United Way of Metropolitan Chicago Announces Laura Skarnulis as Chief Operating Officer
Additional Internal Promotions Move LIVE UNITED 2020 Vision Forward
United Way of Metropolitan Chicago (UWMC) is pleased to announce Laura Skarnulis has been appointed to Chief Operating Officer (COO) from Chief Financial Officer (CFO). In this role, Skarnulis will oversee the internal operations and have the primary esponsibility for implementing systems and infrastructure to increase capacity, maximize effectiveness and align resources to execute UWMC’s strategic plan.
“Laura has been a vital member of our leadership team since she joined United Way three years ago. She is results orientated and serves as a strategic business partner to all areas of the organization. Under her leadership as CFO, Laura developed rigorous cash planning processes and strong asset management systems, which improved United Way‘s already stable financial position during these economically challenged years. I am thrilled to recognize her talent with this much-deserved promotion and look forward to her strong leadership of our strategic plan in this expanded role,” said Wendy DuBoe, President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of Metropolitan Chicago.
Prior to joining United Way, Skarnulis completed nine seasons with the Arena Football League (AFL) as their CFO. There, she was responsible for the financial and business operations of the emerging league. Additionally, she served as a CFO consultant to small businesses, held financial positions with increasing responsibilities at World Book Publishing and started her career as an auditor at Grant Thornton. A Chicago native, she earned her Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from Northern Illinois University and is a Certified Public Accountant. She sits on the executive committee and board of directors for United Way of Illinois and is a member of Women in Sports and Events (WISE), where she served as a mentor for the organization. Skarnulis is also a member of United Way World Wide’s Financial Issues Committee (FIC), which provides thought leadership on financial issues facing United Ways across the country. She and her husband Dan reside in the western suburbs of Chicago with their three children.
In addition, the organization has promoted Sandra Kay-Weaver from Vice President of Talent Management to Senior Vice President of Talent and Inclusion and Joe Vanyo from Senior Vice President of Operations to Senior Vice President of Strategy and Regional Operations. Jennifer Fronek has also been promoted from Controller to Vice President of Finance.
“As we move United Way’s LIVE UNITED 2020 vision forward, we took a hard look at our organizational structure. United Way is fortunate to have a deep and talented bench of executives to promote from within. This new structure will better enable us to deliver on our goals for the community,” said DuBoe. “I am confident that with these leaders in these roles, we will mobilize resources to generate sustained impact in our communities.”
Last fall, UWMC launched LIVE UNITED 2020, its 10-year commitment to mobilize income, education and health resources into 45 neighborhoods of greatest need. UWMC, the largest private funder of human services, raises, invests and leverages more than $53 million in support of individuals and communities in need, connecting families to the building blocks of economic stability through interventions in the areas of: income, education and health. UWMC is part of United Way Worldwide, the largest non-profit in the world, which raises $5 billion annually.
For more information, please contact Sarah Frick at 312.906.2231 or sarah.frick@uw- mc.org or visit the United Way media center at www.liveunitedchicago.org.
MORE ON STAFF PROMOTIONS:
Jennifer Fronek joined the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago in April 2007 as Director of Financial Reporting with a promotion to Controller on July 1, 2010. As Controller, she was responsible for leading the accounting function including: financial reporting, budgeting, internal controls, coordination and issuance of annual audited financial statements, tax return filings, communication with senior management, and campaign revenue support. Prior to joining United Way, Ms. Fronek was Director of Internal Audit for Tellabs, Inc., an international and public company based in Naperville, IL. Prior to joining Tellabs in 2000, Ms. Fronek spent 14 years with Ernst & Young, LLP based in Chicago, with her focus initially on auditing public companies until 1997 and then joining the firm’s advisory practice concentrating on internal audit services. A Chicago-area native, Ms. Fronek earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Accountancy and Computer Science from Northern Illinois University and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Sandra Kay-Weaver has over twenty years of experience in increasingly responsible roles within human resources and talent development at both private sector and non- profit organizations. In recent years, Sandra led the human capital initiatives at American Red Cross of Greater Chicago as Chief People Resource Officer and Chicago Children’s Museum as Vice President of Human Resources. She also held human resources roles at the American Bar Association, Chubb Insurance and Allstate Insurance Company.
Sandra received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration & Management from Florida A&M, and completed Master’s level course work at both DePaul and Kellogg’s School of Non-Profit Management. She is mission-driven and describes herself as a good listener, collaborative and consultative as well as results-oriented, practical and authentic.
Joe Vanyo is the Senior Vice President of Strategy and Regional Operations for United Way of Metropolitan Chicago. In this role, Joe is responsible for leading our four suburban Member United Way offices, donor pledge and payment application functions, infrastructure support, electronic platforms for employee giving, MIS, and strategic planning initiatives.
Prior to joining United Way in 2007, Joe spent fifteen years working in Operations for National City Bank. Over the course of his career, he led large operating divisions of up to 250 associates, spread across multiple Mid-west locations, with budgets exceeding
$25M. Through the centralization of operating functions and the introduction of new technologies, Joe played a key role in bringing leading edge products to market.
In 2006, Joe was one of the founding fathers of the Make a Wish of Illinois Foundation Associate Board. He served as Vice President in 2006-7, President in 2007-8, and Past President in 2008-9. Under Joe’s leadership, the organization built strategies targeted at generations X and Y, engaging them in large fundraising events with an overall goal of sharing in the power of a wish.
Joe earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from The University of
Toledo, specializing in Operations Management.
United Way advances the common good, creating opportunities for a better life by focusing on the three key building blocks for strong families and healthy communities: Education, Income and Health. LIVE UNITED 2020 is a social movement, our ten-year commitment to tackle the root causes of poverty. Over the next decade, in communities of greatest need, United Way will: ensure 100,000 families advance their economic stability, 50,000 underperforming middle school students enter high school ready to succeed, and 200,000 individuals have access to available, preventative healthcare. Annually, LIVE UNITED 2020 will provide one million individuals with access to crisis services including emergency food, shelter and protection from violence. LIVE UNITED® is a call to action for everyone to become a part of the change. For more information about United Way, please visit: LIVEUNITEDChicago.org.