Lawrence a great place to live and raise a family. She has served on the Southwest Lawrence Trafficway and Horizon 20/20 task forces, and is currently on the Fall Mixer task force.
"I think the chamber has a very strong foundation here," Love said. "They are a hard working organization that's very dedicated to volunteerism and promoting volunteerism. The employees are always very eager to help and assist you in any way they can. They're a very active group."
She is excited about the new Leadership Lawrence Alumni Assn., which has just been off the ground for the past year and a half. As president, Love presides over board meetings and oversees operations of the various committees. She has been busy building membership in the program.
Love is looking forward to the Alumni Association's first community service project; a pilot program at Central Junior High, where Leadership Lawrence Alumni graduates will present a weekly after-school forum talking to the students about their individual careers and explain "how they got where they are."
Debi Moore, Leadership Lawrence executive director, said Love has done a phenomenal job of organizing the alumni association and serving the community.
"She has great facilitator skills," Moore said. "She welcomes everyone's ideas. She's just a great listener and really instills in people the fact that their ideas and opinions are valuable to the process."
Love is also currently involved with The Achievement Place for Girls. The Achievement Place provides a family-style treatment program for girls that emphasizes development in school, adult and peer relationships, and independent living skills.
Love has learned that it's never too late to help these girls with their problems. She commends the teaching parents for doing a resourceful job in handling the situations that arise with the girls and making a difference in their lives.
It is gratifying when Love can "see that you've turned a girl around and made a big difference. You're able to send her back from a situation where she was not in her home any longer for whatever reason, and she's able to go back home. That's always the ultimate goal, to get the girls back home with their families."
Love has always had a giving heart. She credits her parents for raising her with a strong work ethic and commitment to helping others. Love, originally from Hutchinson, was active in high school with a variety of clubs and activities. She now tries to provide an example for her children and other volunteer advocates. Love can't say enough about how networking has provided her with ample opportunities to volunteer.
"I think Lawrence and the community as a whole has a lot of pride," Love said. "And I think it's important for people to be able to contribute something. I think it's very important for people to know that they can give to an organization, and it doesn't always have to be a monetary contribution to be beneficial."
Love leans forward in her office chair and talks softly with purpose about her own family and raising two children, Jason, 18, and Kaci, 14. Their pictures are proudly framed on the wall in her office. As a single parent for the past 10 years, Love said her children have been a tremendous support.
"Obviously, my goals for the future are raising my children to be the best people they can be," Love said. "I've been blessed with two of the greatest kids that I could ever, ever hope for. Therefore, they've made my job a little bit easier than it probably could have been."
Love's children get an opportunity to help their mom with her volunteer work. They've handed out fliers supporting the Southwest Lawrence Trafficway and have gone door to door campaigning for political candidates. Jason and Kaci will also help with the Crime Stoppers 10K run in October.
Her children affectionately tease Love that she knows everybody in town. She always smiles and says hello to people and asks them to join various boards and committees.
"I'm kind of one of those people that is on the go constantly," she said. "It's busy all the time. I like it that way."
-- The Volunteer Profile is provided as a service of the Roger Hill Volunteer Center.