United Way Staff Members
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.
Workplace Campaign Manager, Christy Rasmussen
Christy joined United Way in 2017. She is responsible for planning, coordinating, and directing fundraising efforts related to United Way's workplace campaign management. In 2012 she was chosen as the Tri-Cities Hispanic Chamber Latina Educator of the year. She holds a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from Heritage University.
Workplace Campaign Manager, Heather Farnworth
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.
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.
Community Solutions Manager, Gracie Valle-Chimal
Gracie joined United Way in 2015. She is responsible for the planning, development, and implementation of Community Solutions, a region-wide human service approach that identifies, prioritizes, and addresses our community’s most pressing needs. Gracie also facilitates a volunteer process for the distribution of United Way’s Community Investment Fund within the priority areas of the Community Solutions Plan. She is bilingual and has experience in public relations, marketing, broadcasting, Spanish media production, event planning, community engagement, partnerships, and involvement in schools. Gracie holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Humanities from Washington State University.
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.
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.
Special Projects Coordinator, Sue Arnoldus
Sue joined United Way in 2015 and assists with special projects throughout the organization. Her two areas of focus are the HELPer Project (Healthy Eating & Living Partners - education + resources), which supports childhood nutrition and family financial self-sufficiency, and Birth 2 Five. Sue has experience in health and human services program management, early childhood learning, and conducting community assessments. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business and Psychology from Eastern Oregon University.
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.
Finance Assistant, Angela Torres
Angela joined United Way in 2016. She supports finance and accounting functions related to the operation of the organization, including accounts payable and receivable. Angela holds a Bachelor's Degree in Management and Operation from Washington State University Tri-Cities.