Women United Spotlight - Amanda



As an integral part of United Way, Women United® fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community. We are a diverse, vibrant community, bound together by a powerful sense of belonging — to each other, to the organization’s mission, and to the communities we call home. 


Tell us about yourself.

I’m originally from San Diego, California but Pensacola is now my home. I graduated with a BA degree in International Studies from the University of West Florida and met my beautiful wife Sarah while campaigning to become the Student Body President.  After graduation, Sarah talked me into embarking on a year-long road trip. While we traveled around the continental United States, we lived in our car and volunteered at Habitat for Humanity affiliates in every possible state we could. Upon returning to Pensacola, I took a position as an AmeriCorps Service member at Pensacola Habitat for Humanity as a construction crew leader for two years, and I was offered a full-time staff position after my service contract was over. In 2014, I moved on from Habitat but continued to serve as a volunteer construction crew leader during Women Build. I now serve on the Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors.

When and how did you first become involved with United Way? 

I joined ExxonMobil’s workplace campaign in 2014.

What do you love most about United Way? 

When I think of community I think of people coming together to help and support each other, whether in times of need or prosperity. Community is also the sharing of ideas, the collaboration of resources and the collective action of members to overcome adversity; it is a place where people have a passion for the area they live in and strive to improve upon it for the likes of future members. United Way of Escambia County encompasses all of this and that’s what I love most about it.

What is your favorite memory or event with Women United? 

Every year I look forward to seeing everyone rock their tackiest sweater at the Women’s Leadership Council end of year holiday meeting. 

What compelled you to join Women United?

I joined because I wanted to meet other like-minded women that are passionate about our community and focused on improving community outcomes in education. 

What is the best advice you can offer to young women and men as they start their careers?

Well, sometimes we get too caught up in the rat race. Take some time to give back and get involved with a local nonprofit. It’s incredibly rewarding and, in the end, it’s the right thing to do. 

What accomplishment are you most proud of?  Or What is your greatest achievement and how has it shaped you?  

My first year working at Pensacola Habitat for Humanity as a construction crew leader, I noticed a large volunteer base of women on the construction site. At the time, Pensacola Habitat for Humanity did not have a Women Build program. I felt it was imperative for me to pursue a Women Build project. I saw it as an opportunity to empower women as well as shed light on the housing issues that our community faces. I approached several co-workers and developed a proposal and presented it to the Executive Director who was very supportive. Our first year we were able to raise the monies to build a home for a single mother and her three children. The Women Build project brought over 100 women from the Northwest Florida community to share Pensacola Habitat for Humanity’s mission of providing safe, decent, and affordable homes. Pensacola Habitat is currently ramping up for its 5th year of Women Build. It’s been a wonderful opportunity to empower women and eliminate housing issues that our community faces. 

What aspect of your work are you most passionate about?

Even though I did not receive a degree in engineering, I am very passionate about the importance of STEM education. My position at ExxonMobil allows me to have an active and hands-on role in working with new and innovative technologies that make our modern world possible. And as a woman in this field, I know the value of the female presence in STEM culture firsthand, so ExxonMobil’s Introduce A Girl To Engineering Day is something that I look forward to every year. I love it.

What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?

Pack your bags, grab a friend, and drive across the United States for a few months. 

If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not, living or dead, real or fictional, with whom would it be and why?

I would love to trade places with Anthony Bourdain while he’s out filming another episode of No Reservations. I love to travel, and I love food and culture. Maybe one day I’ll have the opportunity to do the same thing but without the film crew.