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Greetings from Your Women's Leadership Council Co-Chairs

Welcome to the July/August issue of the WLC-Suite! As we kick off a new fundraising year at United Way of New York City (UWNYC) to fuel our ReadNYC work, I am so pleased to share that Jeanine Khoury of Brown Brothers Harriman is officially joining me as Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) Co-Chair. Jeanine brings tremendous leadership and enthusiasm to our ReadNYC charge.

I am equally excited that this summer has been so impact-focused: ReadNYC’s Once Upon a Summer program (a five-week summer reading intensive) just wrapped up its fourth year—an achievement that your support has helped make happen. Thank you for your enduring commitment to empowering families living in our City’s most-challenged communities.


Elizabeth Wahab Jeanine R. Khoury

Spotlight on Our New WLC Executive Committee Member: Johanna Belda Baek


With a passion for education, Johanna Belda Baek joins our Executive Committee. Born in Brazil, she used to teach English in Brazil’s favelas—working-class shantytowns. So, when she visited ReadNYC’s Once Upon a Summer program in Mott Haven, she "was touched to learn about the impact." She reflects: "One of the parents…was ecstatic when she talked about how her son, who didn’t enjoy reading before joining the program, now can’t put a book down! Because of the skills he’s picked up, he has been able to skip a grade and has served as an inspiration for his siblings."

When she’s not helping to lead the WLC, Johanna is the Director, Cross Channel Strategy, US Consumer Services at American Express, where she runs the Cross Channel Strategy team in the Consumer Products & Services division. Prior to joining AMEX in 2011, she worked at Google and The Boston Consulting Group. Johanna holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a dual BA degree in Business, Economics and Literature from Brown University.

ReadNYC Round-Up


Once Upon an Incredible Community Visit

"She sees her brothers reading. Every time she turns around, my oldest is with a comic book or a different book. And so she gets a book too," said Deysi, a ReadNYC parent about her baby girl’s budding love of reading, at a UWNYC community visit on August 2 in the South Bronx. The visit gave UWNYC's volunteer leadership, like WLC members, the chance to see how their investments in this community are unlocking families’ potentials.


Easing the Real Costs of Back to School

Did you know on average parents will spend $500 per child this back-to-school season? To lend a cost-relieving hand while equipping kids with the tools they need to charge back to class ready to learn, UWNYC is running its annual "Build a Backpack, Grow a Reader" back-to-school drive. As part of the effort, on August 15, we teamed up to sort and prep mountains of donated school supplies and backpacks.


Spread the Words Campaign on Captivate

Do you enjoy Captivate in your office elevator? If yes, guess what! Starting Monday, August 28, UWNYC’s Spread the Words campaign to support ReadNYC will be part of your Captivate entertainment, so be sure to tune in next time you hop in the lift.

The Power of Women in Action


Valerie White: A New Voice for Women United

Congratulations to our Women’s Leadership Council Executive Committee member, Valerie White. United Way Worlwide's Women United Global Leadership Council appointed her their new Big-Apple representative!


Cheryl Levesque: Fortifying the Power of Women Network

On June 20, WLC member Cheryl Levesque brought women executives together for a panel event at Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP (a UWNYC partner) as part of their women’s network, Women Forward. There, panelists—including WLC member Elena Wu of The Guardian Life Insurance Company—shared insights on achieving success in an ever-changing environment of regulatory compliance, information technology, and consumer preference, as well as tackling known social and gender issues.


Sheena Wright Named to 50 Most Powerful Women List

On June 26, Crain's New York Business named Sheena Wright, President & CEO, UWNYC, one of the 50 Most Powerful Women 2017 in NYC.

On the Ground Impact: Empowering Female Job Seekers


On August 22, Bank of Montreal’s (BMO) Women in a Supported Environment (WISE) Employee Resource Group, teamed up with us to share their professional expertise with women setting out on their job searches. Volunteers reviewed resumes and conducted mock interviews for participants in Coalition for the Homeless's First Step Job Training Program to help sharpen their job skills and boost their confidence. 

Let’s Do Lunch…in 2018


Want to make a special impact during UWNYC’s 80th Anniversary year? Join our 2018 Power of Women to Make a Difference Award Luncheon Host Committee—a group of dynamic WLC members that will steer the 12th annual flagship event on March 7, 2018. At the helm, you’ll add your name to an event that draws hundreds of leaders from across industries each year. Contact Meghan Droge (Manager, Individual Giving & Donor Engagement) to learn more and sign up.  

Not already a WLC member? No problem—Meghan is happy to field questions about membership too.

Lafayette 148 New York Exclusive Shopping Evening


For more information about the WLC, please visit us online or contact Meghan Droge, Manager, Individual Giving and Donor Engagement, United Way of New York City.

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United Way of New York City
205 East 42nd Street | New York, NY 10017 | (212) 251-2500

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