Tressa Ringwald is the administrative assistant at the United Way of Van Wert County. (Photo by Jim Langham)
Tressa Ringwald is the administrative assistant at the United Way of Van Wert County. (Photo by Jim Langham)

Times Bulletin Correspondent

These days, Tressa Ringwald is thankful she responded to a suggestion from a friend to consider applying for a job at the Van Wert County United Way.

The local agency had advertised the position last summer. Ringwald said that her friend looked at it and told her that she would be good at it.

“I know how the United Way affects those with need,” said Ringwald. “I’ve always had a real heart for people with need. I realized how good it could feel to be instrumental in reaching out to people in our community that we could help.”

Ringwald’s first connection with the United Way occurred when she was in high school and helped with the various activities of, “One Day of Caring.”

“I’ve always enjoyed working with people of all ages,” said Ringwald. “I enjoy dealing with a lot of different people.”

Ringwald was especially impressed with the United Way’s reach — helping 31 agencies a year and raising a half million dollars in supporting their efforts. She applied and this past August she was hired.

Ringwald, a lifetime resident of Middle Point, graduated from Lincolnview/Vantage Vocational in 2013. At Vantage she was especially interested in Interactive Media.

Following high school, she attended Rhoades State College in Lima where she obtained a major in Digital Media.

“I have always been an artsy person,” said Ringwald. “I have always enjoyed all types of art; I’ve done a little bit of everything.”

Eventually, photography emerged as her top expression of art. She founded a personal business known as, “Tressa-Lynn Photography.” Ringwald especially majors in family pictures as well as taking pictures of an occasional wedding.

Ringwald said that she especially enjoys photography children in connection with their birthdays and holidays.

“I have a lot of repeat clients. I have enough people that I don’t have to advertise much,” said Ringwald. “When they return for pictures, I always enjoy hearing about what they have done and how they have matured.

“It makes me feel good; I like being a part of their lives, too,” continued Ringwald. “I grew up in Middle Point; Now I see the kids of that time growing up. It’s special that I can keep that connection.”

“I love working with the United Way. It has grown on me,” said Ringwald. “It is a combination of the things I love most in life, being there for children and young people, using my love for art in developing posters and promotions for United Way and taking pictures of United Way activities.

“I’m so glad I listened to my friend. This really is for me, I love it,” added Ringwald.

United Way Administrator Vicky Smith praised Ringwald’s efforts with the agency.

“We love having her here,” said Smith. “She is a real help to us; Her variety of talents is a big asset to the United Way.”