INNOVATION: Inside and Out – Podcast Episode 5: Elizabeth Hightower, UNITED WAY – OOROO Auto
The Roadmap

September 6, 2022

Inside and Out
Podcast Episode 5

Our fifth episode of “INNOVATION: Inside and Out,” is now available for listening!

Innovation and impact are the themes as Elizabeth Hightower, HR Director of United Way of Southern Arizona, joins Jeff to discuss United Way as well as SHRM of Greater Tucson where she serves as the current President. With her diverse background in non-profit work, Elizabeth sheds light on how collaboration can make a big impact both internally within the organization as well as in the community at large.

Here’s a bit more about our guest:

Born in East St. Louis, Illinois; this is not St. Louis, which is in Missouri; father retired from Air Force, moved family to Phx; attended U of A; became Tucson resident. Received BS Business Management from University of Phoenix. I have lived in Turkey as a child and Greece as an adult. I love to travel. I have been to Honduras, Oaxaca, Cancun, Cayman Islands, Hawaii, Las Vegas, New Orleans, New York…fun, fun.  

I prefer Star Trek over Star Wars. I love to sing but cannot carry a tune. 

I have worked in community impact organizations for over 20 years. Prior to my HR role, I was a Director Technical Services at a local non-profit. This role provided an opportunity to work with State/City/County and local partners to facilitate neighborhood revitalization projects. During my tenure, a colleague encouraged me to join the Human Resources profession as a Benefits Specialist, yes at another non-profit.  

I was the benefits guru…. I also attended University of Phoenix full time. I was recruited again, this time for a government organization on a temporary basis. A FT opportunity opened at another non-profit, as a HR Generalist, then HR Supervisor…along this time I was introduced to SHRMGT. Enrolled in preparation classes for towards HR certification, became an instructor for the SHRMGT certification preparation classes, promoted to Co-Director, then Director of Certification, voted as SHRMGT Vice President, current President.  

My full time paid role is HR Director for United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. I am passionate about having a equitable/educated/proud community and my career & volunteer roles are avenues for me tribute. I love learning and sharing knowledge. I am the HR Director of United Way of Tucson and Southern Az.  

United Way is committed to building a thriving community in which every child receives a high-quality education, every adult has the opportunity to thrive financially and every older person can age and retire with dignity and independence. This is a natural fit for me.  

As Director, I am responsible for administration & coordination of benefits/compensation/recruitment & hiring/ performance review management/employee relations & engagement/ payroll data processing/ training & development and employment laws. 

AND if you want to hear more about Tucson’s best businesses, entrepreneurs, and non-profits, how they started, and how they’ve created unique cultures, continue tuning in to “INNOVATION: Inside and Out” on Spotify, Apple music or the podcast channel of your choice.

Thank you to Mark Bishop, founder of Mark Bishop Media, for helping to share our story at OOROO Auto….AND for producing our new podcast!