United Way Suncoast Leadership
Office of the President
Chief Executive Officer
Dawn Stuart, Administrative Assistant
As the Chief Executive Officer for United Way Suncoast, one of Florida’s largest United Ways, Jessica ensures connections are made that cultivate growth, increase community impact and optimize delivery of the organization’s strategic priorities that fight for the education and financial stability of every person in the community through educational programs that give children the skills to succeed, helping adults achieve long-term financial stability and activating caring individuals through volunteerism.
Prior to joining United Way Suncoast in 2019, Jessica was the CEO for Girl Scouts of West Central Florida. She began her nonprofit career at Frameworks of Tampa Bay, Inc. where she served as CEO for two years; and was previously the organization’s director of marketing and communications. Prior to working in the nonprofit sector, Jessica was manager of account services at Raymond James Financial, Inc., director of marketing at Saks Fifth Avenue, and an account executive at Roberts Communications.
As an active member of the community, Jessica currently serves on the boards of directors for the Nonprofit Leadership Center of Tampa Bay and the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. She is a member of the CEO Council of Tampa Bay, the Athena Society and USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy. In addition, she has served as a board member for Frameworks of Tampa Bay and is a founding member of Emerge Tampa Bay, a networking and volunteer organization for young professionals, a graduate of Leadership Tampa Class of 2015 and graduate of Leadership Florida Cornerstone Class XXXVI. She has been recognized by the Tampa Bay Business Journal, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce and USF for her outstanding leadership in business and community involvement.
Jessica is a graduate of the University of South Florida with a M.A. in Secondary English Education and B.A. in Mass Communications with a minor in International Studies. She lives in Tampa, Florida with her husband Owen LaFave and is the proud mother of two daughters. With a passion for writing, in her free time Jessica runs a parenting blog called The Be Present Project.
Local Area Presidents
Manatee Area President
Jennifer Giresi, Administrative Assistant, Manatee
As Manatee Area President for United Way Suncoast, serving Manatee, Sarasota, DeSoto, Hillsborough and Pinellas, Bronwyn provides vision, thought leadership, direction and oversight for United Way Suncoast initiatives and team in Manatee County. A resident of Manatee County for 14 years, Bronwyn has spent more than two decades in the social impact sector leading innovative, community-level change initiatives to advance the common good. In the public sector, Bronwyn had a more than 10-year career working in publishing with Sterling Southeast, the Greater Miami Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and the New York Times locally at the Herald-Tribune.
Since establishing the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading movement in Manatee County, now a regional effort in partnership with The Patterson Foundation, SCGLR works to ensure that children are reading on grade level by the time they leave third grade. Currently, through established and emerging partnerships, Bronwyn and her team are leading and developing The Big Plan, Community United for our children’s success, the latest evolution of United Way Suncoast’s impact in Manatee County.
For the past two years, Bronwyn has been working to establish the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading movement in Manatee County. Now a regional effort including Manatee and Sarasota Counties led by The Patterson Foundation, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and the United Way of Manatee County, the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading works to ensure that children are reading on grade level by the time they leave third grade.
Tampa Bay Area President
Ana Balius, Administrative Assistant, Tampa Bay
As the Tampa Bay Area President for United Way Suncoast, Emery Ivery provides regional leadership in developing strategies to address the root causes of community issues, thereby creating lasting community change in the Tampa Bay region. Emery has nearly 30 years of experience working at United Way, including senior-level management positions in Tacoma, Wash., Orlando, Fla., and his hometown of Cleveland.
In March 2006, Emery brought his talents to United Way Suncoast as the Vice President of Community & Partnership Development, becoming Sr. Vice President in 2009. Emery holds a master’s degree in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University and a bachelor’s degree from Cleveland State University. Emery is an avid reader and runner who lives in Apollo Beach with his wife, Annette.
Sarasota Area President
Abigail Mundt, Administrative Assistant, Sarasota
As Sarasota Area President for United Way Suncoast, Sue provides direction and oversight for United Way Suncoast initiatives in Sarasota and DeSoto counties, leads local staff and serves as an impact partner to area business and community leaders. Sue relocated to the Sarasota area from New Jersey in 2016 and immediately connected with United Way as a volunteer, spearheading the relaunch of its Women United affinity group and joining the Sarasota Area Board.
In 2018, Sue joined the United Way Suncoast staff as Sarasota Area President, transitioning her long-time passion as a donor and volunteer to her professional life here on the Suncoast. Sue has an extensive background in operational excellence and change management which was honed over her nearly two-decade career as an executive with Johnson & Johnson, where she most recently served as Medical Device Transformation Leader and Vice President US Customer Service. In addition, she has held leadership positions with AT&T, United Way of America and more throughout her professional career. As a community volunteer over the past 30 years, Sue has served on numerous Boards and committees.
She served as Board Chair of United Way of Northern New Jersey (UWNNJ) Vice Chair of the UWNNJ Design Team, Chairperson of the UWNNJ Women’s Leadership Council and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for The Center for Great Expectations. She is also a graduate of the Sarasota County Chamber of Commerce Leadership Sarasota Class of 2018. Sue has been recognized with the 2017 UWNNJ Women in Philanthropy Award, 2007 Boy Scouts of America, 2003 Tribute to Women in Industry (TWIN); 1999 and 2000 J&J Health Care Systems Chairman’s Award Recipient; United Way of Somerset County Volunteer Excellence Award; Business and Professional Women, Career Woman of the Year. Sue and her husband Gary have two adult children, Doug and Anya and enjoy all the outdoor activities available while residing in Lakewood Ranch, FL. Sue holds a Master’s in Organizational Dynamics from University of Pennsylvania and a BS Business Administration/Industrial Relations from Seton Hall University.
Resource Development and Workplace Campaigns
Chief Development Officer
Emily Chavez, Administrative Assistant
Gail joined the United Way Suncoast team in 2018 as Chief Development Officer but she is a long-time friend of United Way. Gail leads a diverse development team focused on the engagement, cultivation and stewardship of individual and corporate donors and stakeholders across United Way’s five-county footprint. She works closely with corporate and individual investors to identify initiatives and causes that align with their passions to achieve long-lasting, positive community impact.
Prior to moving to Tampa and joining BNY Mellon, Gail held numerous senior leader positions at Wachovia/Wells Fargo including Regional President and Business Banking Executive roles. Gail is a United Way Tocqueville Society member and also serves with Hospice Women of Philanthropy; University of Tampa Board of Fellows; TBBCA Board Member; American Heart Association, Circle of Red; and American Cancer Society, Cattle Baron Ball Chair. Gail received her BS from the University of Evansville.