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United Way of Central Maryland Honors Partners in Change with 10th Annual Frank Miller Spirit of Partnership Award


Organizations and individuals honored for their dedication and commitment to the community; Charlene Moore Hayes receives Clementine Peterson Award.

Baltimore, MD (June 30, 2022)United Way of Central Maryland celebrated its partners for their work to drive positive change for their communities. At this year’s annual meeting, the 10th Annual Frank Miller Spirit of Partnership award was given to three organizations and an individual to recognize their work to promote equity and increase access to life’s basic needs.

“Our partnerships with fellow nonprofit organizations, local corporations, and individuals fuel our work to improve lives and communities across Greater Baltimore,” said Franklyn Baker, president and CEO, United Way of Central Maryland. “This year’s Frank Miller Spirit of Partnership awardees are truly helping us to spark something bigger for our neighbors and the neighborhoods they call home.”

The Frank Miller Spirit of Partnership award was established in 2013 and honors those organizations and individuals who exemplify the highest ideals of working in partnership with United Way on the community’s behalf. Honorees included:

  • Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development

  • Corporate Office Properties Trust

  • Plano-Coudon

  • Nette Stokes, Founder, Just Living Advocacy, Inc.

“This group has helped us expand programs like our successful Family Center model in Brooklyn to other areas in our region, they have helped us stem the rising tide of evictions across the region, and they have helped us reach more neighbors, with more assistance, than ever before,” added Baker.

“We want to make sure that families have the ability to work, to play, for kids to go to school, and to be able to come home at night and build memories together,” said Danielle Meister, senior policy officer, homelessness initiatives, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. “None of that is possible without safe and stable housing. Our partnership with the United Way Strategic Targeted Eviction Prevention (STEP) program has been amazing. We started with a small pilot in Baltimore County, which has now grown across the whole central Maryland region, and we’ve been able to serve thousands of families with rental assistance at a time when it is really needed.”

“One of our key principles as a company is to be engaged with the communities that we serve,” said Steve Budorick, president and CEO, Corporate Office Properties Trust. “Working with United Way on the new Columbia Family Center has allowed us to help Howard County and help United Way. It’s my personal view that the highest calling of society is to protect and educate our children, and with this project, we’re able to do that through our partnership with United Way.”

“One of our core values is community,” said Cliff Milstead, division leader, Plano-Coudon. “We’re a Baltimore-based company, and we want to support our local neighborhoods. We think that value aligns with United Way’s mission to improve lives. As builders, we had the opportunity to help United Way create an outdoor learning environment at the Brooklyn Family Center. We are able to help in a tangible way that supports United Way’s programs and really brings them to life.”

“We want to make sure the neighborhoods within certain communities know that there are resources available to them, whether housing, food, or childcare,” said Nette Stokes, founder, Just Living Advocacy, Inc. “Places like United Way’s Family Centers can really be the difference in the social development of a child. United Way is not about just putting on a band-aid—they’re about creating spaces and channels that can help parents elevate themselves to the next level where they can continue to succeed. And that’s why I will continue to partner with United Way.”

United Way of Central Maryland’s Clementine Peterson Award was first endowed in 1971 to recognize the contributions of female volunteers. Mrs. Peterson wanted to ensure that the enormous contributions made by women were recognized, and Charlene Hayes, the awardee of the 52nd Annual Clementine Peterson Award, has been a remarkable United Way volunteer leader for more than a decade.

Her numerous volunteer roles with United Way of Central Maryland have included positions on the Baltimore City Region United Network (RUN) Advisory Board and its Board of Directors, where her counsel was sought after for committees including the most recent Executive Search, the organization’s Strategic Planning and Executive Committees, and its Governance Committee. Ms. Hayes has become a trusted leader, advisor and mentor to many.

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United Way of Central Maryland helps the working poor and those in poverty access basic needs like housing, healthcare, jobs, and education. The nonprofit’s programs promote equity, create opportunity, and improve the lives of our neighbors and the neighborhoods they call home. For nearly 100 years, United Way has tackled the toughest challenges in Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties. Learn more at