Volunteer Spotlight: Rebecca Monson
After retiring from UnitedHealth Group in 2016, Rebecca Monson decided that while she wanted to retire, she didn’t want to stop helping people. Her goal was to continue to use her professional skills in a volunteer capacity— she just didn’t know where exactly her unique skill set would be most valuable. A chance encounter with a Second Harvest Heartland volunteer on a flight to Washington D.C. decided that for her.
“I knew of Second Harvest Heartland by reputation, but it wasn’t until I met this woman that I’d considered volunteering there,” she said. “Six months later, myself and a team of Second Harvest Heartland employees were sitting around a conference room table deep into a process mapping project.”
As a Six Sigma Black Belt for UnitedHealth Group for 10 years, Monson is highly skilled in project management, leadership, analytical thinking, adult learning styles and organizational change management. (Six Sigma is a methodology used to improve business processes by utilizing statistical analysis rather than guesswork.)
Her background made her an ideal candidate for a position in Second Harvest Heartland’s Volunteer Services department, where she is currently working a project to analyze and streamline the volunteer recruitment and onboarding process.
“Volunteer Services processes countless volunteer applications,” she said. “It is a huge undertaking to synchronize all the components that go into finding and onboarding a volunteer, from determining need to writing job and project descriptions to facilitating interviews.”
Monson said she is impressed and inspired by the employees she works with at Second Harvest Heartland.
“I was in the corporate world for many years and the commitment and work ethic at Second Harvest Heartland is second to none, Monson said. “An old college professor I had many years ago used to say, ‘To whom much is given, much is expected.’ He would then open his billfold and give money to any kid who needed it with no questions asked. I had marvelous role models who taught me how to give back.”
While many Second Harvest Heartland volunteers sort and pack food in our warehouse, we have a growing number of volunteers, like Monson, who provide specialized talents for long-term projects or an ongoing basis.