How Penny Shaffer Lives United
Born and raised in Huntington, West Virginia, Penny Shaffer learned about philanthropy at an early age. Her parents taught her the importance of giving and they encouraged her to make donations weekly to her local church. In addition, she raised money for scouting and the March of Dimes from a lemonade stand in front of her home.
Both her parents worked for AT&T and Penny followed in their footsteps, starting as a sales professional in 1978 in Charleston, West Virginia. Penny tells the story of her first day at AT&T when she was filling out all of her paperwork, she also signed her first United Way pledge card - without yet receiving her first paycheck.
After living in several cities across the country and around the world, in 1997 Penny decided it was time to put down some roots and make Miami her home. After a 26-year career at AT&T, Penny joined Florida Blue as vice president of Global Services for the Americas region and is now market president for South Florida.
Once in Miami, Penny was immediately recruited by United Way of Miami-Dade and still today, she is one of the organization's most loyal contributors, not only in total of years giving - 39 to be exact - but in her loyalty and commitment to United Way's mission. She believes umbrella organizations (such as United Way) have a much broader reach and impact in the community. She co-chaired the United Way campaign for two consecutive years, was a member of the executive committee and currently serves on the advisory council.
Recently, she added her name to the ever growing list of those in the community supporting United Way through a planned gift. Penny signed over a life insurance policy to United Way while still paying its annual premiums. By using this planned giving vehicle, Penny was able to transfer assets out of her estate as well as get the annual tax deduction.
"Anyone in the community can leave a legacy. A contribution of life insurance will enable you to make a gift many multiples of what you can do on an annual basis," said Penny. "For me personally, being able to make this gift is extremely gratifying."
With a passion for nourishing the health, safety and spirit of the community, Penny believes that in many ways we are our brothers' keepers. She gives without wanting or expecting anything in return. Quietly working behind-the-scenes to make our world a better place is how Penny LIVES UNITED.