Anne Sampson Dunaway’s journey through adulthood has been characterized by hardship, grit, and a desire to serve, not unlike a seed pushing up through the earth to flourish and nourish others.

Friends and family call her Annie — and almost everyone in her orbit tends to end up in one of those two categories, even if they began as co-workers.

Now 43 with two teenage children, Dunaway recalled her rocky launch to independence more than a decade ago: “I fled an abusive marriage and started raising these two babies with nothing.”

For years, she worked as the director for corporate giving for the United Way of Salt Lake, which often meant putting in 60 hours per week raising funds to help lift children out of intergenerational poverty — while other people were raising her own offspring.