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Volunteer Spotlight: Joel Sylvester

Sioux Empire United Way is very grateful for the leaders of our community to give their time, energy, and passion to our organization year after year. We have many great leaders who serve on our Board of Directors and we would not be able to continue to make an impact in the 33 communities of the Sioux Empire without their expertise and leadership.  Let's get to know a few of these members.


 Our Campaign Cabinet Vice Chair is Joel Sylvester from Five Star Call Centers.

1. What have you enjoyed most about serving on our United Way Campaign Cabinet? 

For me, the best part of serving on the United Way Campaign Cabinet has been the chance to meet other business leaders throughout the Sioux Empire.  They say if you are the smartest one in the room, you need to find another room, there is no chance of me being the smartest one in the room at a campaign cabinet meeting.  It’s truly a dynamic group and I’ve learned a lot from watching the different leadership, communication, and problem-solving styles in action.  The energy created by a group working towards a common goal of helping others is truly amazing and inspiring.


2. What is your favorite holiday tradition?   

Every year my wife, Tanielle, 11-year-old daughter Addison, and 7-year-old son Dawson, put up the tree and decorate inside,  while I get up on the roof to put up lights and arrange reindeer in the yard.  Two years ago I let Dawson help me on the roof and he loved it until my wife found out and the outside lights were quickly back to being a one-man operation.  The first night the Christmas tree is up we watch National Lampoons Christmas Vacation and sleep in sleeping bags in the living room…as I’ve gotten older I sneak out of the living room to bed once everyone is asleep and then sneak back in the morning before they are awake so I’m not sore from sleeping on the floor…shhhhh.


3. Five Star Call Centers is pretty active in United Way, what activities, themes etc have you enjoyed the most?

We run approximately 20 rallies each year to accommodate all the schedules and they are great.  We have agency speakers at each rally and every year we hear amazing stories from our team about why they support the United Way.  This years “Rally at the Ranch” theme was my favorite.  Brandi Diedrich - Roling and Val Julius our ECMs took it to the next level decorating our conference room in western theme with swinging saloon doors and all.  We had a heart club challenge against SDN Communications and both teams blew away our goal so the Five Star and SDN Communications leadership teams dressed as cowboys.  


4. Why is it important to Five Star Call Centers to increase participation among your employees?

The United Way is dedicated to efficiently providing resources to those in need at exactly the right time in exactly the right way.  The work the United Way Agencies do is part of what makes Sioux Falls such a special place.   Every year I have team members tell me how grateful they are that Five Star supports the community and the United Way.