Toni Adafin began her support of United Way when she took an interest in her hometown area as a college student. She saw firsthand how United Way helped her relatives and her community in a big way. Toni explains, "This is when I became committed to give back to United Way. Over the years, I started focusing on contributing within the community I live in. I have been contributing financially and in-kind for many years."
As a Software Engineer/Computer Scientist, Toni has worked for IBM as a software developer before moving into management nearly 16 years ago. She manages a global team in 4 continents and has responsibility for several applications that run the manufacturing fulfillment business for all of IBM's products. Billions of dollars in revenue flows through these hyper-critical applications. Soon her role will change to managing a global software development team responsible for Worldwide Cloud Managed Services. Toni explained, "This is a very rewarding profession. I really love what I do."
In her pastime she enjoys reading, cooking, traveling, fixing things, and helping others. Specifically she likes various types of puzzles. Her community involvement includes working with youth, teaching web development to middle and high school students on Saturday mornings, and serving in her church. Her work with youth comes out of concern for their future. "There are so many things pulling and distracting them from what they really should be focused on: enjoying being a kid and doing their best in school. There is a lot in between these two points but ... it can lead to a better future," states Toni.
Toni credits many people in different stages of her life that loved her, cared about her and had her best interest at heart. Her mother was her #1 "shero" who set some high expectations for her in many areas of her life. Toni remembers, "We were poor in money but super rich in love, Christian faith, moral values and integrity." Her mother continuously encouraged (told) her that "she was going to college after high school". Toni felt that this was the only option she had. "I never thought about doing anything other than going to college after high school. On my journey, there were many great teachers who saw my gifts in math, science and other areas. They took a strong interest in encouraging and cultivating my gifts. They told me that I was good at it," reflects Toni. "My dream job was to teach high school mathematics. I discovered computer science as a college freshman and feel in love with it." After college and even today, there are many others "sheroes" and heroes in her life. At this moment in time, her husband Mark inspires her with his love of family, his work ethics, service, generosity and the value he places on clients and employees. Toni said, "I want to be like him when I grow up."
Toni's United Way involvement includes being on the Board of Directors for the past 6 years, membership on committees for Technology and Audit, volunteering with Power of the Purse, a WLC member, IBM Contribution Campaign and event volunteer.
Toni shares that she is a member of Women's Leadership Council because of her leadership in giving. "I am united with other women in the community who give because we strongly believe and support the mission to improve lives in our community," says Toni.
Thank you Toni for your WLC membership and commitment to United Way!