Nov 21, 2022 | By: Justin Othoudt

Bemidji United Way Director Wins Violence Free MN’s Community Leader Inspire Award

For the past six years, Denae Alamano has served as the United Way of Bemidji area’s Executive Director and has dedicated her time and energy towards working for causes that are important to the Bemidji area, such as Northwoods Battered Women’s Shelter. Recently, her efforts were recognized as she was given the 2022 Violence Free Minnesota Community Leader Inspire Award.

“I feel really honored and grateful to Chris [Latzke] at the Battered Women’s Shelter for nominating me,” explained Alamano, “I think that’s really doing my job in supporting agencies like hers to be able to solve some of their problems and help more people in our community.”

“Denae is an amazing – I would say pillar of the community,” said Northwoods Battered Women’s Shelter Executive Director Chris Latzke. “She just does so many things for the community, she’s a partner agency of ours, and they’re, I mean, just doing so many things.”

Denae, with the help of the Bemidji United Way, has been instrumental in assisting the Northwoods Battered Women’s Shelter with their recent capital campaign to construct a new shelter.

“United Way has such a huge network, we knew that we could, if we worked hard on it, we could make a dent in this,” explained Alamano. “And now I’ve joined their capital campaign committee, which has raised $1.2 million already, with a goal to raise over $3 million for the shelter.”

This dedication towards working with the Northwoods Battered Women’s Shelter and the Bemidji community as a whole is why Denae is being recognized with this award, although it seems that to her, it’s a labor of love.

“I feel really blessed to have the job I have in our community, to meet people’s needs, where you get to see the good in people in Bemidji, they’re coming to our office because they wanna do something good for somebody else,” said Alamano, “And how can you not love doing that?”

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