Buffett Funds hosts national meeting at United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education


Forty United Way professionals and volunteers from seven states gathered at the United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education to participate in a two-day conference focused on engaging business leaders in elevating the quality of early education. Funded by the Buffett Early Childhood Fund, the meeting focused on ways to engage business leaders in advocating for early childhood legislation and raising public awareness about the importance of quality early care and education.

 “It is these kinds of meetings along with a host of other activities that take place every day at the Center that will enable us, along with many others at the local and national level, to change the way early childhood education is provided in our country,” Harve Mogul, president and CEO, United Way of Miami-Dade, said. “The Center is not only a building for educating children, but a national model of how we can change the system of early care and education.”

United Way representatives from Colorado, Kansas, Florida, Virginia, Arizona, South Carolina and Washington participated in the meeting, which included a tour of the Center and opportunities for sharing information on how to enlist the support of businesses in early learning. Richard Fain, former United Way board chair and chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises, addressed the group and encouraged them to appeal to business leaders as stakeholders in the education of young children.

The meeting featured other notable speakers, including Mary Young, Miami location leader for IBM and chair of United Way of Miami-Dade’s Women’s Leadership; Toni Randolph, United Way of Miami-Dade board member and co-chair of the United Way Center for Excellence Council; Laura Oldanie, program manager, Committee for Economic Development; Ron Stowe, national director, America’s Edge; and Rachel Perry and Nina Sazer O’Donnell of United Way of America’s early childhood education initiative. The two-day event coincided with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and dedication of the newly opened Resource Library and Training Center, underwritten by the Soffer family and Storyville, a children’s library, underwritten by United Way of Miami-Dade’s Women’s Leadership, at the Center for Excellence in Early Education.