May 23, 2017

UNITED WAY CELEBRATES CAMPAIGN SUCCESS, Announces Campaign Awards; Honors Martha Maksym with Impact Award; Introduces new CEO Jesse Bridges

View a pdf version of the press release and list of 2016 Campaign Award Winners.

May 24, 2017 (South Burlington, VT): A crowd of over 300 gathered at Dion Family Student Center at St. Michael’s College to celebrate the success of United Way’s annual Community Campaign. At the event, Campaign Co-Chair Brigette White announced that the organization raised nearly $4 million to support local programs, strategic initiatives and volunteer recruitment efforts in Franklin, Grand Isle and Chittenden Counties. United Way then presented five annual awards to individuals and businesses deserving of recognition for their campaign participation and dedication to United Way’s mission, and honored former Executive Director Martha Maksym as the recipient of the 2017 Community Impact Award. In addition, the organization introduced incoming CEO Jesse Bridges to United Way supporters and friends.

Welcoming attendees, President of the Board of Directors Tammy Johnson congratulated everyone on a successful first year as United Way of Northwest Vermont. “It’s been a big year of change and fresh opportunity – I hope you all share my sense of accomplishment and gratitude for all that we’ve done together this year,” said Johnson. “One year ago, we celebrated the merger of two distinct United Ways. We turned our eyes toward the first unified Community Campaign for United Way of Northwest Vermont and we prepared for change together. Since then, we have embraced and achieved so much.”

Interim Director Molly Lambert presented the highly coveted Community Impact Award, which honors extraordinary individuals and organizations that positively impact our community. The 2017 award was presented to former United Way Executive Director Martha Maksym, who resigned January 5, 2017 to accept the Governor-appointed role of Deputy Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Human Services for the State of Vermont. As she presented the award, Lambert listed a number of the initiatives, collaborations and partnerships that Maksym participated in during more than 20 years of service with United Way. “This year’s Community Impact Award winner is the definition of a change agent. A voice for those unheard. A trailblazer. A conversation starter. Someone unafraid to speak truth to power.” said Lambert. “Here is just a sliver of all the leadership and engagement work contributed during 20+ years of dedicated service: the Champlain Initiative; Leadership Champlain Board; the Chittenden County Opioid Alliance; the “Housing is Healthcare – 100,000 homes project”; the Truancy Project; the Burlington Street Outreach Project; the Funders Collaborative; Women United; and, the formation of the United Way of Northwest Vermont.”

“We present our annual Community Impact Award to recognize someone who has made an extraordinary difference in the lives of people in our community – this award celebrates what happens when we work every day to make life in our region and in our state better for everyone who lives here. Support for honoring Martha with this award came from all quarters,” said Lambert, proudly.
To celebrate the success of the 2016 Community Campaign, United Way Campaign Managers Cari Kelley and Paula Short, announced the workplace campaign award winners. Perrigo Nutritionals was awarded Campaign of the Year for hosting a campaign that more than doubled the amount raised by the company over previous years and achieving the highest year-to-year dollar growth of any organization in all three counties of Northwest Vermont. In her awards presentation, Short said, “We recognize the Campaign of the Year because they are active in the asking in their own campaign, but more importantly they motivate and inspire. This company demonstrated generous corporate giving.”

The campaign committee of Vermont Energy Investment Corporation and Cathy Chamberlain, from the City of Burlington were named Keypersons of the Year for leading their company’s campaign to overwhelming success. TruexCullins was honored with the annual LIVE UNITED Award for engaging the whole community in the United Way call to action to Give, Advocate and Volunteer throughout the year. Marathon Health took home the Affinity Award for exceptional campaign participation and leadership.

Tammy Johnson, President of the United Way of Northwest Vermont Board of Directors, also honored retiring board members Michael Seaver, Ted Castle, Jeff McMahon, and Brigette White for their many years of service.

The event was supported by presenting sponsor TD Bank, supporting sponsor Free Press Media, and a number of tickets were made available free of charge by Golden Ticket sponsors Dinse, Knapp & McAndrew; Hickok & Boardman Companies; Mutual of America; Paul Frank + Collins; PC Construction; University of Vermont; and University of Vermont Medical Center.

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To truly make a change, we MUST work together. Now is the time to raise the bar and expect a better quality of life for our neighbors who struggle. If we all give the best way we can, we can make our community the best it can be. There’s a place for everyone at our table – join us and get involved in a way that’s meaningful for you.