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Press Release

2011 United Way Women in Philanthropy Award Recognizes Bonnie McElveen-Hunter

Alexandria, VA - United Way Worldwide and the United Way National Women’s Leadership Council named  Pace Communications CEO Bonnie McElveen-Hunter the first honoree of the United Way Women in Philanthropy Award at the 2011 United Way Women’s Leadership Summit in Newport Beach, CA.

“I can think of no better way to celebrate ten years of the United Way Women’s Leadership Council than by honoring its founder,” said Brian Gallagher, president and CEO of United Way Worldwide.  “Bonnie McElveen-Hunter has been not only an inspiration to the whole United Way network, but also a true pioneer in women’s leadership and philanthropy everywhere she goes.”

Ms. McElveen-Hunter of Greensboro, NC created the United Way Women’s Leadership Council with a vision of 100 communities of women philanthropists raising a collective $1 billion to advance the common good through United Way.  Today’s United Way Women’s Leadership Councils have exceeded Ms. McElveen-Hunter’s dream – 120 communities engage 50,000 women and are on target to have raised $1 billion by 2012 to help meet United Way’s goals in education, income and health.

Bonnie is one of the country’s leading women entrepreneurs. Her recent roles as U.S. Ambassador to Finland, board member for Habitat for Humanity and Chair of the American Red Cross indicate her lifelong commitment to service.  She has led Women Business Leaders Summits in Helsinki, Finland, Riga, Latvia and Amman, Jordan to advance entrepreneurship and encourage businesswomen from the Baltic Region to the Middle East to launch or expand business opportunities in their native countries.

“We are so pleased to recognize Bonnie McElveen-Hunter for her trailblazing efforts to create United Way Women’s Leadership Councils.  We’ve established the biannual United Way Women in Philanthropy Award to honor women who passionately advance the mission of United Way through innovation and dedication,” said Kye Fox, Chair of the United Way National Women’s Leadership Council.

Other notable speakers at the 2011 United Way Women’s Leadership Summit include Nell Newman, President and Co-Founder, Newman’s Own Organics, Lesley Chilcott, producer of Waiting for “Superman” and An Inconvenient Truth, Dr. Johnnetta Cole, director of the Smithsonian Museum of African Art, The Honorable Linda Tarr-Whelan, author of Women Lead the Way and former Ambassador to the UN Commission on the Status of Women.   The event is hosted by Orange County United Way.