LaDawn Stoddard is the Director of UServeUtah, the Utah Commission on Service & Volunteerism. With a degree in business management and an extensive background in finance, she began working for the Commission in 2004 as the Grants Officer and then went on to fill the role of Development Director working not only with State AmeriCorps Programs, but also Citizen Corps, AmeriCorps VISTA, Youth Service and other various service initiatives within the Commission. In 2007 she became the Utah State National Service program manager, working closely with numerous community organizations across the state and in 2012 became the Director of the Commission. Early in her career LaDawn owned and managed a small business which allowed her to work closely within her community; she has also served on numerous boards and volunteer committees at both the national and local level and has been personally engaged in volunteering from a very young age. This has allowed for development of a unique perspective into both the public, private and nonprofit sectors that has served her well in her current position. As a resident of Wasatch County, she has a profound appreciation for the varied landscape in Utah, but finds her greatest appreciation for the state is in its spirit of volunteerism. She feels volunteers provide a valuable resource to Utah communities and is honored to be able to collaborate with those individuals and groups who are working to help make Utah a better place.
Community Engagement Manager
Anna Decker is a devoted community activist who is passionate about creating environments where people thrive. She joined the UServeUtah team in 2015 after completing her Master’s degree in Community Health Promotion and Education with an emphasis on mindfulness. Her graduate research focused on the impact of positive psychology techniques on stress and resilience. Anna is the Curator of TEDxSaltLakeCity, a premier annual event (organized entirely by smart, fun-loving, open-minded volunteers). She also dedicates much of her free time to serving on the Mentor Council of the Salt Lake Civil Network, a burgeoning nonprofit focused on collective impact, as well as serving on the Advisory Board of Yoga for People, a nonprofit making yoga available to everyone. Anna hasn’t owned a TV for over a decade, and though this makes her acutely pop culture illiterate, she loves spending her “down time” discovering and connecting with her community–local and global. She strongly believes that being actively engaged in the world makes her a happier and healthier human. She enthusiastically encourages others to do the same.
National Service Manager
Greg Bates is the National Service Program Manager with UServeUtah and oversees the statewide implementation of the federal AmeriCorps program in Utah. He is a Utah native and joined UServeUtah in June 2016, after working for the Department of Workforce Services for eight years. During that time he spent two years as an eligibility specialist for public assistance programs, two years as an investigator and four years as the supervisor of the specialized refugee eligibility team. Greg is passionate about working with the refugee communities and has been involved in volunteer projects to benefit them, off and on, since 2008. Before beginning his career with the state of Utah he worked for the Home Depot and the City of South Salt Lake. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Law from Weber State University. Greg loves the outdoors, spending time with his family, playing guitar, and writing.
National Service Program Support Specialist
Ruqia is the program support specialist for National Service at UServeUtah and works closely with the National Service Program Manager with all aspects of the AmeriCorps program. She joined UServeUtah after completing a Bachelor of Economics degree from the University of Utah. Her enrollment in the National Honor Society during High School kick started her passion for service and volunteerism and she has been involved in many volunteer projects, particularly helping refugee communities. Ruqia has volunteered as a tutor for refugee youth and later worked with the City of South Salt Lake under the entity of Promise South Salt Lake. Between 2011-2015 she worked at various after school programs as a Prevention Specialist to ensure high school student success in their yearly academic courses. An AmeriCorps alum for the Read.Graduate.Succeed program, Ruqia brings boots-on-the-ground experience with serving in AmeriCorps. In her spare time, Ruqia enjoys cinema, hiking, volleyball, basketball, and various other outdoor activities.
Disaster Services Coordinator
Karrie oversees the state Volunteer Management and Donations training and works closely with the commission to help meet disaster needs throughout the state. Karrie has been a reservist for FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) since 2004 and has worked with disaster survivors in sixteen disasters across the United States. She has also been Springville City’s Emergency Preparedness Coordinator since 2005 where she is in charge of Springville’s CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) program. Karrie has a real love for emergency preparedness and believes that each person needs to share in that responsibility and by doing so will make Utah a safer, better place to live. Karrie lives in Springville with her husband and their dog and enjoys spending quality time with her children and grandchildren. Karrie also loves to travel, camping and curling up with a good book.
Community Engagement Program Support Specialist
Mary is a new addition to both UServeUtah and Salt Lake City. She relocated from Ithaca, NY where she led community outreach and engagement efforts in the health and human services sector for safer city bicycling, healthy food access, active urban spaces and environmental sustainability. She wanted bigger mountains to climb and a place to pursue her love of the outdoors, and landed in beautiful Utah after seeing a photo of Bryce Canyon National Park. Mary believes that you should only allow things into your life that bring you value and joy, and hopes to inspire others to do the same while working for UServe. She is a lifelong volunteer and plans to offer her tech savvy skills and love of fitness to Utah’s Holding out HELP, Bicycle Collective, and Special Olympics. Mary will spend her first year in Utah exploring the breathtaking landscapes of the state, teaching herself how to code, and trying to eat every Banbury Cross donut on the menu at least once.