United Way Suncoast is pleased to welcome three new board members to the Manatee Area Board for the 2019 term.
- Cheri Coryea, Acting County Administrator, Manatee County Government
- Karen Droz, SVP, Senior Development Consultant, 5/3 Bank
- Cynthia Saunders, Superintendent, School District of Manatee County
Board members are heavily involved the development and execution of United Way Suncoast’s goal to help struggling ALICE families through educational programs that give children the skills to succeed, and helping adults achieve long-term financial stability so they can support themselves and their families. In Manatee County, United Way Suncoast is particularly focused on early literacy and is the lead partner for the award-winning Suncoast Campaign for Grade Level Reading.
“Volunteer leadership is the lifeblood of lasting community change,” said Bronwyn Beightol, Manatee Area President of United Way Suncoast. “Our Boards work closely with businesses, non-profits, government, media and community to ensure that our children and families who need us the most have a pathway to thrivability.”
Ms. Coryea has 30 years of experience, with 28 years in management with Manatee County. She became interim Deputy County Administrator in 2017 and was previously department director of Neighborhood Services for 10 years, overseeing the merger of the Community Services Department into the Neighborhood Services Department. As Neighborhood Services Director, Ms. Coryea built community relationships and interacted with more than 150 not-for-profit agencies, hospitals and intergovernmental organizations that formally collaborate with Manatee County to serve citizens. Ms. Coryea received the 2012 Tampa Bay Business Journal Business Women of the Year (Government category) Award. She was the 2011 American Association of University Women – Manatee Chapter “Making Great Strides in Government” winner. She received the 2009 NAACP Government Humanitarian award and the Manatee Community Council for Children Child Advocate of the Year in 1997.
Ms. Droz serves as an Executive Coach at Fifth Third Bank supporting the development of key leaders. Ms. Droz is an accomplished Human Resources and Organizational Development executive with over 25 years of experience in large and diverse corporations, such as AT&T, Arthur Andersen and PepsiCo (Tropicana/ Gatorade divisions), as well as flexing her entrepreneurial muscle leading her own consulting practice and as a founding partner of a cloud-based software business. Ms. Droz has a BA in Psychology from Wayne State University and an MBA in Human Resources Management from Florida Institute of Technology. Additionally, Ms. Droz earned her certification in Hogan Assessments Executive Coaching in 2008 and has been an affiliate executive coach with The Center for Creative Leadership since 2013. Ms. Droz has been active in United Way for more than a decade, serving on the Investment Strategy Committee and the Investment Subcommittees, as well as volunteering in local classrooms as part of United Way ReadingPals or with Junior Achievement.
Ms. Saunders has more than 28 years of professional experience in education, with deep roots in Manatee County. Prior to her role as Superintendent, Ms. Saunders served as Deputy Superintendent of Instructional Services in Manatee County from July 2015 to June 2018. During her tenure as Deputy Superintendent, the School District of Manatee County made significant gains academically. As Executive Director of Secondary Schools from 2013-2015, Manatee District high schools exceeded the state average in the percentage of high schools receiving an A or B grade. Ms. Saunders holds a master’s degree (M.S.) from Nova Southeastern University in Educational Leadership, and a Bachelor’s degree (B.S.) in Mathematics Education at the University of Central Florida.
Ms. Coryea, Ms. Droz and Ms. Saunders join the current Manatee Area Board members:
Debbie Tapp, Chair – Retired Volunteer
Tim Henning, Vice Chair* – District Manager, Publix
Bruce Body – Raymond James
Jacki Dezelski – President/CEO, Manatee Chamber of Commerce
Barbara Johnson – Morgan Stanley
Bob Thompson* – Board of Governors, United Way of Florida
Bill Webster – BEALLS, Inc.
Denise Williams – Hancock Bank
*Tim Henning and Bob Thompson also serve on the Suncoast Regional Board of Directors.
United Way Suncoast enjoys leadership from four boards: three area boards (Manatee, Sarasota [DeSoto and Sarasota counties] and Tampa Bay [Hillsborough and Pinellas counties]) and one overseeing the entire region (Suncoast). Chief among the responsibilities of the area boards are ongoing decisions regarding the reinvestment of more than $20 million from the annual budget back into the local communities.
A complete list of board members for the Sarasota and Tampa Bay area boards, as well as the Suncoast Regional Board can be found by clicking here.