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Registration OPEN for Annual Meeting 2023

Our Team


At United Way, we know we only make progress toward crushing poverty when we give it our all, every day - and that starts at the top.

Laurie Root


Why do you work to crush poverty every day?

"Every child deserves the opportunity to be successful in school and to pursue their dreams. Not only does it benefit them as individuals, but it lifts up our entire community."


Mike Jaruszewicz

Senior Vice President, Community Impact

Why do you work to crush poverty every day? 

"I am part of a team that is working to strategically remove the barriers that have been preventing far too many people in our community from being successful. Having such a profound impact on a community is incredibly fulfilling."

Joelyn Bush

Vice President, Marketing and Communications

Why do you work to crush poverty every day?

"I work everyday to crush poverty because I believe in Erie. It sounds simple, but believing in Erie means believing that a brighter future is achievable for all. A ZIP code should not determine a child's success as a resident of Erie. Being on the team at United Way means I have a hand in tackling the complex social issue that has plagued our community for far too long, and I'm honored to be at the table."


Julie Chacona

Chief Development Officer

Why do you work to crush poverty every day?

"Education changes behaviors and is the pathway to and through a rich and meaningful life. I believe it takes everyone in our community to invest in all children so together we may help open doors to endless opportunities."

Sally Opferbeck

Vice President, Finance and Administration

Why do you work to crush poverty every day? 

"I believe we should always try to better the community we live in. I joined a team that works every day to help the children in our community break barriers to their success."

Jessica Belousov

Community Impact Coordinator

Damali Donovan

Senior Coordinator, Community Impact

Jon Paul Ferretti

AmeriCorps VISTA

Donnie Hatheway

Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Joshua Kehl

Data and Evaluation Manager

Lori Krause

Senior Director, Community Impact

Jeanette Long

Community Schools Support Manager

Marybelle Martin

Erie Free Taxes Director

Sara Naughton

Senior Manager, Data and Evaluation

Alycia Olivar

Data and Evaluation Manager

Joanna Peters

Administrative Assistant

Gina M. Schaefer

Resource Development and Officer Manager

Ashley Wilczynski

Donor Database Associate

Christine Yuhas




United Way of Erie County employs each of the Community School Directors at all 15 community schools that spread over four of the Erie County school districts. 

Meet the CSDs