United Way organizations announce merger plans

·2 min read

Jul. 14—Two area United Way organizations have announced their merger, in a move that affects two other area counties.

According to a media release, the boards of directors of the Chenango United Way Inc. and the United Way of Madison County have approved the formal affiliation of their two agencies effective July 1, with the intent to complete an application for merger in the first quarter of 2023. The announcement culminates nearly three years of discussions and follows a recommendation by a joint task force with representation from both boards, the release said.

In a joint statement, CUW Board Chair Jennifer Telesky and UWMC Board Chair Ethan White said, "We are very excited to be making this announcement. Bringing our United Way organizations together will help us to build a stronger and more collaborative network to more effectively address regional rural health and human service needs and mobilize more resources for our counties."

The affiliated organization "will continue to champion the unique identities and needs of each of the counties it serves with campaign dollars being raised and allocated in separate Chenango and Madison regions," the release said.

"Keeping dollars local is what United Way is all about," Telesky said in the release. "We remain focused on continuing that tradition under the affiliation model."

White added, "This was a key concept in the discussions held by our joint task force, and we believe this model will best serve individuals and families in our rural communities."

The CUW and UWMC Boards also voted to approve leadership by Elizabeth Monaco, who was recruited as executive director for the Chenango United Way in 1999.

Previous United Way of Madison County Executive Director Denise Laube served more than 33 years in the position and retired in late March 2022, the release said. She played a role in the affiliation discussions. "I'm excited about this new opportunity for our United Way," Laube said. "Joining with the Chenango United Way will help us to reach so many more donors and fund so many more local programs than we could have done by ourselves."

"Coming together in this way will provide us with efficiencies that can be invested in programs to better serve people in need, the opportunity to boost fundraising revenue across the region, and the ability to strengthen community outcomes with enhanced accountability and transparency for our donors," Monaco said. "There is so much untapped potential in Madison County, and I can't wait to get started."

The Chenango United Way affiliated with the United Way of Delaware and Otsego Counties in July 2021. As a result of the new affiliation with UWMC, the three affiliated United Ways will now serve more than 224,000 people in a four-county region. A merger of the three affiliated United Ways is expected in early 2023, at which time a new name for the four-county organization will be announced.