By Brad Park
Monday, February 27, 2017 8:00 am ·  0 Comments
The United Ways of Burlington & Greater Hamilton, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville have ratified a decision to form a single United Way serving all of Halton Region and Greater Hamilton. The new organization will officially amalgamate on April 1, 2017, and will be known as United Way Halton & Hamilton.
“By joining together, we can invest more in our people and our communities. That will help us be highly efficient and responsive to changing needs locally, and across the region” said John Armstrong, board chair at United Way Oakville.
This alliance is the result of an extensive process of research, evaluation, consultation and planning that took place over the past year and a half. That work culminated with ratification votes by each of the four organizations that took place in December and last week.
All currently supported agency partners will remain eligible for funding and many have been vocal in their support of the amalgamation. Joey Edwardh, Executive Director for Community Development Halton said “We support the leadership of the four United Ways serving Halton in their bold initiative to better address the root causes that push members of our community to the social and economic margins.”
“The combined United Way remains committed to a strong local presence while tackling the issues that affect us all” said Anne Bermingham, board chair at United Way Burlington & Greater Hamilton. “While our outlook will be regional, we promise that the money donors give will continue to have an impact in the community where they live.”
The new United Way Halton & Hamilton will have one board of directors, a joint staff team and increased continuity across the region. There is a process in place for the current four board chairs to assemble the inaugural board from the existing four boards. Once in place, the new board will select a board chair.
In the interim, Jeff Vallentin, CEO at United Way Burlington & Greater Hamilton has been asked to provide executive leadership through the transition. The new board, once in place, will appoint the permanent CEO.
“Our combined approach to serving the needs of this broad region brings to life a renewed ability to coordinate our resources and ensure we are impacting lives in the best way possible” said Vallentin.
All current permanent employees of the four United Ways will be offered positions in the new organization. The employees’ roles may change to ensure that more of them are working directly with donors and on community initiatives and programs. This amalgamation will give us a bigger, stronger and more versatile team.. That will allow us to make an even greater difference in terms of community outcomes. Together, we can accomplish so much more than we ever could separately.
In regards to the community funds remaining in Oakville, this has been a key principle since the conversation between all 4 United Ways began. United Way of Burlington & Hamilton already uses this model, ensuring that local funds remain local. Donations will be tracked by community. Donors will continue to have the opportunity choose which community they wish their funds to reside. Those funds will be invested by local volunteers in local initiatives.The new United Way team is reviewing strategies to make the best use of the office space they currently have to ensure the maintenance of a strong local presence in each of the communities they serve.
“These four United Ways have demonstrated a true commitment to building a stronger United Way. Together, they will improve more lives locally, and across the region. United Way Halton & Hamilton is leading by example,” says Dr. Jacline Nyman, President and CEO, United Way Centraide Canada.