Get to know…Nicky Cisneroz, Community Engagement Coordinator
Describe your role at United Way.

My role is unique in that it is a newly created position, so it has been exciting to establish the baseline. My objectives are to create and implement strategies in tandem with the volunteer center manager to grow our volunteer base as well as provide unique opportunities and events for our most dedicated volunteers and affinity groups.

Nicky Cisneroz, United Way community engagement coordinator, poses with a group of Young Leaders United members at a volunteer project.
Share your career history and how you made your way to United Way.

My journey to United Way was not a straight path. I started in education where I taught 9-10th grade English for four years at Augusta High School. After taking over as the National Honor Society sponsor, I found by empowering the students to generate their own volunteering and fundraising opportunities, they were able to take ownership of their efforts and directly impact the community.

After switching gears and deciding to pursue my MBA, I ‘fell’ into insurance, which turned into career number two, commercial underwriting. In a nutshell, I gathered and analyzed information so I could make an informed decision whether to approve or deny the request for a commercial insurance policy. I always tried to lead volunteer activities in addition to my other job duties. The last volunteering event I organized was really the catalyst behind this most recent change. I organized a small crew to go out and help the cleanup efforts after the Andover tornado on April 29. Call it fate or coincidence, but I came across the community engagement coordinator role at United Way of the Plains. I knew I had the skills and ability to lean in, learn fast, and produce results, so after utilizing my network to make the introduction, I ended up right where I wanted and needed to be.

Nicky Cisneroz, United Way community engagement coordinator, with her friend Felicia.
What are your interests or pastimes?

My favorite pastime is being present and enjoying time with friends and family. On the weekends you’ll likely see me and my husband, Tony, at Leslie’s Coffee Co. grabbing some coffee, maybe browsing the Old Town Farmer’s Market, or maybe at Homegrown getting some breakfast. Another person who brings me great joy is my best friend Felicia – Fefe for short. We’ve been friends since middle school and now she has her own middle schooler and a second grader! We aren’t sure where the time went, but we’ve between countless pool dates, sleepovers, birthday parties, pumpkin patch adventures and concerts, we’ve become lasting friends.

Share a favorite book or movie and why.

A favorite book of mine, beyond the Harry Potter Series, would be “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury. If you look at the parallels between Bradbury’s 1953 novel and today, it is extremely eerie. He predicted headphones before they were even invented, and he even correctly predicted that we would constantly have them in our ears, unable to sit with silence or our own thoughts. I’m nerding out, of course, but you cannot look around and tell me that us staring at our screens doesn’t remind you of Mildred! I could go on and on, but if you haven’t read it, I would highly recommend.  

What have you found to be a favorite experience at UWP so far?

I’m surrounded by people from different backgrounds, professions, and lived experiences who are using their collective knowledge to make Wichita and south central Kansas a better place. Without a doubt, my favorite experience so far has been getting to know and be a part of the team at United Way of the Plains. Everyone is so talented and supportive; I couldn’t ask for a better place to continue to learn, grow and thrive.

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Published On: November 3, 2022

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