March 08, 2016

Introducing the nominees of the NEW “LIVE UNITED Catalyst of the Year” Award


This past year, we have created a new “LIVE UNITED Award” to honor an alumni or group of alumni who are putting the United Way 35 Under 35 “Mission in Motion” and utilizing their experience with United Way as a springboard that propels them into making an impact in their own lives, at their company, or in the greater community.
Nominees for this year’s 2015 United Way Catalyst of the Year Award are catalysts that harnessed the momentum from their experience with the United Way 35 Under 35 Women’s Leadership Program and took the initiative to spark change, and in some instances launched an entirely new program that benefits people in our community.

This year we are honoring 3 nominees and we invite you to learn more about them! 

2015 United Way LIVE UNITED Catalyst of the Year NOMINEES: 

1) Chelsea Monda, Sundog  and Carrie Carney, Eventide Senior Living Communities
2) Amber DeKrey, Doosan Bobcat Inc.
3) Betsy Christianson, Titan Machinery Inc.


Chelsea Monda of Sundog and Carrie Carney of Eventide Senior Living Communities

After meeting a year ago and discovering that they were both alumni of the United Way 35 Under 35 Women’s Leadership Program, Chelsea Monda, Senior Client Consultant at Sundog and Carrie Carney, Director of Marketing and Communications at Eventide Senior Living Communities, began meeting up regularly over coffee to discuss goals, ideas, and encourage one another.

They began inviting other women to join, and soon the idea for PUSH was born. Leaning on the skills and experiences from their time participating in the United Way 35 Under 35 Women’s Leadership program, the two women launched PUSH and invited women from the community to join a PUSH group and start their own PUSH groups. “Push is a group of women that are for women. The overall goal is to help women set and achieve their goals while helping to build their own networks of support,” said Chelsea.
Their vision for PUSH is to aspire to change the way women encourage each other and empower themselves.

The mission of PUSH is to create a supportive network of women who empower each other to ask tough questions, challenge the norm and grow individually and professionally.

PUSH stands for: Pursue dreams. Unite women. Shatter barriers. Have heart.
The group starts with one simple question and ends with a PUSH.

How it works:
Two people will start a PUSH group. The first meeting will start as any other PUSH meeting will – with a question; it will end the same, too – with a PUSH: a goal each woman will strive for before the next meeting. At the next meeting, each person will bring another woman and this will continue until the group reaches approximately eight members.

In the fall of 2015, the two women brought their idea to a group of volunteers serving on  The Chamber Women Connect board and quickly a partnership was established that would help engage more women with PUSH and ensure a wider group of women had access to the program.
Chelsea and Carrie presented their PUSH idea to more than 800 women at the Women Connect session in January of 2016 and officially launched the program and invited any woman to participate.  Since then, the two women have been actively participating in their original PUSH group while encouraging other women from the wider community to become involved, join or start a group, and connect with other women to help them reach their professional and personal goals.

“I remember one of the speakers at a 35 Under 35 session saying ‘share your goals, because your goals can also serve someone else’s and this inspired PUSH. It is a great example of women empowering others, which is what 35 Under 35 is all about,” said Carrie.

For more information about PUSH join their Facebook group or visit their website.


Amber DeKrey of Doosan Bobcat Inc.

As Amber DeKrey, Sales and Marketing Analytics Manager at Doosan Bobcat began to participate in the United Way 35 Under 35 program, she realized that she wanted to share what she was learning and experiencing with other women—and specifically the women at Doosan Bobcat.
She knew that women and future leaders at her company had a desire to develop professionally, strengthen relationships and drive growth, so she began to formulate an idea. This captured the attention of leadership at her company and allowed Amber to pitch the idea for an event that would gather the women of the company’s North Dakota and Minnesota locations to learn, inspire, and challenge one another. Amber named her idea the Doosan Women’s LEAD Event which stands for Leadership, Exploration And Development.

Amber said, “It was the 35 Under 35 program that inspired me to challenge myself to try and drive growth with the women in my company and to keep that impact going.” With the help of her team and support from leadership at her company, Amber led the event in October of 2015 and received overwhelmingly positive feedback that left women feeling inspired and empowered to do more. She is looking forward to the opportunity to make it an annual event. “The purpose of the event for Doosan Bobcat women is to develop the leadership capacity of women and cultivate a cross-functional network to support future collaboration and growth. What I really wanted to do was inspire and empower women employees to make an impact at our company so we can drive growth.”

“The 35 Under 35 program really inspired me to take that next step to do more and make a difference for the women at Doosan Bobcat, and to drive growth for my company as a whole,” she said.


Betsy Christianson of Titan Machinery Inc.

Betsy Christianson is a 2014 participant of the United Way 35 Under 35 Women’s Leadership Program and is a Training Specialist at Titan Machinery. After Betsy’s experience with the 35 Under 35 Women’s Leadership Program, she was inspired to take an active part in giving back to her community and began volunteering on the Girl Scouts - Dakota Horizons Board of Directors. As with many non-profit boards, members for the Girl Scouts-Dakota Horizons Council, are each asked to give a generous donation each year to show the community how passionate they are about their work. Betsy wanted to be creative in how she could potentially raise money to donate instead of just writing a check. For those that meet Betsy, you will quickly discover that she is passionate about working out, running, putting mental and physical health a priority.  

Betsy brainstormed how she could combine her love of running with her love of fundraising for causes she cares about and reached out to the President and CEO of the Girl Scouts to pitch them an idea—she proposed she run the Disney Princess Half Marathon at Disney World in Orlando, Florida and use this run as an opportunity to raise funds for Girl Scouts - Dakota Horizons. She engaged her family, friends, coworkers, 35 Under 35 alumni, and the greater community to help her reach her goal of raising $3,000 which she said can help provide 12 girls the opportunity to have an experience of a lifetime at Girl Scout camp or ensure over 200 girls from low-income families the opportunity to enroll in Girl Scouts for one year.

Betsy said, “Being a part of the 35 Under 35 experience is truly one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I’ve always been passionate about helping other people, but this experience has taught me so much more. If it hadn’t been for this program, I wouldn’t have all these fabulous women and best friends that I have. I never would have applied to be on a board and the fact that I’m on a board that’s main goal is to build girls up, give them confidence and the tools they need to be great leaders. It all ties together perfectly. There is no greater feeling than that of knowing whatever you are doing is making a huge difference in someone else’s life in such a positive and profound way. How lucky are we in the Cass and Clay Counties to have the United Way, but more importantly how lucky are we to have the female leaders at United Way who have really gone above and beyond to show examples of true, authentic leaders and how to live by example!”


We look forward to announcing the winner of the 2015 LIVE UNITED Catalyst of the Year award and all of our awards on March 24 at our United Way Annual Meeting and LIVE UNITED Awards Event.

All are invited to attend. Register by March 17!

Register here. 

For any questions, please contact our team at

See a complete list of all of our 2015 LIVE UNITED Award nominees here. 


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