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Esther Cantu retired from United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County as Director of Volunteer Programs, where she worked for fifteen years.

Prior to United Way, she worked as the Resource Coordinator for San Antonio Alternative Housing Corporation, writing grants and recruiting volunteers for the home repair program for elderly and disabled. She also worked for Project Learn to Read, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and “I Have a Dream” Foundation. She was office manager for Maria Berriozabal’s Campaign for Mayor in 1991, where she first worked with large numbers of volunteers. Prior to entering the nonprofit world, Esther worked for the federal government at Kelly Air Force Base.

Esther earned her BA from Southwest Texas State University in 1988 while still working for the government. As a member of Mission City Business and Professional Women, she was awarded the BPW/Texas President of the Year Award in 2001. She was recognized as BPW/Texas Woman to Watch in 1996 and was awarded the Profile in Leadership Award in 2004. In 1999, the Women in Communications presented her with a Profiler in Community Service Award.

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Beyond Networking: Nurturing the Volunteer Coordinator

A seasoned professional once said: "Volunteer Management will continue to be an enigma until it no longer depends on people for volunteers." Because of the complexity of people -- their desires, their beliefs, their backgrounds and their motivation, and the fact that they constitute 'free labor' to our agencies, we have a tendency to treat…