Changing of the guard

09 November 2022

Hayley Southwick is retiring as the UIA Victoria President after serving in this role for five years. This will take affect the UIA Victoria AGM on Thursday 17 November where Southwick will also formally welcome incoming President Peter Horovitz.

Southwick joined the UIA in 2008, several years after traveling to Israel on a UIA mission. She understood the important role UIA plays in Israel. This sparked an inner desire to get involved and as she recalls, “the rest is history.”  She started attending UIA Women’s Division functions, later becoming its chairwoman, a role she held for 10 years.

Over the years, Southwick has visited Israel a number of times and had the opportunity to see the UIA’s work and hear from beneficiaries firsthand. For her, this has been the most rewarding part of the job. “It is one thing to fundraise for the national priorities of Israel,” Southwick says, “but hearing how we have had such a significant impact on their lives, is so fulfilling. I always try to impart these personal experiences onto our donors wherever I have the opportunity.”

Under Hayley’s leadership the organisation adopted new technology platforms to streamline processes, undertook a restructure, weathered a global pandemic, improved efficiency and created a robust organisation. Importantly she rebuilt relationships and reengaged with donors.

During her time in her leadership positions, UIA has hosted a range of high calibre speakers, who Hayley has had the honour of meeting. “There are a couple – but the highlights for me were Gilad Shalit, Khaled Abu Toameh and the Green Prince, David Cameron and President Reuven Rivlin”.

When asked how she juggles all of her commitments with full time work, Southwick acknowledges her family, “over the years, David, my children Tyler and Paige and my family have always understood the importance of my UIA commitments. They have attended countless functions, helped with phoning days and supported me wholeheartedly because they see the value and importance of UIA. I definitely couldn’t have done this for so many years without them”.

When asked what message she has for those considering board positions, Southwick said, “DO IT. Get involved in the community. Find a cause that you are passionate about and contribute because your voice is valuable. But also, don’t be a seat warmer. If you are on a board you have to work. I encourage more women to take on leadership positions. We have wonderful men and women on the UIA executive and each of them brings a different strength. It takes all of us to make UIA what it is today and I can’t thank them and the UIA team enough”.

Southwick said, “I am delighted to be handing over to Peter who has been an executive member for the past few years, and already shown immense leadership, having spearheaded a number of important initiatives.”

This is not the end of the UIA chapter for Southwick, who will remain on the board and an active member of the UIA family. “I am sad to stand down but I feel so fulfilled. I am so proud of everything that we have achieved. Every leader needs to know when it is time to step down and let a new leader take the organisation forward with fresh eyes. I love what UIA does and I love Israel so I look forward to remaining as an executive member and supporting Peter and the team”.