HomeBensalem TimesHundreds gather for United for Good Celebration

Hundreds gather for United for Good Celebration

United Way of Bucks County president/CEO Marissa Christie outlined several commitments for the future


United Way of Bucks County hosted its first United for Good celebration on Friday, May 6, bringing almost 400 participants together in-person and online. During the event, presented by Penn Community Bank, the nonprofit announced its new slate of board officers and its goal for the coming year.

Paul Bencivengo, president and COO of Visit Bucks County and formerly vice chair, Nominating Committee, is succeeding Catherine McElroy as board chair. McElroy, who has served in various leadership roles on the board since 2012, is remaining involved with the organization.

“As the new chair, I’m humbled to continue to work alongside this amazing board and support the hardworking UWBC team as we work to end homelessness, fight hunger, expand education and stabilize families in Bucks County,” said Bencivengo.

Jeane Vidoni, president and CEO at Penn Community Bank, is continuing as vice chair of Community Impact, a position she has held since 2016. Vidoni leads the region’s largest locally run, independent mutual bank.

Kristen Elder, CPA and finance leader with a long history in the pharmaceutical industry, is serving as the organization’s treasurer.

Bernard Tynes, senior vice president and director of marketing at Penn Community Bank, is taking on the role of vice chair, Nominating Committee.

Karen Johnson-Susko, global customer care director at Suez Water Technologies & Solutions, is serving as corporate secretary.

Newly elected board members include Paul Braun, director of development, Comcast Technology Solutions; Matt Hanson, VP – senior regional manager, Police and Fire Federal Credit Union; Dana Weissenberg, publisher/owner, Newtown Lifestyle; Carrie Nork Minelli, director of advertising and public relations, Parx Casino; and Dr. Michelle Burroughs, senior vice president and chief diversity officer, WSFS Bank.

During the event, the nonprofit announced that Sen. Bob Casey secured $220,000 in congressionally directed spending for United Way of Bucks County’s HELP Center.

“The HELP Center is an essential community resource, but the truth is that we sometimes struggle to keep up with demand,” said Marissa Christie, president and CEO at United Way of Bucks County. “Thanks to Sen. Casey’s support, we will be able to continue meeting the needs of some of our most vulnerable friends and neighbors.”

Christie also looked toward the future, announcing three commitments. First, the nonprofit is expanding access to early education scholarships. This includes doubling the amount available for the children of veteran, reservist or active-duty military families.

Second, the LIFT United pilot program – a collaboration with the County of Bucks and Penn Community Bank – will launch by the end of the year. In addition to providing financial literacy, it will make secured, low-interest car loans available for ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) families who need transportation to get to work.

Third, the nonprofit will spend the next year planning for the future of the HELP Center. All stakeholders, including the board, staff, collaborators, donors, advocates, volunteers and service recipients are invited to participate in the visioning process.

Visit uwbucks.org or call 215-949-1660 for more information.

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