UWCE inducts new officers, honors volunteers at Annual Meeting

Posted by: Lisa Clark /


Savannah, GA (March 29, 2017) – United Way of the Coastal Empire thanked organizations, businesses and individuals for their outstanding support and welcomed new officers at its Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon. More than 300 people attended the event held on Wednesday, March 29th at the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa. The event was generously sponsored by Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation.

Outgoing Board Chair Jenny Gentry, senior vice president of Ameris Bank, expressed gratitude to volunteers for their dedicated service to the community through United Way and proudly shared the work the organization has done throughout the past year. Some highlights of United Way’s achievements include:

  • Raised more than $8.6 million, exceeding 2016 campaign goal by more than 3%;
  • Invested in 101 programs across 63 non-profit organizations in Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty counties;
  • Mobilized 4,700 volunteers to read to children, deliver meals to homebound seniors, renovate homes and buildings, and complete other projects. This time is valued at more than $100,000 (based on $23.82/hour).

As a volunteer driven organization, United Way of the Coastal Empire is thankful for all of its volunteers. From becoming a donor to giving their time and talent, volunteers are the foundation of the United Way. During the event, President and CEO Gregg Schroeder presented the Spirit of Community Awards to three extraordinary recipients: Jeff Kole of Kole Management Company; Kris Rice of Children’s Advocacy Center (retired); and Stacy Jennings of Byrd Cookie Company. They were recognized for their exceptional philanthropic commitment to United Way and the community.

The business portion of the Annual Meeting continued with the election of seven community leaders to serve on the Board of Directors, as well as its slate of executive committee members for 2017.

The new board members are: Carol Bell, City of Savannah; Chris Corey, Savannah Morning News; Kelly Crosby, Armstrong State University; Trey Glendye, Colonial Group; Marc Hefner, WSAV-TV; J.D. Hunt, Wicker Park Capital Management; Robin Iannone, Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce; and Austin Sullivan, General Mills (retired).

The 2017 board executive committee is:

  • BOARD CHAIR: Steve Pound, St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System
  • BOARD VICE CHAIR: Toby Moreau, BB&T (retired)
  • IMMEDIATE PAST BOARD CHAIR: Jenny Gentry, Ameris Bank
  • CORPORATE SECRETARY: Cindy Robinett, Seacrest Partners
  • TREASURER AND FINANCE CHAIR: Kelly Crosby, Armstrong State University
  • CAMPAIGN CHAIR: Todd Cellini, South University
  • COMMUNITY INVESTMENTS CHAIR: Jeff O’Connor, First Citizens Bank
  • MARKETING CHAIR: Diana Morrison, Advertising Specialty Services
    Mark Bennett, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation
    Terry Enoch, Savannah-Chatham County Public School System
    Kay Ford, BankSouth

Jenny Gentry concluded her portion of the program by introducing Steve Pound, vice president of Human Resources of St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System, as incoming United Way Board Chair. The meeting ended with the introduction of the 2017 Campaign Chair, Todd Cellini, Ed.D. Dr. Cellini is assistant vice Chancellor for South Campuses and president of South University Savannah. He will be leading United Way’s “One By One” campaign, encouraging individuals to make a difference in the lives of others by giving, advocating, and volunteering for United Way.

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