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MVI Spotlight: Sheila White

It’s our Executive Assistant’s 18-Year MVI anniversary today! Anyone who has worked with one organization for 18 years has a lot of stories to tell about that place, so we thought we would ask Sheila to tell us some of hers! Here is how she answered our questions:


Q: Tell me about something that influence your decision to work for MVI for 18 years!

A: It’s easy to work somewhere that fits your passion. I have a passion for helping lift people out of poverty and uplifting the community step by step and that’s what MVI does. It improves the quality of life by helping people achieve housing stability and financial security.


Q: What is your earliest memory of working for MVI?

A: The 1997 Annual MVI Spring CDC Conference that was held on Friday, May 9th and Saturday, May 10th. The conference was held at Linden Hall in Perryopolis. The theme that year was “Recipe for Development” a focus on job creation efforts in the Mon Valley (MVI started a Workforce Development Team a couple year later to help address that very issue).


Q: What is it like to be the first point of contact for people looking for information from MVI?

A: It’s said that first impressions are the most important. They set the tone for all of the relationships that follow. I just have a few seconds to make a good first impression for MVI.


Q: What are some of your strongest beliefs about MVI’s mission?

A: What we do is important. MVI plays a critical role in building community wealth and individual stability for several key reasons. They anchor capital and community by developing residential property. Our board is made up of community residents, allowing for direct grass root participation and decision making. MVI works to enhance community conditions, often involving neighborhood organizations, a process critical for empowering residents.


Q: What has surprised you most about working for MVI?

A: 18 years is all I have to say. (smile)


Q: What do you think will change about the Mon Valley over the next five years?

A: I think manufacturing companies will return to the Mon Valley which would open the door for more job opportunities and bringing business to the community as well.


Q: Who is someone who inspires you or who you admire?

A: I think the people I admire most is my family. I come from a large family of 17 siblings and we had a very dysfunctional upbringing with a lot of obstacles. But despite all of that, we have shown amazing resilience. Almost all of my siblings have been on their jobs for over 10 years and 3 have been with the same companies their whole careers (30+). My family subscribes to the philosophy that to whom much is given, much is expected. We know we are blessed to overcome what others would have considered insurmountable obstacles. Several of my siblings give back to their communities on a regular basis through volunteerism, community service and non-profit board participation.


Our organization is supported by numerous employees like Sheila, who have been around for 10+ years. You can learn more about them by viewing the web page about Our Team or by reading some of the other MVI Spotlight posts.

Mon Valley Initiative