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Alicia Wilson and Trif Alatzas to lead United Way of Central Maryland’s 2019 Fundraising Efforts

The Baltimore civic leader and Baltimore Sun Publisher will serve as campaign co-chairs May 10, 2021

BALTIMORE, Md. (Sept. 23, 2019) – United Way of Central Maryland announced that Alicia Wilson, newly appointed vice president for economic development of Johns Hopkins, and Trif Alatzas, publisher and editor-in-chief of Baltimore Sun Media, will serve as co-chairs of the nonprofit’s 2019 fundraising efforts.

Together, Wilson and Alatzas represent leadership from two sectors that have fueled United Way of Central Maryland’s successes in the region: corporate engagement and community outreach. Over the course of the next year, they will work to inspire area businesses, individuals, and organizations to ignite change and support United Way’s work to improve the education, financial stability, and health of people in every community across central Maryland.

Wilson, an East Baltimore native with a passion for building relationships between public, private, and nonprofit organizations, leads the newly created Office of Economic Development at Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Health System. In this role, Wilson drives Johns Hopkins’ commitment to improving Baltimore residents’ lives. She brings a history of success in community engagement and economic development through her past roles with Sagamore Development and Gordon Feinblatt, and in 2017, she was named a Baltimore Business Journal 40 Under 40 honoree for her pivotal work in the redevelopment of Port Covington.

“I love Baltimore. I grew up in Baltimore and am proud to make my home here. I wake up every day inspired to create and support new opportunities for our city,” Wilson said. “As a servant for the public good, taking on this role as co-chair of United Way of Central Maryland’s 2019 fundraising drives is an extension of the work I’m already doing as an advocate and servant in my community. Trif and I will collaborate to align United Way with the greatest needs of the community and motivate those who can help make things happen to join us to fuel positive change.”

Alatzas, a Baltimore native and a 17-year veteran of The Baltimore Sun, was named the publisher and editor-in-chief of Baltimore Sun Media in March 2016. In addition to The Sun, Maryland’s largest daily news organization, Baltimore Sun Media publishes over 20 central Maryland news sources, including The Capital, Carrol County Times, and The Aegis. Under Alatzas’ leadership, The Sun, The Capital and other Baltimore Sun Media publications have received national attention and awards for their work, including investigative journalism, editorial writing, and digital reporting. In the community, Alatzas serves on the board of directors for the Greater Baltimore Committee and the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore.

“The Baltimore Sun is a long-time partner of United Way of Central Maryland and I am pleased to co-chair this year’s campaign with Alicia,” Alatzas said. “With the current spotlight on Baltimore and a real need to create lasting change here, our focus is on assisting families in our community who are in need. United Way is a catalyst for change and I encourage businesses and individuals to join us in these efforts to help individuals and families transform their lives across the region.”

Wilson and Alatzas will collaborate with a United Way steering committee of community-based leaders from Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, and Howard counties and Baltimore City. These local leaders will provide awareness and insight into the unique needs of each area.

According to the 2018 ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) report, 38 percent of residents across Maryland can’t afford basic needs like housing, childcare, food, transportation, and healthcare. United Way is committed to reducing this statistic. More than 2,000 families have avoided homelessness through the organization’s direct-service programs, and more than 80,000 callers received assistance through the 2-1-1 Maryland United Way Helpline last year. To increase its impact, United Way is supporting today’s donor and volunteer needs by offering new and innovative solutions to—and with—corporate partners. With Salesforce, it’s created Philanthropy Cloud, a highly customizable engagement platform fueled by artificial intelligence that connects employees to the causes they care about the most. With Lyft, it’s offering free rides via its 2-1-1 Helpline to people in need of food, medical, and public benefits assistance.

With the funds raised from the 2019 campaign, United Way of Central Maryland will provide families with tools and resources to achieve financial stability, secure and safe housing, support for their children’s education, and to improve access to healthy food, and jobs that pay the bills.

“No one knows the intricacies of Baltimore and its many communities and neighborhoods better than Alicia Wilson. She is a product and child of Baltimore. And Trif, as a Baltimore boy, born in the city and raised in the county, is a born storyteller, having shared many of Baltimore’s trials and its victories over the years,” said Franklyn Baker, president and CEO of United Way of Central Maryland. “Each is a strong advocate for our region and its residents. With the start of this new fundraising drive, we plan to help even more families in our community. We are grateful to have two proven leaders driving this year’s efforts, and we’re especially proud that they are both Baltimore natives. It’s a testament to the vast talent we have here in Baltimore and a message to future leaders that the most powerful change in our region comes from those who know and love it.”

For more information about United Way of Central Maryland’s work or to ignite change by contributing to the 2019 campaign, visit

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United Way of Central Maryland makes our communities stronger. We work directly with families and individuals to keep them in their homes and out of shelters, with kids who are falling behind in school, and with people who need healthy food and jobs that pay the bills. We achieve all this with the help of our partners: volunteers, donors, other nonprofits and area businesses who share our passion for making lives and neighborhoods stable and healthier.


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