HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--United Way of Greater Houston (United Way) commemorated 100 years of service and support to the Greater Houston community during a special Centennial Celebration on May 9, where they honored those whose outstanding contributions have played a pivotal role in United Way’s ability to provide help and hope to millions of neighbors. Notable recognitions during the ceremony were ExxonMobil, honored as Company of the Century, and Scott McLean, president and chief operating officer of Zions Bancorporation and chairman of Amegy Bank, who was honored as Volunteer of the Century.
During the celebration, held at the Wortham Theater Center, United Way announced a $1 million gift with matching opportunity made by the RB & R Adams Family Foundation in honor of the late Roy Adams, an ExxonMobil retiree and longtime supporter of United Way of Greater Houston.
Company of the Century and Special Gift
With a 70-year history as the leading supporter and partner of United Way, ExxonMobil tops the honoree list as Company of the Century. ExxonMobil and its employees have invested more than $700 million in the Greater Houston community through United Way. Along with monetary support, ExxonMobil employees consistently give their time and talent for United Way community projects and have contributed nearly 640,000 volunteer hours since 2002.
“United Way’s 100 years of service and impact in the Greater Houston community would not have been possible without the extraordinary commitment of partners like ExxonMobil,” said Amanda McMillian, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Houston. “ExxonMobil is invested in our mission to connect people with possibility and joins us every day in efforts that lift up our neighbors and create more opportunities for them to prosper. It is an honor to tell the story of ExxonMobil’s historic commitment to this community and to thank their leadership and employees for their generous gifts of time and resources to help improve the quality of life for all.”
ExxonMobil’s broad range of volunteer support includes distributing food for individuals and families in need, pro bono expertise, conducting collection drives, and much more. One of ExxonMobil’s most notable collaborations with United Way is United Way Bright Beginnings, an innovative early education program that has benefited more than 15,000 local children since it began in 2002.
“Helping the communities where we work and live to thrive has always been a priority for ExxonMobil and our employees. We’re really proud of the difference we’ve made over many years to help make our hometown stronger, and on behalf of us all at ExxonMobil, I’m delighted to accept the United Way’s Company of the Century Award,” said Liam Mallon, president, ExxonMobil Upstream Company and United Way of Greater Houston board member.
The longtime support of United Way by ExxonMobil employees was reflected in the $1 million gift in honor of Roy and Barbara Adams, with Roy having dedicated his time and talent to volunteer service after his retirement from ExxonMobil. It was announced during the event that the match gift will support United Way’s work in helping families and individuals achieve financial stability and a sustainable quality of life.
“My father felt strongly about the importance of service in support of the United Way of Greater Houston because of the value it brings to our community and the impact they have on helping families thrive,” said Russell Adams, president of the RB&R Adams Family Foundation. “This gift honors my parents’ legacy of service and the impact they had on our community throughout their lives.”
Volunteer of the Century
Throughout its history, many distinguished business, civic and spiritual leaders have supported United Way as donors and volunteers, making the Volunteer of the Century a distinctive honor. With over 25 years of dedicated service to United Way, Scott McLean, president and chief operating officer of Zions Bancorporation and chairman of Amegy Bank, has given his time, energy and talent to virtually every major volunteer leadership role at the nonprofit organization. McLean has served as chair of the Board of Trustees, chair of United Way’s Community Campaign, chair of the CEO Search Committee, and co-chair with his wife, Anna, of the capital campaign to build a new home for the 211 Texas/United Way HELPLINE, which in 2022 connected more than 1.2 million neighbors seeking help with resources. He was also elected as United Way’s first-ever Trustee Emeritus. Additionally, while living in Dallas in the early 1990’s, Scott chaired the Dallas United Way Community Campaign.
“Scott McLean is the kind of leader that empowers and inspires organizations to think bigger and reach higher,” said McMillian. “We have all learned from his example and benefited from his unwavering commitment to help others in our community get the tools and resources they need to achieve a more sustainable financial future. We are grateful for Scott’s generous heart and willingness to take on the biggest volunteer assignments in service to his community.”
As a United Way volunteer, McLean has also been a committed fundraiser for his community. From 2008 to 2009, he led United Way’s Community Campaign, which annually raises the funds that support United Way programs and services throughout the year. McLean’s campaign year launched in the wake of two disasters – Hurricane Ike and the global economic crisis – and he met the challenge with an accomplished leader’s focus and passion, motivating the volunteers and staff to raise an impressive $74.2 million, with an additional $6 million raised for Hurricane Ike relief. During the 2017 aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Scott along with a small group of volunteers and United Way staff, raised more than $54 million for hurricane relief. McLean also chaired the Alexis de Tocqueville Society campaign twice, which is focused on United Way’s largest individual donors.
“Through good times, tough times and a wide range of natural disasters, the United Way, its staff & volunteers have always stood on the frontlines of providing help to the most vulnerable in our community,” said McLean. “The United Way has been a blessing to our community and to Anna and our family.”
Additional award recipients recognized at the United Way Centennial Celebration include Lynne Liberato, Trailblazer Award; The Fraga Family, Legacy Award; Dorothy Ables, Hero Award; and Gerald Smith, Pillar Award.
United Way’s Centennial Celebration featured a roaming reception, live entertainment and a festive casino at Wortham Theater. The event was chaired by Linda and Willie Chiang, Vicki and Bob Harvey, and Phoebe and Bobby Tudor.
For more information on United Way of Greater Houston, visit www.unitedwayhouston.org.