Our Staff

President & Chief Executive Officer, LoAnn Ayers

LoAnn became President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of Benton & Franklin Counties in July 2016. She ensures that the resources entrusted to our United Way get maximum benefit to improve lives in our community. Her formal affiliation with United Way began in 2007 as a Board member; she served as Board Chair in 2011 and 2012. She has been an active member of our community for 30 years and has an extensive background in developing partnerships and growing resources.  LoAnn holds an MBA and Doctorate in Leadership from Washington State University. 

Chief Operating Officer, George Woodward

George joined United Way in 2016. He previously served as a Chief Information Officer and brings a broad set of management experience in information technology, higher education, and healthcare to the United Way team. George holds an MBA from Washington State University.

Chief Financial Officer, Lauri Roberts, CPA

Lauri joined United Way in 2006. Her role is to direct and monitor the internal financial and information technology systems. She also ensures United Way’s policies, procedures, and corporate documents are current. Lauri’s background includes public accounting specializing in both for-profit and not-for-profit auditing, and corporate finance. Lauri is a Certified Public Accountant, a member of the American Institute for Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Washington Society of Certified Public Accountants (WSCPA). She is a graduate of Washington State University Tri-Cities with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration.

Director of Philanthropy and Major Gifts, Kim Burks

Kim joined United Way in 2012. She is responsible for planning, coordinating, and directing all fundraising efforts related to United Way’s annual campaign. She manages campaign business and individual donor accounts and oversees the Resource Development staff. Kim also manages United Way’s Cornerstone Program and Young Leaders Society. She holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Washington State University.

Community Engagement Manager, Alix Hilton

Alix joined United Way in 2017. She manages United Way's marketing, communications, and community engagement functions. Alix relocated from Boise, Idaho, where she served as Program Manager with the Idaho Meth Project. In 2016, she was nominated for Boise's "Top 40 Under 40" through the Boise Young Professionals' leadership program. Alix holds three Bachelor's Degrees from the University of Idaho.

Donor Relations and Accounting Manager, Carol Brandner

Carol joined United Way in 2002. She is responsible for financial disbursements, including payroll, accounts payable and accounts receivable. Carol also handles the payment of funds designated by donors to specific not-for-profit organizations. Carol's experience includes a variety of financial functions, customer relations, and procedures development and implementation. She is a graduate of Gonzaga University with a Bachelor's Degree in Operations and Information Systems.

Database Specialist, Amy Boaro

Amy joined United Way in 2016. She is responsible for administering the donor database and analyzing data from United Way's initiatives to help determine how to best serve our community. Amy has a background in Microbial Ecology and did her PhD and post-doctorate work with large biological datasets. Amy holds a PhD in Engineering Science from Washington State University.

Workplace Campaign Manager, Heather Gilliam

Heather joined United Way in 2017. She is responsible for planning, coordinating, and directing fundraising efforts related to United Way's workplace campaign management. She comes from a background in non-profit fundraising and event planning and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing from Washington State University.

Operations Coordinator, Jo Breneman

Jo joined United Way in 2013. She is responsible for administrative functions including office organizational procedures, equipment, and facility operations. Jo also supervises and coordinates United Way work study students and volunteers. In addition, she manages set-up and scheduling for the on-campus community training center and United Way in-house events and meetings. Jo holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Montana.

Commmunity Impact Associate, Angela Torres

Angela joined United Way in 2016. She is responsible for supporting the planning, implementation, and monitoring of United Way's community impact. She develops relationships in the community and helps invest in priority services to support the growing number of people in need across our local community. Angela holds a Bachelor's Degree in Management and Operation from Washington State University Tri-Cities.

Marketing Associate, Melani St. John

Melani joined United Way in 2015. She supports all marketing and communications efforts including creating United Way's informational materials, planning and implementing public events, and assisting with audio and video projects. She also helps maintain United Way's website and social media platforms. Melani has extensive experience in graphic design and professional writing. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Visual Communication from Western Washington University.