United Way of Central Maryland Launches Search for Leader of the Future

Mark Furst, long-time executive, joins Kennedy Krieger; 

United Way embraces opportunity for change.

BALTIMORE (July 29, 2016) – Jim Wheeler, Chair of the board for United Way of Central Maryland, announced today that the organization will immediately embark on a search for an executive to lead the 91-year-old local nonprofit into the future. This coincides with the departure announcement of long-time United Way executive, Mark S. Furst, who will be take on a senior position at The Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore this fall.

Wheeler said, “Mark has been with us for 12 years.  He has helped redefine United Way’s role and value; we have moved from being primarily a conduit for philanthropic dollars into a bona fide human service organization with a focus on strengthening families and communities across the region. His shoes will be hard to fill. But if there is a right time to embrace the future, to embrace change, to take a fresh look, this is that time.”

Wheeler added, “United Way has a strong reputation; we are in a solid financial position with a newly-adopted strategic plan focused on creating stability for families who are struggling.  We lead a number of nationally recognized programs, and are planning to move our headquarters in the spring to space more aligned with our mission.”

Mark Furst said, “I made a decision in 2004 to move from the world of banking to the realm of nonprofit, community service. While I originally envisioned being at United Way until my last working day, an opportunity arose that I could not pass up.  United Way and Kennedy Krieger are both highly respected organizations with important missions.  It was a difficult personal decision, however, I am excited about continuing to help families and individuals in my new role.”

Furst will remain president and CEO of United Way of Central Maryland through October, assisting with the transition to a new leader, prior to moving to his new role at Kennedy Krieger where he will become Senior Vice President of External Relations working with Lainy Lebow-Sachs, Executive Vice President of External Relations to expand their national reach.

United Way board member Marianne Mattran will spearhead the search committee, which intends to have a successor named well in advance of Furst’s expected departure to ensure a smooth transition.  Mattran said, “Ours is one of the premier nonprofits in our region.  The challenge won’t be finding good candidates, it will be successfully identifying the candidate who best meets the qualifications needed to move the organization forward.”

Wheeler summed up, “We love Mark Furst.  We thank him for all he has done.  Our new CEO will lead the strongest United Way ever.  We have experienced promising early results with our family stability portfolio, supported by our 24-hour 2-1-1 Maryland United Way Helpline.  United Way’s focus going forward will be to expand fundraising, innovation and collaboration so we can change the odds for more local families and their children.”

Media:  Please direct all inquiries to Jim Wheeler – 410-347-8500, email:  jwheeler@asg-architects.com

About United Way of Central Maryland

For 90 years, United Way of Central Maryland has been empowering families to become self-sufficient by focusing on the building blocks of a better life: education, employment, housing and health. Family Stability is at the heart of this work, which includes helping children be successful in school so they graduate with a bright future; ensuring individuals, children and families have a safe, affordable place to call home; helping people find stable employment that brings in enough income to cover the basics and ensuring our neighbors in need have access to healthy, nutritious food and healthcare. All of this work is supported by the 2-1-1 Maryland United Way Helpline, a 24-hour, 7-day a week service that provides information and referrals on a variety of health and human service issues to individuals. Program volunteers answered more than 100,000 calls for help in the last fiscal year. United Way is improving lives in central Maryland communities, but no one can create change alone. That’s why United Way of Central Maryland is encouraging individuals to get their friends, colleagues and others involved, to do more in the community and help more families in central Maryland. Together, United Way of Central Maryland, its supporters and its volunteers can empower more families in the communities it serves: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard Counties and Baltimore City. To learn more about the United Way of Central Maryland, visit www.uwcm.org

United Way of Central Maryland Launches Search for Leader of the Future

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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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