Our Staff

President & Chief Executive Officer, LoAnn Ayers

LoAnn became President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of Benton & Franklin Counties in July 2016. She ensures that the resources entrusted to our United Way get maximum benefit to improve lives in our community. Her formal affiliation with United Way began in 2007 as a Board member; she served as Board Chair in 2011 and 2012. She has been an active member of our community for 30 years and has an extensive background in developing partnerships and growing resources.  LoAnn holds an MBA and Doctorate in Leadership from Washington State University. 

Chief Operating Officer, George Woodward

George joined United Way in 2016. He previously served as a Chief Information Officer and brings a broad set of management experience in information technology, higher education, and healthcare to the United Way team. George holds an MBA from Washington State University.

Director of Philanthropy and Major Gifts, Kim Burks

Kim joined United Way in 2012. She is responsible for planning, coordinating, and directing all fundraising efforts related to United Way’s annual campaign. She manages campaign business and individual donor accounts and oversees the Resource Development staff. She holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Washington State University.

DIRECTOR OF FINANCE, BRANT BAKER

Brant re-joined United Way in 2018 after having previously served in the same position from 2001-2006. He is responsible for the financial operations of the organization including financial accountability and stewardship, donor financial management, development of financial policies and procedures and more. Brant earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Pacific Lutheran University.

MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER, MARYANNE WUENNECKE

MaryAnne joined United Way in 2018. She leads a variety of marketing and communications activities that support the agency’s efforts to raise funds to support those in need in our community. MaryAnne has a background in journalism and marketing. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University.

Donor Relations and Accounting Manager, Carol Brandner

Carol joined United Way in 2002. She is responsible for financial disbursements, including payroll, accounts payable and accounts receivable. Carol also handles the payment of funds designated by donors to specific not-for-profit organizations. Carol's experience includes a variety of financial functions, customer relations, and procedures development and implementation. She is a graduate of Gonzaga University with a Bachelor's Degree in Operations and Information Systems.

Finance Assistant, Caroline MayR

Caroline joined United Way in 2017. She is a member of the finance department and provides assistance on financial activities and transactions that support the agency’s mission. Prior to re-locating to the Tri-Cities, she owned her own business in western Washington.

Workplace Campaign Manager, Heather Gilliam

Heather joined United Way in 2017. She is responsible for developing relationships and raising money to help United Way invest in priority services to support the growing number of people in need across our community. She focuses on corporate relationships and workplace giving and is responsible to create and implement strategies that recruit, retain, and grow corporate and individual donors. Heather comes from a background in non-profit fundraising and event planning and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing from Washington State University.

Workplace Campaign Manager, Shanna Alzheimer

Shanna joined United Way in 2017. She is responsible for developing relationships and raising money to help United Way invest in priority services to support the growing number of people in need across our community. She focuses on corporate relationships and workplace giving and is responsible to create and implement strategies that recruit, retain, and grow corporate and individual donors. Shanna comes from a background in non-profit fundraising and event planning and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Hospitality Business Management with a minor in Business Administration from Washington State University.

Workplace Campaign Manager, Jamie Ohl

Jamie joined United Way in 2018.  She is responsible for developing relationships and raising money to help United Way invest in priority services to support the growing number of people in need across our community. She focuses on donor and prospect relationships. Jamie comes from a background in finance, fundraising, and event planning. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Washington State University.

Marketing Associate, Melani St. John

Melani joined United Way in 2015. She supports all marketing and communications efforts including creating United Way's informational materials, planning and implementing public events, and assisting with audio and video projects. She also helps maintain United Way's website and social media platforms. Melani has extensive experience in graphic design and professional writing. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Visual Communication from Western Washington University.

Administrative Assistant, Liz Schweighardt

Liz joined United Way in 2018. Her role is to provide administrative support to the Chief Operating Officer, with a primary focus on supporting United Way's Community Impact activities. Liz is a graduate of Eastern Washington University with a Bachelor's Degree in Education. 

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT, JESSICA FRYBERGER

Jessica joined United Way in 2018. She provides administrative support for the entire United Way team, including assisting with facilities and operations activities, maintaining database records, and supporting the organization’s efforts to help those in need in our community. Jessica earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Mary in North Dakota.