Julie Anfinson – Director of Finance and Operations
Meet Julie Anfinson, the Director of Finance and Operations for the United Way of West Central Minnesota is dedicated to and is passionate about her role within the organization and the local community. The amount of work and time she gives to serving is inspirational, and she serves in ways far beyond her role with United Way. Julie joined the United Way team in December of 2017. Since that time, she has developed a dedication for working with community partners in their giving, and then using those gifts to make a larger and more effective impact in the West Central Minnesota Area. So, who is Julie and what exactly does she do?
As a mom of two children, treasurer of the BMX track in Spicer, MN, United Way board representative for Vision 2040 and Vision 2040 Leadership, it is clear she wears many hats and keeps herself plenty busy. Believe it or not, that’s not all. She serves as the financial chair for both Vision 2040 and Vision 2040 Leadership, and is part of the graduation committee for Vision 2040 Leadership. She loves her connections to her community through these and other endeavors and has so enjoyed getting to know other community members and organizations. Recently, Julie has been part of the COVID-19 Community Response Team which put her on the front lines of seeing needs and taking action to make a bigger impact for those in need during these challenging times. The work she’s done on this front is one of the projects she is most proud of. If you ask those who know her well to describe her, kind and thoughtful are the usual replies.
Before joining the United Way, Julie worked as an accountant for Conway, Deuth, & Schmiesing (CDS) in Willmar, MN. The experience she gained at CDS transfers wonderfully to her current role. However, accounting is far from all she does. Primarily, Julie is involved with the raising of funds to propel the programs and initiatives of the United Way. She is heavily involved in the grant process, especially in the areas of interviewing local organizations in need and developing impact reports whenever funds are provided to them. She is a pivotal point in the grant process and is heavily involved in reviewing grant requests and issuing funding.
Julie also oversees the Imagination Library program which provides free books for children from birth until they begin school, handles various administrative duties in and out of the office, and heads several special events such as Power of the Purse and others. During COVID, while these events were limited, she has been eagerly looking forward to those starting back up as we work as a community to overcome COVID and its effects on our world. Julie is also heavily involved in Strive, a program for high school seniors who are struggling to graduate, and provides them with mentors to give them a boost.
Along with Strive, Julie is also involved with Rotary Readers. This is a program that goes into our local elementary schools, and children who need additional reading support are read to and assisted in improving their reading skills. If that were not enough, she is also active in the Junior Achievement Program, which enters second-grade classrooms to teach community such as how communities work, and other social studies concepts to help foster their success in both their future work and life.
There are many reasons Julie is so passionate and dedicated to being so involved in our area. It makes her truly happy to watch the efforts she and other community partners make become successful and grow. This is true for all areas of her work from her intense focus on educational programs to spreading the word and encouraging others to get involved and make lasting and life-altering changes for those who need it most. If there was only one thing Julie would like people to understand about her role and organization, it is the massive importance of taking the time and making the effort to volunteer and support local non-profit organizations. She knows first-hand how a little effort can make a huge impact, and she will continue to work heartily towards this end.
Julie who was born and raised in Willmar is proud to have grown up here, and work here, and raised her children just down the road in Spicer, MN. She loves being in a position to spend her days giving back to the area she loves. In fact, according to Julie, “There are so many opportunities for personal and professional growth here, why would you want to live anywhere else?” Julie is never shy about lending a hand wherever she can.
The team at United Way of West Central Minnesota, including Julie, focuses their efforts on uniting our local communities and fulfilling needs to vastly improve lives and livelihoods for those whom we all live and work. However, the true power of the United Way is in the community support provided. These are the true drivers of positive change. We invite you to become involved whether you volunteer your time or provide much-needed financial support. Your support makes an incredible difference in the lives of others in our area. We are all in this together!