United Way president and CEO sets retirement date

Board planning for transition
United Way president and CEO sets retirement date

The president and CEO of United Way of Dane County will step down in December 2015 after 33 years at the organization and 25 years leading it.

Leslie Ann Howard started with the United Way as director of the Volunteer Services Bureau. According to a release, Leslie has championed significant change and strategies in addressing the racial achievement gap, ending family homelessness, and many others during her tenure. She also led the evolution of United Way from a fundraising organization to a community impact organization.

“The transformation Leslie led in Dane County served as a model for other local United Ways throughout the United States. She was among the first to recognize and strengthen the links between impact strategies, community results, and the aspirations of donors, volunteers, and strategic partners that wanted to make a difference,” Brian Gallagher, president and CEO, United Way Worldwide said.

Under Howard’s leadership, United Way of Dane County’s revenues have grown from $5.5 million in 1989 to nearly $22 million in 2014. United Way of Dane County is the fifth fastest growing United Way campaign in the country, according to the release.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve our community for these three decades. I am so grateful for the trust, the support, and the friendships that have been so graciously extended,” Howard said.

Howard said she is confident the board and the staff will work together to move forward.

“We have such a fantastic board of directors, a great active leadership team, they’re a fabulous staff as well as all our great partners,” Howard said.