The National United Way Tocqueville Society Award was created by United Way Worldwide to recognize persons who have rendered outstanding service as volunteers on a national level, to promote voluntary community service, to recognize the value such service has to our nation, and to bring visibility to the work of United Ways nationwide.
United Way Worldwide selected Sue Miller as the recipient of its 2012 National United Way Tocqueville Award. Sue is South Florida’s first recipient of this prestigious national award. This distinction comes in recognition of her more than 30 years of service to United Way locally, nationally and internationally.
Beginning in the 1980s, Sue helped to create United Way of Miami-Dade’s community-based fundraising efforts, reaching out into the county’s various municipalities and family-owned businesses. In no time at all, she turned her door-to-door campaigning experience in Miami Beach into one of the nation’s most successful major gifts programs, which over the years has received several national Fleur-de-Lis Awards for Excellence. Sue was instrumental in creating both our local Tocqueville Society and our Million Dollar Roundtable programs.
After helping our United Way secure more million dollar contributors than any city in the country, she set her sights on elevating major gift giving across the country. She began by challenging the city of Seattle to raise the bar on its giving. Her infectious enthusiasm paid off when just a year later, she proudly passed the torch to Seattle for surpassing Miami at the million dollar level. Over the years, Sue has served in leadership roles on the national Tocqueville committee and has used that platform to champion major gift giving across the country – visiting other communities and inspiring them to follow Miami’s example.
In 2000, through Sue’s leadership, our United Way launched our Women’s Leadership program which today includes 1,700 members. Sue’s work in the women’s leadership arena has carried over to the national and international level. Sue spearheaded and sponsored a leadership exchange between United Way of Miami-Dade and United Way of Jamaica. Her work on the education front, and specifically early education with United Way of Miami-Dade, has taken her to Washington, D.C. to advocate for increased funding for quality early education.
Sue’s commitment to community does not end with United Way. Education, the arts and health are key areas of focus for Sue as is the University of Miami. The university’s medical school bears the name of her late husband, Leonard Miller.
Sue has made philanthropy and service to others a family affair. Today, her three children, all members of the Million Dollar Roundtable, and 11 grandchildren, follow in her footsteps – proudly carrying on the Miller family tradition that she and Leonard embody.