Nearly three years ago, I began an incredible journey as president and CEO of United Way for Southeastern Michigan. With support from foundations, corporate and individual donors, agency partners and staff, the organization has been able to continue its commitment toward addressing social complexities faced by individuals and families in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties.
As many may know, prior to joining United Way I spent my entire career focused on the needs of children and families as a pediatrician, business administrator and executive officer of a health system. Representatives from Wayne State University School of Medicine approached me with the opportunity to serve as chairman of their Department of Pediatrics. After many weeks of thoughtful consideration, as well as conversations with university leaders and my family, I accepted the offer.
I will be transitioning from United Way into this new role, which begins in January. I will be stepping into the role knowing that I am continuing to make a difference in the lives of children, while remaining steadfast in my commitment to help strengthen our community— I will always Live United.
The United Way Board has begun implementing the organization’s CEO Succession Plan to fill my position and ensure continuity of the work and its impact to the communities we serve. Tanya Heidelberg-Yopp will serve as interim CEO and Tonya Allen — United Way board member and President and CEO of the Skillman Foundation — will chair a CEO search committee. I have great confidence in my United Way family who will continue to work every day to build healthy communities where everyone has access to a quality education and good jobs. We will get there with the help of our supporters, and I encourage each and every one reading this to find ways to give, advocate and volunteer. We can only make progress by working together.
I have been honored to lead at United Way for Southeastern Michigan, and I thank you for putting your trust in me.
Herman B. Gray, MD, MBA