CFC’s loaned executives explain their volunteerism, commitment

Each year two people volunteer to serve as loaned executives for the Ohio Combined Federal Campaign, Dayton District, to execute the campaign at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and other federal entities in a nine-county area.

This year’s loaned executives are Jeff Leonard, a systems safety engineer, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory; and Victoria Russell, a contract specialist in the Mobility Directorate, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center. You’ll find them, along with Susy Himelhoch, director, Dayton District CFC, at the CFC office at 1940 Allbrook Drive, Bldg. 1, Door 22, Area A, Wright-Patterson AFB.

Discover educational opportunities at education and training fair

Loaned executives work with agency chairpersons and key workers to make sure campaigns are running smoothly and creating awareness. They help coordinate special events and make charities visible. Both began their CFC assignments in late August and jumped into the thick of the campaign. They’ll serve the campaign until Nov. 22.

“Jeff Leonard and Victoria Russell have embraced this assignment from day one,” Himelhoch said. “Their leadership skills, knowledge of our Department of Defense and federal communities, organizational expertise, flexibility and unflappable spirit have ensured this year’s campaign is off to a great start. Our governing board, participating charities and their beneficiaries, and I extend sincere thanks to Victoria’s and Jeff’s home offices for loaning them to CFC for this assignment.”

Russell said she became even more familiar with the CFC when she served as a Junior Force Council board member. As JFC president, she then sat on the local federal coordinating committee for the CFC, furthering her knowledge of the Dayton district’s efforts. For this year’s campaign, Russell looked at her schedule and felt she could respond to AFLCMC’s call for someone to volunteer as a loaned executive.

“Dayton has certainly had more than its fair share of tragedy this year, and a lot of the CFC charities answered the call. This seemed like a great opportunity for me to give back,” she said. “I am really happy to be able to contribute in this way at this time.”

Russell knows firsthand how important monies raised through the CFC are as her background prior to joining AFLCMC in January 2015 was as an education consultant who supported museums, academic publishers and non-profits. With a background in art history, she worked part-time at the Dayton Art Institute. Her varied background and status as a “military brat” have influenced her volunteer and professional roles.

Prior to 2001 Leonard worked in the private sector for architectural and engineering firms, then came on staff at the 88th Civil Engineer Directorate for 15 years. He went to AFRL in 2014. He’s enjoyed volunteering with the Boy Scouts of America, Wizards of Wright and Bugles Across America, playing taps at military funerals.

He served as the CFC campaign co-manager for the 88th Air Base Wing in 2005 and campaign manager in 2006. He has directed the CFC’s annual golf outing since 2006.

“The golf outing was really big when it was an approved alternate duty location, and we raised thousands of dollars over the years,” Leonard said. “Now with the new rules it is an awareness event and people still come out and play (even though it is no longer an alternate duty location),” he continued. “We have a lot of loyal followers who play every year.”

He said he appreciates participants from the Dayton Veterans Affairs and numerous tenant organizations at Wright-Patterson AFB using personal time to support the event. He said he is glad to wear two hats for the golf outing.

“I’m a big fan of the CFC,” he said. “The monies raised go exactly where donors want them to go. That is huge to me. It makes a difference to people, and you can’t beat giving through payroll deduction.”

The online website and pledging system make giving so easy, Leonard continued.

Now that the way the CFC is conducted has been changed, with monetary goal and result tracking de-emphasized, awareness is the buzzword.

“One of my big goals is awareness,” he said. “We want to let people know what the CFC is about, that they can support any CFC-approved charity and they get to pick. Getting people informed is key.”

“I’m hoping to help streamline reporting to gather data for next year,” Russell said. “But my ultimate goal is to help the community – spreading awareness, coordinating materials and getting them out to people, setting up mini charity fairs at the organizational and directorate level and anything else I can do to help strengthen the campaign’s impact on the community.”

Care is taken to ensure as many charities as possible are represented by campaign efforts.

With the CFC Charity Fair and Kickoff held Oct. 2 at Wright State University’s Nutter Center, it’s now smaller events the loaned executives are pivoting to as they travel to organizations on and off base to assist with awareness events. They invite anyone who wishes to learn more about the campaign or a charity to contact them; they would be glad to coordinate a presentation.

Bringing awareness to the newest, youngest generation of area federal employees is a focus now, Russell pointed out.

“The new regulations allow for pledges of volunteer hours; people can pledge them through CFC,” she said. “As a recent law school graduate, I know a lot of my colleagues there were buried under student loan debt. If you have the time, you can volunteer hours to the charities by looking for the hand icon on the screen (for the website). If you want to contribute, there is a way that doesn’t necessarily involve a financial commitment.”

Donors may give to any CFC-approved charity, no matter where it or the donor's duty assignment is located. The formal part of the campaign runs through Nov. 15. E-pledges may be made at through Jan. 12, 2020. Credit and debit pledges are being emphasized. Pledges may be fulfilled through payroll deduction, money orders and personal and bank checks. Paper pledge forms can be used and are available for download from the website. Payroll deductions will be made from February 2020 through early 2021.

To contact the loaned executives, contact Leonard at 937-904-3512 or; and Russell at 937-904-3514 or Dayton District CFC’s main line is 937-257-0292.

About the Author