Get to Know…Danette Tipton, 211 Database Manager
Describe your role with United Way of the Plains.
I am in a new position for United Way as the 211 Database Manager. I update our 211 database to make sure that when someone calls 2-1-1, they receive the best quality information. I also help our 211 referral specialists continue to maintain a trusted, diverse database to meet Kansans’ needs by taking calls and working with our neighbors in need.
Tells us about your career history and how you made it to United Way of the Plains.
Well, as Abel Frederic, our Vice President of Community Impact, said, I’m a “boomerang.” I worked at United Way of the Plains as my second full-time job starting in 1989. I spent more than five years here at that time. I met my husband during that time, and in 1995 we moved to Texas for his job. I got my first job as an executive director at a small child advocacy center. From there, we moved to Nebraska, Alabama, Topeka, and eventually back to Wichita.
What do you enjoy about your work with United Way of the Plains?
I enjoy finding new agencies and resources to add to the database, especially in more rural areas. We continue to try to make it easy for our referral specialists to have what they need to assist callers. There is a balance between the agencies and how I can help our specialists with the resources available.
I also enjoy the 211 calls and assisting the callers with what they need to make life a little easier for them. What makes this so exciting is our language line. We can help people who speak almost any language through a translation service United Way of the Plains has. No one gets left behind.
What are some of your hobbies and interests?
Most of my free time seems to be taken up by our two dogs! My husband and I try to find challenging hikes in Kansas and Colorado during vacations. I also have an artistic side and enjoy reading.
Something I’m proud of is my family has been rescuing Akitas since 1992 and more recently some mixed breeds.
Moving back to Wichita has been a blessing. After 20+ years of living elsewhere, being back home and being able to spend time with my parents who’ve lived here for quite a while is a welcome reprieve.
What has been your favorite experience at United Way of the Plains so far?
It has been really interesting to see the growth in 211 since my days in the 1990s of taking calls. It is wonderful to see how our average of 35 calls per day back then, has grown to hundreds of calls each day from all over the state! It is nice to be able to help so many folks from so many places at 211.
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