Campaign Ambassadors: The Elwood Family


Can you tell us about your family?

We have lived in the St. Croix Valley since 2000 and both Katie and Brian are graduates of UW-Eau Claire. Brian is the manager of Community Service and Economic Development for Xcel Energy in St. Croix, Pierce and Polk county. Following a career with a major public relations firm in the Twin Cities, Katie has spent the past several years at home with their children. Michael, 12, is in sixth grade at Hudson Middle School and active in baseball, skiing and Boy Scouts. Evelyn, 10, is in fifth grade at E.P. Rock Elementary School and loves to draw, make presents for her friends and family and play soccer and basketball. Matthew, 7, is in second grade at E.P. Rock Elementary School and enjoys reading, swimming, skiing and Cub Scouts.

How long have you been involved with United Way?

When I first joined Xcel Energy, then Northern States Power, in October 1995, the company was in the middle of its annual campaign. As a new employee I was not familiar with the United Way and was encouraged to get involved in one of the many activities that were being held. Following that first year, I was invited to participate on a few United Way committees at the company and have been a contributor every year. We have been active contributors through the company's program since and been involved as volunteers with several of the organizations that receive funding through the United Way.

Why is supporting United Way St. Croix Valley important to your family?

The United Way provides a  structure for supporting those in our communities, making a real difference in so many lives. Through our corporate campaign at Xcel Energy, every dollar we contribute is matched, doubling the support for our local United Way and their supported organizations. We have seen first-hand the important work that the United Way has done and the staff of the United Way St. Croix Valley is committed to making our communities stronger.

What does a strong community mean to you?

To us, a strong community means that every person, and every family, has the basic needs to live a happy life. We live in a wonderful area, with so many thoughtful and caring individuals, and together we can create stronger communities in the St. Croix Valley. 

What drives you?  Are there issues that you’re driven to make sure are addressed within the community?

We believe the issues of food security, housing and education are crucial for families in the St. Croix Valley. Together with our children we have been active in several programs that help support these areas and have seen first-hand the impact that even small actions can make in the lives of others. We are fortunate in live in this area and are thankful for the ongoing support of so many people and companies in this year's campaign.