Governor’s Service Award goes to Julie Philips, Foothills United Way & Reverend Rick King

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The Governor’s Service Awards are presented in recognition each year to individuals and organizations that provide outstanding leadership, organization and inspiration to volunteerism in their community.

It is our pleasure to share that the State of Colorado Governors Office has selected Julie Philips, Agency Relations Foothills United Way and Reverend Rick King for the 2014 Outstand Community Leader award. After the severe flooding in September 2013, Julie and Rick stepped up as the Volunteer Coordination Committee Co-Chairs for the Long-Term Flood Recovery Group of Boulder County.

As co-chairs of the Volunteer Coordination Committee, Julie & Rick have made significant contributions to their communities. They’ve provided the leadership, direction and oversight to not only form the committee, an essential step in building the necessary infrastructure for moving forward. But also to coordinate multitudes of volunteers in completing over 7,200 volunteer hours with an economic impact of over $180,000 in service from mid-May through the end of June alone.

Julie believes the hardest aspect of being co-chair is trying to coordinate work that is new to everyone. “Disasters happen over and over again all over the world,” said Julie. “After a disaster, each community must work hard to figure out the best recovery process for them and then work even harder to coordinate it. There’s not really a precise blueprint for getting 8-9 interdependent committees to work together to fit all the puzzle pieces together,” continued Julie. 


Both Julie and Rick immediately recognized the need and importance of convening and leading such a committee. They both made the tough decision to meet this challenge and opportunity head-on and to see it flourish. The time and energy alone, expended by Julie & Rick to serve our communities, is above and beyond what anyone could have ever imagined or expected. Under their leadership, the Volunteer Coordination Committee has played an instrumental role in supporting the recovery efforts throughout Boulder County.

Julie believes she is internally driven to be a community leader because she truly enjoys helping others. She firmly states that none of this would have been possible with out the entire Foothills United Way Volunteer Connection as well as all of the community partners who have been a huge asset to recovery efforts.

“Sue McCullough spearheaded all of the first response efforts while Doug Yeiser prioritized flood recovery and made it possible for me to take lead on this committee. Maya MacHamer and Terri Dyer took lead on implementation and coordination, it was truly a team effort,” concluded Julie.

As the one year anniversary of the horrific flooding approaches, recovery efforts continue in full swing. More than 75 volunteers continue to serve on the Long-Term Flood Recovery group and many flood-affected residents wait for disaster funding. The road to recovery after disaster is long and rebuilding lives continues to be our community’s priority. The community has proven to be resilient and the Long-Term Flood Recover Group’s dedication and hard work will inevitably leave the community better prepared for future disasters.