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United Way Announces Staff Updates

Dynamic trio join ranks as United Way’s newest team members

L to R: Emily Francis, community impact manager, Nick Cianci, development officer and Lisa Fischer, campaign accounts manager. Photo courtesy of Erie Times News. 

Erie, PA – United Way is pleased to announce several staffing updates within the organization. First, the promotion of Mike Jaruszewicz to vice president of community impact. Jaruszewicz joined United Way as a campaign representative in 2010 and served as community building manager and community building director prior to leading the newly renamed department. He replaces Del Birch, who retired as vice president in August.

Nick Cianci joins United Way as development officer after three years of experience in educational leadership, most recently serving as the director of development at Mercyhurst University. Nick is a native of Greenville, Pennsylvania. He is a product of area higher education, earning dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in sociology and criminal justice from Mercyhurst University, and a Master of Education (Leadership) from Edinboro University.

Nick is familiar with many local social services and educational programs, having served with organizations such as the Bayfront Maritime Center, Carpe Diem Academy and Harborcreek Youth Services during his collegiate years— experiences that he credits with shaping his commitment to the area. Nick is also involved in the annual TEDxErie event, at which he was a speaker in 2015 and an emcee in 2016.

Cianci commented, “I have been drawn to the Erie community since my collegiate years. Working to improve community conditions alongside the talented and well-regarded staff of United Way of Erie County is already proving to be an incredible opportunity; I feel privileged to serve in this way.”

Emily Francis has returned to Erie to join United Way as community impact manager. She returns to the community after recently completing her Master of International Development degree at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. Emily is familiar with the Erie region as she earned her Bachelor of Arts degrees in Intelligence Studies and Public Health from Mercyhurst University. While attending Mercyhurst, Emily was an active member of the community through numerous volunteer activities through the University. Francis was honored with the ATHENA Young Professional Award in 2015.

Francis commented, "I am so excited to once again be a member of the Erie community, especially while working for United Way. I look forward to becoming reacquainted with organizations and individuals while building new relationships as well."

Lisa Fischer completes the new hire trio as United Way’s campaign accounts manager. She joins the team to replace Chantelle Carter, who is leaving to start a family. Originally from the South Hills of Pittsburgh, Lisa has been living in and out of Erie for the past 10 years earning her B.S. in Business Administration with a minor in Marketing and her Master in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from Gannon University during this time. Her previous experience includes working for a local Erie ad agency supporting local, regional and national clients as an account manager.

Fischer commented, “It’s been an exciting few weeks working with the team and meeting others within the area who truly want to make a positive change towards community conditions. It’s inspiring and refreshing to hear the level of commitment from our Erie leadership. I’m honored to call Erie my home.”

In addition to these permanent staff positions, United Way has added Alexandria Iwanenko, a recent graduate of Canisius College to the team. Alexandria is serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA for the 2017-2018 service year after graduating from the All-College Honors Program with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations. She will be working to support the expansion of United Way’s community schools, as well as other community impact initiatives.