Community impact to increase with continued local leadership and local investment

Florida Suncoast – July 12, 2017 –Today, United Way of Manatee County (UWMC) and United Way Suncoast (Suncoast) will celebrate their completed merger to serve the people of DeSoto, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pinellas, and Sarasota counties.

A press conference and celebration will take place at 10:00 AM on July 12, 2017 at the United Way office located at 4215 Concept Ct, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34211. Media and guests are welcome.

Merger discussions have been ongoing since fall 2016 and were announced in February 2017. Following the completion of due diligence, both Boards voted unanimously to accept the merger agreement effective July 1, 2017 (the beginning of the fiscal year for both organizations.)

“We see incredible potential for increased impact through this merger,” said Suzanne McCormick, president and CEO of United Way Suncoast. “By combining our staff talent, expertise and capabilities we will be able to leverage the power of scale, while still delivering hyper-local impact and presence that can provide life-changing results for the people we serve.”

Merger Highlights

  • A Manatee Area Board will continue to drive local fundraising and community investments within Manatee County and have representation on the regional Suncoast Board. Local philanthropist and longtime United Way supporter Debbie Tapp will serve as chair of the Manatee Area board.
  • Funds raised in Manatee County will be invested in Manatee programs and services, unless otherwise directed by the donor.
  • Bronwyn Beightol, previously UWMC COO, will assume the role of Manatee Area President.
  • United Way will maintain its existing Lakewood Ranch office in partnership with the Manatee Chamber. The second location in downtown Bradenton has been listed for sale.
  • The affiliated United Way Foundation of Manatee County trust will be held through a unique partnership with the Manatee Community Foundation to support future needs in Manatee County.

Anne Lee, Board Chair of the United Way of Manatee County added, “United Way has a long, proud history in Manatee County. This new chapter and added resources build on our foundation of exceptional educational initiatives focused on grade-level reading success. In 2017-18, we expect to add adult financial stability efforts that provide a multi-generational approach and evaluate new place-based neighborhood initiatives like those that have been so successful in other Suncoast communities.

“In addition to organizational benefits, cost savings and efficiencies, and our ability to increase impact through merger, this merger also fits the regional structure of many of our business partners, non profit partners and donors who have operations across multiple counties and will enjoy simplified support and community-level outcomes from a unified United Way partner,” said Eric Bailey, United Way Suncoast Board Chair.

United for Good represents a shared goal to fight for the education and financial stability of every person in every community. The new United Way Suncoast will continue to focus on early literacy, youth success, financial stability and volunteer activation across the region. In each community, these initiatives may look different by design, as they reflect the aspirations of the individual community and local leadership. This follows Suncoast’s established model of local leadership shaping and supporting regional shared goals.


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.

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.