Raised in rural Minnesota by a community-oriented family, Rosemary West’s parents taught her to give her time, talents and treasure to others. Married for nearly 35 years, Rosemary and her husband Joe have two grown children who they have raised to also give back to the community.
“I consider myself very blessed to have such a great family,” said Rosemary.
Inspired by her parents’ lifetimes of community service, Rosemary describes herself as always present and committed to the community.
“I work hard, love my family and want to accomplish something every single day,” commented Rosemary.
With a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and a Master’s degree from Texas Tech University, Rosemary began her career working with limited income families but soon discovered her true professional passion.
“I love to create new programs and raise funds for them either through traditional fundraising or grant writing,” said Rosemary.
In her spare time, Rosemary likes to hike, kayak, exercise, attend college football games and entertain and cook for family and friends.
“I am crazy about my two basset hounds, Maddux and Smoltz, named after Atlanta Braves pitchers,” said Rosemary.
For nearly 25 years, Rosemary has lived in Las Vegas and worked in the nonprofit arena in fundraising and grant writing. In addition to working for the University of Nevada, Reno, Rosemary has also worked for United Way of Southern Nevada, Nevada Cancer Institute and now, the College of Southern Nevada. Additionally, she teaches grant writing, grant management, and major gift fundraising for University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
If Rosemary could be one person for the day, it would be Cokie Roberts, the National Public Radio reporter who focuses on Washington.
“She gets to interview such interesting people,” explained Rosemary. “I would like to interview Michelle Obama and Sandra Day O’Conner.”
On her bucket list is being a volunteer for the United States Track and Field Olympic Trials teams.
Not only did Rosemary at one time work for United Way, she became involved with United Way as soon as she got her first job.
“I gave $5 per paycheck and have never stopped,” said Rosemary. “I am a huge believer in payroll deduction as it allows me to invest in my community before I even see my paycheck. It helps me to give until it feels good.”
According to Rosemary, the people who have been helped by United Way are those that we meet in everyday life, whether they receive educational services for their child, financial literacy education or healthcare.
“We are a stronger, better community because of United Way,” said Rosemary.
As a founding member of United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council (WLC), Rosemary joined to set an example for other women, including her daughter and daughter-in-law.
“I envision that the WLC will grow larger and stronger, said Rosemary. “WLC has built a root system which will allow for steady and significant growth over time.”
To Rosemary, Living United is as simple as signing an annual pledge form.
“Marrying financial support with some time spent on worthy projects helps keep me Living United,” said Rosemary. “Give a little, a little bit more, whatever you can do – it will make you feel good and our community better.”