James Sheridan: East Texas People of Our Community Who Make a Difference

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Tour Tyler Texas, more than just Tourism - Clarence Shackelford a publicist and local historian that really, like helping people with historical research.

People of Our Community Who Make a Difference

The challenges facing many low-income individuals and families across Smith County take on a variety of forms, be it financial hardship, homelessness, educational roadblocks, and many others. What’s worse is individuals are often faced with more than one challenge at a time. While there are services and organizations that are available to help, these organizations can make a more significant impact when they work together. This is where the United Way of Smith County comes in.

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The United Way of Smith County (UWSC) seeks to create a better community by inspiring collaboration, fundraising, and volunteerism for dozens of essential programs throughout the county. The goal is to create a collective impact from the combined efforts of individuals, companies, nonprofits, government agencies, and faith communities to provide services that make a difference in the lives of our neighbors.

Thanks to the generosity of Smith County residents, UWSC saw a banner year in 2022 by collecting more than $2 million, exceeding the organization’s goal of $1.9 million. The funds collected provide funding for two programs offered directly by UWSC and 24 programs supported by the organization.

James Sheridan is a board member of the UWSC and served as the fundraising campaign chairperson for the past two years. He enjoys working with the United Way because it lets him serve others in need.

“I began serving with the United Way as a ‘loaned executive’ back in 1993,” Mr. Sheridan said. “What I came to realize in that role was that I truly enjoyed serving others in our community who are less fortunate; I realized how blessed I truly am; I acknowledged my responsibility to help others because of how blessed I am.”

Mr. Sheridan said he appreciates the “holistic approach” UWSC takes in helping people.

“In many cases, the people United Way assists through its partner agencies and programs have multiple issues, not just one,” he said. “It’s not just hunger, or literacy, or child care, or a bad home situation. Many times, people in a bad situation are affected by a combination of these issues. United Way addresses all of them and provides resources to help folks get back on their feet.”

In addition to his service with UWSC, Mr. Sheridan is the treasurer for the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce and the vice president of the Better Business Bureau of East Texas.

“I believe it is incumbent upon me to help my neighbors in the community who may be struggling, especially considering how good this community has been to my family,” he said.

Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Mr. Sheridan’s family move to Tyler when he was two years old. He is a graduate of Robert E. Lee High School, Tyler Junior College, and The University of Texas at Tyler, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in finance. Mr. Sheridan also graduated from the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking. Mr. Sheridan works as a senior vice president and lending officer for Texas Bank and Trust.

Mr. Sheridan and his wife, Gillian, have been married for 21 years and are the parents of Gwyneth, 12, and Elizabeth, 12. The Sheridans are members of Green Acres Baptist Church.

Tyler is a great place to live, work, and raise a family with a great quality of life,” he said. “There is community-wide support to continually try and make it even better.”

For more information about the United Way of Smith County, please visit www.uwsmithcounty.org.

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Tour Tyler Texas- Photo by M1Y - Clarence Shackelford TEXT 903.253.5099 - for Tour Tyler Texas
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Tour Tyler Texas- Photo by M1Y - Clarence Shackelford TEXT 903.253.5099 - for Tour Tyler Texas

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I have been a community publicist in East Texas since 1985 in this role I have covered 10's of thousands of special events. I am also the founder of the founder Tour Tyler Texas and the Texas African American Museum

Tyler, TX
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