New leadership appointed for Tocqueville Society, Leaders United, Emerging Leaders United and Women United donor membership groups

Date: September 27, 2017

The dedication, support and power of our membership groups add fuel to our fight for area families and neighborhoods. The membership groups are comprised of individuals with different backgrounds, but all share one goal: improved education, financial stability and health for every person in every community in central Maryland.

The following individuals will carry the flag for United Way and our Tocqueville Society ($10,000 and above), Leaders United ($1,000 and above), Emerging Leaders United ($260 and above) and Women United ($1,000 and above) donor membership groups this year.

Walter (Wally) Pinkard has been named chair, and Mark Huston will serve as vice chair of the Tocqueville Society, which for 30 years has helped shape the future of central Maryland through members’ leadership gifts of $10,000 and more. The Tocqueville Society has invested nearly $8 million in the region in the past 30 years, driving social impact in the areas of education, health, housing and employment.

Born and raised in Baltimore, Pinkard has been active in the commercial real estate business for 40 years. As a senior advisor at Cushman & Wakefield, he provides insight on complex real estate enterprises to his industry professionals. In addition to his executive duties, he has been actively involved in advisory work on behalf of the firm’s significant user and investor clients.

With more than 33 years of experience in the energy utility industry, Mark Huston oversees Constellation’s national retail energy business and is responsible for marketing, sales, fulfillment and product development of energy solutions in support of commercial, industrial and residential customers. Mark has been a leader in Constellation’s retail business since 2006 and has overseen its development into a national leader.

Matthew Beck has been named chair for United Way’s Leaders United group, an extensive network of more than 3,500 generous donors who contribute $1,000 or more to United Way each year to improve education and access to healthy food, keep children and families out of homeless shelters, and get our neighbors in need on the path to self-sufficiency. Vice president and managing director at StevenDouglas, Matt is responsible for the overall leadership of the company’s Baltimore office and also leads the sales, marketing and operations executive search practice nationally.

Whitney Harmel has been named chair, and Elizabeth Paal named vice chair for the Emerging Leaders United (ELU) membership group, which provides unique opportunities for young professionals to give back and make positive, long-lasting change in central Maryland. The group offers members professional development, educational and volunteer opportunities, as well as networking events.

An ELU member since 2014, Whitney Harmel will now serve as chair for the group after serving as vice-chair in 2016. Born and raised in Baltimore County, Harmel was attracted to ELU because of the opportunities the group has provided its members to collaborate with other like-minded young professionals who are driven to make a difference. Whitney currently works for a software integrator headquartered near Boston.

Baltimore-native Elizabeth Paal also shares a deep commitment to central Maryland, which is evident through her involvement with numerous nonprofit organizations in the region. A graduate of Leadership Baltimore County, Elizabeth is the past chair of membership for the Junior League of Baltimore and in 2015 was recognized as one of Maryland’s Finest for raising thousands of dollars to support the mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Lori Villegas and Tere Geckle have been named chair and vice chair for United Way’s Women United, a dynamic group of more than 1,400 local women who donate $1,000 or more and are committed to helping their neighbors in need and stabilizing families facing poverty. As a senior vice president and wealth advisor with Morgan Stanley, Lori has been advising clients for more than 20 years in Baltimore. She specializes in working with business owners and executives, assisting them with risk management, tax planning strategies and creating a plan for financial security.

Born and raised in Baltimore, Tere is the former vice president of Sogeti USA, an information technology services company that has delivered business value and solutions with sector expertise worldwide for more than 45 years. Now retired, Geckle managed client relationships for companies throughout the mid-atlantic region as vice president with the organization.


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For more than 90 years, United Way of Central Maryland has been improving lives in the communities it serves: Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County and Howard County, Maryland.

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