United Way Suncoast Welcomes Four New Board Members in Manatee & Sarasota

United Way Suncoast is pleased to welcome three new board members to the Manatee Area Board and one new board member to the Sarasota 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
Susan R. Stewart, Independent Consultant

Board members are heavily involved in 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. 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.


Cheri Coryea

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.


Karen Droz

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 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.  


Cynthia Saunders

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.


Susan R. Stewart

Ms. Stewart, currently employed as an independent consultant, has most recently served as the Mission Manager for the Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization to engage the community to deliver a master plan to the City of Sarasota to develop the 53 acres of Sarasota bayfront. As the CEO of Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida from January 2010-May 2017, she inspired female leadership throughout 10 counties and was committed to strategic planning, philanthropy, board leadership and establishing staff and volunteer cultures to deliver the premier experience for girls in kindergarten through twelfth grade. Sue served as a member of the Girl Scouts of the USA cabinet supporting the CEO, and served as the chair of the southeast region of Girl Scout Council CEOs, as well as President of the Florida Girl Scout Legislative Network.

“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 communities to ensure that our children and families who need us the most have a pathway to thrivability.”

A complete list of board members for the Sarasota, Manatee and Tampa Bay area boards, as well as the Suncoast Regional Board can be found by clicking here.