Chief Executive Officer
Anne joined United Way of the Bay Area in 1980, and was named the first female CEO in 2000.
Under her leadership, United Way has transformed from a community fundraiser into a leader in the fight against poverty. Anne directs United Way’s efforts to achieve its ten-year goal of cutting Bay Area poverty in half by 2020.
“Sometimes the challenges that we face in this economy are daunting, but I take strength from the amazing staff, volunteers and community partners who come together every day at United Way. We are all working together because we know our community can do better.”
Anne has a Master’s of Social Welfare degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse University. She lives in San Rafael, California, with her husband, their two children and three Maltese dogs.
She serves on the Advisory Board of the U.C. Berkeley School of Social Welfare, the Advisory Council of Dominican University’s School of Business, and the United Way Worldwide National Professional Service Council. She has been named to The San Francisco Business Times’ annual list of Most Influential Women for the past nine years.
Executive Vice President
Eric McDonnell is a committed and passionate advocate for children, families, and communities. As Executive Vice President, Eric provides strategic, transformational and operational leadership to achieve our goals. He sets priorities and delivers on the organization’s mission. Eric drives United Way of the Bay Area’s efforts to ensure that every child has the opportunity to reach his or her academic potential, and families achieve economic self-sufficiency, while making Bay Area neighborhoods safer, stronger places to live.
“I grew up in poverty, living in public housing, facing the everyday challenges of making ends meet. Like a debilitating illness, poverty can rob an individual, a family, and a community of material, mental and emotional hope. So, United Way’s campaign to end poverty is important to me personally, because I know the struggle. Professionally, I am blessed to be in a position to give back and help break the cycle of poverty that exists in our community.”
Prior to joining United Way of the Bay Area, Eric served as executive director of the Audrey L. Smith Developmental Center in San Francisco, a childcare and social services provider for more than 250 families. His decade of work at the center lent itself to the issues he now oversees for United Way of the Bay Area. Eric holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in public administration from the University of San Francisco.
Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration
With three decades of experience in for-profit and not-for-profit organizations throughout the Bay Area, Joan has broad and deep experience in building and leading administrative functions to support high-performing organizations. Among the recognitions of which Joan is most proud is the Convio Innovator Award won by her Fair Trade USA team in 2010 for its groundbreaking work with Salesforce.com software.
As Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration, Joan is responsible for finance, human resources, and information technology. She came to the organization from Fair Trade USA, where she served as CFO and as the American member of the Fair Trade International Finance Committee. Prior engagements include Acting Vice President of Finance and Administration at Mills College, CFO at PolicyLink, and CFAO, Treasurer, and Secretary at the Foundation of National Progress, publisher of Mother Jones Magazine.
“The issue of poverty has been a constant theme in my work life because of my personal experience. As the oldest child of a single mother who did not finish high school, I would never have gone to college if it hadn’t been for a high-quality public education, the aid-blind admissions policy of Wesleyan University, and Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. I want others to have the supports that made my life what it is today.”
Civic engagement is an important mainstay in Joan’s personal life. She currently serves on both the Investment and Audit Committees of the Girl Scouts of Northern California. Prior to that, she served three terms on the Alameda County Measure B Citizens’ Watchdog Committee and spent a decade as a founding member of the Doyle Street Cohousing Community.
Chief Development Officer
As Chief Development Officer, Stuart Canning is responsible for all our fundraising efforts including raising money for United Way grants and programs such as SparkPoint, 211 and Earn It! Keep It! Save It!. He manages a team that works with more than 50,000 donors and conducts hundreds of workplace campaigns throughout the Bay Area.
Stuart has a diverse background in development that spans 15 years working for and serving on the boards of Arts, Education and Community organizations at a national and international level. Early in his career, Stuart worked for United Way Capital Area in Austin, Texas, before joining Brown University, where he lead Brown’s international advancement programs in Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean and Canada.
He has subsequently worked for Stanford University as the Associate Dean for External Relations in the School of Humanities and Sciences, as a fundraising consultant in Europe and most recently as Associate Director of Development, overseeing all individual giving programs with the San Francisco Symphony. Originally from England, Stuart is a graduate of Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Kansas. He is fluent in both French and German.
Senior Vice President of Strategy, Operations and Marketing
Sonali manages the development and execution of United Way’s strategic and operating plans, ensures alignment across the organization and oversees the Marketing and Evaluation + Insight departments.
Sonali was first introduced to United Way of the Bay Area as a Berkeley MBA Board Fellow working closely with the Marketing and volunteerism teams. In addition to her work at United Way, Sonali used her time at Berkeley to consult on strategy and marketing projects with Hewlett-Packard and R. Torre & Company (Torani flavored syrups), as well as nonprofits such as One World Health and World of Good.
Prior to receiving her MBA, she served as the Strategic Planning Manager at Karsh & Hagan, a Denver-based advertising agency that had billings over $60 million. She oversaw the research and strategic planning department for 17 McDonald’s regions across the United States. She graduated summa cum laude from Northwestern University with a degree in journalism, and lives in Oakland with her husband and two daughters.
“As a child of poverty, I was lucky to have parents who ensured my dreams and ambitions were the same as children of doctors or lawyers. The honor roll was a given. College a must. I am at United Way to help ensure all children are given the same opportunity to aim for the stars and the support to reach them.”
Chief Community Investment Officer
Lorne leads United Way’s programs and partnerships in seven counties including Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Solano. United Way’s Community Investment Team (CIT), which Lorne oversees, operates initiatives to move people out of poverty, including the SparkPoint Centers, which served 4,000 people in 2010-11, and the Earn It! Keep It! Save It! program, which helped 57,000 households claim more than $63 million in tax refunds in 2011.
“The part of my job that I enjoy the most is advocating for Bay Area residents whose voices are all too often overlooked – like low-wage workers and children. While there are lots of great nonprofit programs in our region that are improving thousands of lives, I believe we can make things better for hundreds of thousands – even millions – of people who really need them. This requires change at the policy level, and United Way has a role in bringing about that change.”
Lorne serves on the Executive Committee of the East Bay Economic Development Alliance, chairs the Youth Council of the Workforce Investment San Francisco board, and is also a mayoral appointee to the Citizens Advisory Committee for the S.F. Department of Children, Youth, and Families. He has worked for over twenty years in youth development, prevention and health, workforce development, school-linked services, and other areas. Lorne holds a BA in Public Policy and MBA from Stanford University and lives in Redwood Shores with his wife, Audra, who teaches second grade.
Senior Director, Corporate Governance/Executive Assistant to the CEO
Ginny has more than 30 years of administrative and management experience encompassing finance, human resources, operations, manufacturing and production. She joined United Way of the Bay Area in May 2002. As Director of Special Projects and Assistant to the CEO, she directs Executive Office operations and the CEO’s calendar; manages Board of Directors communications, agenda building and record keeping, and stewards compliance with United Way of America’s membership reporting requirements. She also leads special projects on behalf of the CEO and in this capacity serves on many cross-functional teams.
“United Way’s efforts to cut poverty in half in the Bay Area are important to me – because together, we CAN! There are so many committed, caring people in the Bay Area; working together we can accomplish this transformational work. It is especially important for the future of our kids.”
Prior to United Way, Ginny was associate publisher-operations for Dance Magazine. Before that, she worked at the Denver Public Library as assistant to the city librarian and later as financial analyst. Her earlier career includes 15 years in Denver’s daily newspapers, primarily as a human resources generalist. During that time she enthusiastically served as the coordinator of several United Way campaigns.