United Way Suncoast Leadership

Office of the President

Jessica Muroff headshot

Jessica Muroff

Chief Executive Officer

Dawn Stuart, Senior Administrative Services Manager

Jessica Muroff, one of the area’s most recognized and successful nonprofit and civic leaders, serves as United Way Suncoast’s chief executive officer.

Muroff joined United Way Suncoast in November 2019 after establishing a record of transformative change as the CEO of Girl Scouts of West Central Florida (2015-2019) and the CEO of Frameworks of Tampa Bay (2013-2015). She has extended her list of professional achievements since assuming the top role at UWS, an organization committed to creating lasting community change in its five-county region: Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, and DeSoto.

In her relatively short tenure at United Way Suncoast, Muroff has helped UWS refresh its brand, galvanized the community in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, and guided the creation of a new strategic vision for the organization.

The colorful rebrand, done in partnership with ChappelRoberts, earned raves for its distinct and bold colors, and it coincides with the adoption of a new mantra: United We Rise, United We Win. The new brand exemplifies how United Way Suncoast unifies its communities, and the bold look reflects Muroff’s belief in bold solutions.

Her leadership proved a beacon in the spring of 2020 as she underscored United Way Suncoast’s role as a convener and helped the organization raise $1.9 million in six short weeks to elevate pandemic relief. Every dollar raised for COVID assistance went back out to United Way Suncoast’s strategic community partners and other nonprofits.

Internally, Muroff has played a pivotal role in reorganizing the UWS staff and reinvigorating its culture. Muroff and her leadership team drew high marks in a staff employee survey for creating a welcoming workplace environment that UWS employees would overwhelmingly recommend.

The new strategic vision, a collaborative effort involving Muroff, staff, and board members, will help UWS lead the region in delivering a transformational impact and creating a meaningful difference. It also reflects a commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity, values that Muroff personally and professionally embraces.

Muroff’s latest list of UWS accomplishments points to a brighter future for the organization, but they don’t come as a surprise to those who have followed her ascension as a Suncoast leader. She’s utilizing the same skill set that has helped her enjoy success at other stops: nonprofit executive experience, business savvy, and community care.

In her four years at the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida, Muroff led a nonprofit that served nearly 19,500 girls and nearly 8,500 adult members in Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, and Sumter counties. Her efforts included creating Camp CEO, a leadership seminar that allowed aspiring teenage girls to network with some of the region’s top women leaders. At Frameworks of Tampa Bay,  she helped the social and emotions learning advocacy group increase the number of youth served, developed new partnerships, and increased community recognition.

Muroff also has worked on the corporate side as a Raymond James Financial manager of account services, marketing director at Saks Fifth Avenue, and account executive at Roberts Communications.

Operations

Bemetra Simmons

Chief Strategy and Operations Officer

Karen Fandrick, Administrative Assistant, Operations

Long-time banking executive, Bemetra Simmons has joined United Way Suncoast as Chief Strategy and Operations Officer. Bemetra brings a strong background in finance, operations, and strategy to the organization.

Bemetra most recently served as Florida Managing Director at Mutual of Omaha Bank. In her position, her primary role has been to grow the Bank’s portfolio as well as to raise the Bank’s profile through community and civic engagement. She has worked in financial services for over 15 years.  Prior to Mutual of Omaha, she began her professional career as an Account Manager with WorldCom and served as a Global Account Manager for AT&T Global Services.  She attended Christian Brothers University in Memphis, TN on a basketball scholarship and received a B.S. in Business Administration. She then earned her MBA from Wake Forest University.

Resource Development

Kari Goetz

Chief Advancement Officer

Daria Harrison, Administrative Assistant, Resource Development

Kari Goetz is no stranger to reinvention and change. An actor in professional film, television, and stage productions from the time she was 10 years old, Kari has had a colorful and unique path to leadership.

Most recently, Kari was the Vice President of External Relations and Marketing for The Florida Aquarium. Under her leadership, she raised the profile of the Aquarium and set historic revenue and attendance records for the beloved institution. Previously, she was the first director of marketing for Tampa International Airport and managed extraordinary growth and route expansion.

Kari has been an audience development professional for the Straz Center, and she still performs and directs with Stageworks Theatre and Jobsite Theater. A Second City Hollywood founder, Kari uses her love of improv comedy to build workshops and MBA programs for students and business leaders at USF and Wayne State University.

Community Impact Officers

Bronwyn Beightol

Chief Impact Officer – Early Learning & Youth Success

Jennifer Giresi, Manager, Special Projects and Operations, Sarasota/Manatee/DeSoto

As Chief Impact Officer 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.

Emery Ivery

Chief Impact Officer – Financial Stability & Support Services

Dawn Stuart, Senior Administrative Services Manager, Tampa Bay

As the Chief Impact Officer 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.

Marketing​ and Communications

James C. Gillen

Chief Marketing and Communications Officer

Karen Fandrick, Administrative Assistant

As the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Jim is responsible for creating the strategic vision for United Way Suncoast’s overall marketing and communications function, as well as steward the organization’s brand reputation in the communities served by United Way Suncoast and our strategic community partners. He provides vision, leadership, and direction for all United Way Suncoast’s (UWS) communications. He is responsible for leading the development and execution of comprehensive, multi-faceted communications and marketing programs that maintain and augment UWS’s position as a leading Non-Profit in the Suncoast Region and steward the organization’s brand, strengthen the public profile of UWS and engage the public.

Prior to joining United Way Suncoast, Jim most recently served as Chief Executive Officer of a multi-channel media and public relations firm that worked with Fortune 1000 clients across the United States. Jim has held senior marketing leadership positions with organizations in the manufacturing, advertising, non-profit and financial industries throughout his career.

Human Resources

Jennifer McIntosh

Chief Talent Officer

Karen Fandrick, Administrative Assistant, Operations

As Chief Talent Officer for United Way Suncoast, Jen leads the talent function and ensure strategic emphasis is placed on advancing the organization’s culture, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives, and a host of other initiatives to ensure the organization’s, our employees’, and our communities needs are best served. She is passionate about building diverse teams and fostering workplace cultures that contribute to individual and organizational success.

Jen began her career in the mental health field, contributing at a leadership level to several facets of operations including human resources, quality improvement, and risk management. Her experience also includes many years of providing global human resources leadership for a non-profit membership association in the higher education industry.

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