Richele Center, finance director for United Way of Thurston County, brought her small business accounting experience to this community service agency around two years ago, and “it has been a challenge that I wholeheartedly enjoy,” she says.

Center is a finalist for 2017 South Sound Financial Executive of the Year, and will be among 14 individuals recognized by a special luncheon in late April.

“Richele is an empathetic leader … overseeing a $1.7 million budget and making sure that every penny pledged to United Way is processed with accuracy, and invested back into the community,” wrote her nominator. She has completed three consecutive annual reports with no audit findings or management letters. 

As for general “business advice” based upon her own experience, Center says, “Data is wonderful, but following your intuition is where the magic happens.”

You can meet Richele Center and the other 13 finalists for South Sound Financial Executives of the Year on Wednesday, April 26, for a luncheon beginning at 11:30 a.m. in Historic 1625 Tacoma Place. Tickets are available here.