Find Your Way: Meet Vince

Find Your Way: Meet Vince Image

Step into the world of Vince Saladino, a dedicated member of the United Way community and an advocate for making a positive impact. As a product manager at M&T Bank, Vince has been a donor to United Way for seven years, driven by his desire to connect with his new community when he first moved to Buffalo.

Vince's involvement with United Way has taken various forms over the years. He began by volunteering for the United Way campaign, where he contributed as a speaker, assisted with communications and reporting, and eventually became a co-chair, leading the workplace campaign at M&T Bank. Outside of the workplace, Vince has participated in the LEAD with Purpose program and served as an advisory board member. He is also actively engaged in Next Gen United, attending events and raising funds to support the organization's work.

But the impact of United Way extends beyond personal fulfillment for Vince. Professionally, his involvement has allowed him to expand his network within and outside the bank. Being part of the United Way campaign committee and participating in NGU has introduced Vince with people he wouldn't have otherwise met, providing him with valuable contacts and resources to call upon when needed.

“Being involved in United Way has definitely helped me professionally because I’ve been able to expand my network, just throughout the entire bank and outside of it as well … I’ve been able to meet people I wouldn’t have bumped into otherwise. Which has helped me call the right people when I need to, things like that. So being a part of a committee that is as big and broad as we are has helped professionally.”

It was when Vince participated in Board Leadership Training where he started to see United Way as more than just a vehicle for donations. He saw the role that United Way plays in building connections, collaboration, and contributing knowledge and resources to the broader community – a stark contrast to the misconception of United Way as a pass-through organization. 

“And I really saw, you’re not just funneling dollars to the right places. This is actually building a framework and a foundation of a network of individuals who want to give, who want to give their time and their dollars and really make a difference in a different way. And that, to me, was a place where you visually saw these people who were taking time out of their day, out of their work day, to go out and make a difference and give their knowledge, their expertise to the broader community.”

For Vince personally, United Way has provided him with a sense of direction and purpose, helping him understand how he can go out and make a meaningful impact in the community, especially as someone who is not originally from Buffalo.

“(Without United Way) there’d be kind of a guideless network of individuals who really want to give their time, their money, who want to be involved in the nonprofit community, who want to make a difference but truly don’t have that way of connecting with each other, of learning from each other and being connected to the organizations and missions that align with their values." 

For me personally, I wouldn’t be able to understand, how can I go out and make an impact, especially as someone who’s not from Buffalo? Where do I even begin? And having a place like United Way, if that were to disappear, I would have no idea.” 

What does United Way’s success look like to Vince? “You’re looking at a community that’s super engaged and connected. People feel like they have the right resources. Should they fall on some hardships, they’re able to get out of it. You have people who are really interested in helping those people, and they’re able to be connected. There would be such a clear way for people who want to give and can give to connect with those who are in need … It’s a goal that we aspire to and strive for because it’s so important to get better and closer to that goal.” 

As a banker, Vince also finds inspiration in the data-backed, results-driven approach of United Way. It aligns with his desire to ensure that his dollars are making a meaningful difference in areas he cares about.

“So for me, as a donor, wanting to make sure that my dollars are making an impact, wanting to make sure that it’s the areas I want to be impactful in, that’s why I give to United Way.” 

Vince Saladino's journey with United Way showcases the power of individuals coming together to create positive change. Vince's story serves as a testament to the transformative power of collective action and the value of organizations like United Way.

When you Find Your Way at United Way, you too can be part of fostering connections, building networks and supporting a community where everyone can access a quality education, build economic mobility and live a healthy life.

Tap into your power to make meaningful change when you join the 2023 United Way campaign.