Andy Smith

Gay TI executive joins board of UWMD, heading outreach to LGBT community

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer

United Way of Metropolitan Dallas recently honored Andy Smith was honored with the agency’s Live United Volunteer Award.

Smith also recently joined the UWMD board of directors, becoming the only openly gay board member for the agency.

UWMD President and CEO Gary Godsey said, “He’s the kind of guy I’d like to have 100 of. If he says yes, it’s a done deal. He always follows through.”

Smith, the director of corporate philanthropy for Texas Instruments, chairs both the Volunteer Experience Subcommittee and the UWMD LGBT Partnership Committee.

In his position at TI, Smith coordinates support for United Way. His company is one of the agency’s leading corporate contributors.

Although United Way was, in the early 1990s, hesitant to award grants to LGBT organization Resource Center Dallas, RCD has now become a regular recipient of United Way funding.

This is no longer “your father’s United Way,” Smith said.

“They [the Resource Center] have really earned their stay at United Way with some really great proposals,” Godsey said.

AIDS Arms got one of this year’s larger United Way grants. Bryan’s House was added to the list of recipients for the current grant cycle.

Smith said that United Way doesn’t want to just be involved with the LGBT community, United Way wants to be a part of the community. That’s why the agency had an entry in last year’s Pride parade and a booth at Razzle Dazzle Dallas earlier this month, and has become a regular Out & Equal participant.

Smith said his involvement with United Way began in Austin with Communities In Schools — Central Texas Inc. When he moved to Dallas and went to work for TI, he got involved as a donor to the United Way campaign.

In his current position, Smith manages TI’s giving campaign. But he also creates volunteer opportunities for individuals, teams and families that include mentoring, tax consulting and staffing health fairs.

He said those opportunities are also available to other members of the LGBT community through United Way.

This year, United Way changed its giving campaign to focus on education, income and health. As a result, new agencies were included and others lost their United Way funding. All applicants currently apply and are vetted annually.

“There’s a rigorous stewardship process,” Smith said.

The allocation panels help vet grants and decide where the money goes and said that up to 200 volunteers participate.

He said a number of committees, including marketing and finance, need volunteers as well.

Godsey said that United Way could not operate with its volunteers and he called Smith a shining example of inspirational leadership.