Hilda McQueen’s career began in the early 70’s as a twenty something Ma Bell baby when she was still a college student. The Directory Assistant Operator job with American Telegraph and Telephone (pre AT&T) was ideal for a student due to the work hours. Her telephone company career made a big circle that included Fresno, Danville and San Ramon. In the 31 years with the phone company she worked in several different departments and became friends with many people (easy to do when you work in a building of 7 thousand employees). Her 31 year service with AT&T ended in 2011. United Way called her to help with the AT&T campaign, a perfect match since she was one of the United Way Employee Coordinating Manager.
Her jobs with AT&T and her work in community service that she did and still continues do with AT&T Pioneers, a nonprofit organization made up of active and retired AT&T employees has prepared her for the job at United Way. Community Service has always been her passion and a way for her to pay it forward. As a child growing up in a single parent home they didn’t always fair well. Her family all worked in the fields in the summers and on the weekends. They received help from the community of people surrounding us. She thought that was important when she helped hand out bags of food to families when she participated in Community Food Bank projects. Her heart filled with joy when they handed out Christmas stockings to needy children and saw the happy faces. She’s reminded of a Christmas when they filled stockings for a classroom of first graders. The teacher shared with them that one little boy shared with her that he had never ever had pajamas and that’s what he wanted for Christmas from Santa Claus. Employees of AT&T donated toys, gloves and beanies for the Christmas stockings but they never gave out clothes. That year one person donated clothing which we couldn’t give out since we didn’t have sizes etc. We were running low in toys and as a filler she put in a part of pajamas in one of the stockings marked for a boy . What are the chances of the stocking landing on this boys hands? It happened and the shock and joy that it brought to this little boy when he took them out was priceless. Nobody could convince him there was no Santa Claus. She has carried the memory of that scene for many Christmas’s now.
Hilda loves traveling and exploring. She has recently found that she love cooking! She loves the Arts, love theater and music. She is constantly in the music scene thanks to her talented musician boyfriend. She loves photography and carries her point and shoot camera everywhere she goes. Thanks to smart phones she has an instant camera. She has had the good fortune to be asked her United Way and AT&T Pioneers to take pictures for events. She has had the chance to see her pictures in brochures, websites and decorating walls in public building, television advertising our events.