Walter Galicia

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Honoree: Walter Galicia

Honored by: UnitedHealthcare

Cause Area: Healthcare

When it comes to giving what you can for volunteer service, Walter Galicia knows it’s all about keeping your pedal to the metal. And he means that, literally. Walter, a finance manager for UnitedHealth Group, has been leading a cycling team of some 60 co-workers over the past few years that regularly participates in a variety of local fundraising riding events. Among the organizations and causes supported by the team in 2015: American Diabetes Association, Ride 2 Recovery, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County, and the Tour of Long Beach. The events are an excellent way, he says, of keeping fit, being a contributor to the community and creating a stronger sense of self-worth for himself and his fellow employees. And sometimes the rides are not all about speed and power, but rather about leadership and timing. That was the case for Walter when he led a group of very appreciative riders around a confusing circular course for one of the fundraisers. “The whole thing about volunteering to me is about fulfilling a higher spiritual purpose and being a good citizen,” he says. “I think we should all be volunteering and making a difference in somebody else’s life.” For his part, Walter believes that volunteering requires extraordinary effort. It is not just about responding to company email requests to make some sort of contribution or donation. It’s about having a lot of enthusiasm, certainly, and then putting that together with values that give you an understanding of why you are participating. Walter conveys his values every time he meets or talks with his cyclists to keep them motivated and energized about the team. The goal is to keep the squad excited and informed about the causes and campaigns they are riding for each time they go out. This sense of teamwork and emphasis on values is also in play when Walter has participated in other types of events that don’t involve bicycling, such as walks for the American Diabetes Association and American Heart Association. “Walter’s leadership with the cycling group, in particular, is very valuable in creating contagious enthusiasm for volunteer service,” states Alex Uhm, chief operating officer for UnitedHealthcare of California, and 2015 co-chair of the organization’s California Social Responsibility Committee. “And because he is a great networker, he is an excellent example of how volunteering can be very helpful for participants in terms of social benefits and building relationships.” Walter is charting an honorable course that is true and in line with UnitedHealthcare’s mission of helping people live healthier lives and the company’s spirit of volunteerism.

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