United Way of Manatee County and United Way Suncoast have agreed to proceed toward merger in summer 2017, pending successful completion of the ongoing due diligence process.
Following UWMC President Philip Brown’s retirement announcement in March, 2016, the UWMC Board began a formal review of potential organizational structures. Discussions with United Way Suncoast (Suncoast) began in September 2016 when UWMC approached United Way Suncoast (Suncoast) to discuss how the organizations could work together. In January, both Boards unanimously voted to proceed.
“We explored merging with United Way Suncoast several years ago but the timing wasn’t right,” said Anne Lee, UWMC Board Chair. “Since then, we have watched how Sarasota has benefited post merger and seen first-hand the accomplishments United Way Suncoast has made in the Sarasota market with community impact. We feel confident the time is right now but more importantly, that Manatee County will benefit from continued local presence and focus, with the added capabilities and support that United Way Suncoast brings.”
Bronwyn Beightol, currently UWMC COO, will assume the role of Area President United Way Suncoast – Manatee Area. A Manatee Area Board will continue to drive local fundraising and community investments within Manatee County and have representation on the regional Suncoast Board. This follows Suncoast’s established model of local leadership shaping and supporting regional shared goals.
UWMC will complete a planned centralization of staff to their existing location in Lakewood Ranch in Spring 2017. Discussions are underway to develop ideas to grow the community-based presence in Bradenton.
“For years we have worked closely with United Way of Manatee County on programs like the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, where United Way of Manatee County has played a leading role regionally,” said Eric Bailey, United Way Suncoast Board Chair. “Joining together will strengthen these relationships and leverage their expertise across the region to the benefit of Manatee County and all of the people in the communities we serve.”
About United Way of Manatee County
With a rich history dating back to 1943, United Way of Manatee County fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community in Manatee. It is the only organization in the county that combines local leadership with the global reach of United Way. Worldwide, United Way supports 2.9 million volunteers and 10.3 million donors with more than $5 billion raised annually. United Way partners include global, national and local businesses, nonprofits, government, civic and faith-based organizations, along with educators, labor leaders, health providers, senior citizens, students and more. Learn more at www.uwmanatee.org.
About United Way Suncoast
United Way Suncoast staff, volunteers and trusted community partners fight for the education and financial stability of every person in the communities we serve. We do this through educational programs that give children the skills to succeed and helping adults achieve long-term financial stability, as well as providing support services to those who need it most, because everyone deserves the opportunity to achieve their full potential. For more information, please call 941.366.2686 (Sarasota office) or 813.274.0900 (Tampa office), or visit www.unitedwaysuncoast.org.