While we celebrate women all year round, March is officially National Women’s History Month. And it’s important we highlight the pivotal role women have played – especially at United Way of New York City. Here, in the Big Apple, our executive board is completely made up of women whose passion for United Way’s work drives results day in and day out.
Meet Sheena Wright. Taking the reins the same day Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012, Sheena became the first woman to lead United Way of New York City in its nearly 80-year history! With a large task at hand, to jumpstart her new role, Sheena met the challenge by raising $11 million in hurricane disaster relief. In her tenure as President and CEO, Sheena has lead a transformation of the organization – actualizing a Collective Impact strategy, and refocusing UWNYC’s support of low-income New Yorkers towards self-sufficiency. In 2013, Wright spearheaded ReadNYC, the flagship initiative of UWNYC to strengthen families and improve grade-level reading by third grade in our City’s most-challenged communities.
Lesleigh W. Irish-Underwood. Joining United Way of New York City in 2014, the Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer plays another pivotal role for UWNYC. With over 24 years of publishing experience in brand marketing, content management/creation, advertising, public relations, and digital/social media, Lesleigh is charged with crafting cutting-edge marketing strategies to enhance the recognition of the UWNYC brand. Her work, in helping put a spotlight on the organization, helps bring UWNYC’s mission to light.
Working closely with the executive leadership team and other stakeholders, Jacqueline D. Jenkins helps with strategy development, execution and monitoring progress, as UWNYC’s Senior Vice President and Chief Impact & Strategy Officer. She is a masterful change facilitator and coach to both individuals and teams in, and outside of the workplace. She also frequently collaborates with thought leaders in urban education, philanthropy, and organizational development and design.
Joining UWNYC almost two years ago, Madelyn Chapman became the Associate Vice President, Office of the President. Her role is significant in that she supports the President and CEO in developing and driving strategic business agenda for the organization. Madelyn brings over 25 years of experience as the right hand to visionary leaders of innovative non-profits and social enterprises.
Beginning her career managing HUD properties and providing direct services for low-income seniors in Pennsylvania, Meaghan Brown initially joined United Way in Greater Philadelphia Area before joining the New York City team. She has played a key role in catalyzing philanthropy among Millennials through her leadership of United Way’s Affinity Groups, including Young Leaders Council and Emerging Philanthropists in Philadelphia.
In 2016, Gina Goodenow became the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for United Way of New York City – bringing over 20 years of experience in public accounting and non-profit management. Also prior to joining UWNYC, Gina worked as the Controller of the March of Dimes where she oversaw the financial reporting progress of the $200+ million entity.
Together, this dream team of women spread United Way's mission throughout our beloved city. Learn more about UWNYC's United Women and join fellow inspiring women doing philanthropic work, today.