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United Way Leader Steps Down after Nearly Six Years in Racine County

This press release was originally published in the Racine Journal Times

With a heavy heart, United Way of Racine County President and CEO Rodney Prunty announced his resignation from his role, effective June 5.

His six-year tenure helped to guide the community’s drive for creating change and further solidified United Way’s position as a key organization that helped mobilize Racine County’s philanthropic spirit.

Prunty first arrived in August 2013, hailing from United Way of Rock River Valley in Rockford, IL, and immediately went to work to hone United Way’s programs and services into a focused strategy. Working in partnership with the United Way board and staff, he developed United Way’s strategic plan and refined its mission to the focus of Building an Educated Workforce.

This new focus was the impetus for United Way’s partnership with Racine Unified School District and other community partners, which worked together to bring the first community school—Knapp Elementary—to Racine County. After three years under the LIFT community school strategy, Knapp’s students have grown significantly in reading and math achievement, and parent engagement has increased exponentially. The LIFT model will expand to Julian Thomas Elementary this fall.

Under Prunty’s guidance, United Way of Racine County ascended as a thought leader in the United Way Network. Throughout his six years, he sustained fundraising totals in the top ten percent per capita in the United Way Network, and he oversaw the top three fundraising campaigns in United Way of Racine County’s history. He also engaged Racine County in new, innovative ways—in addition to its community school work, introducing Community Conversations focused on race and equity to build new bridges and celebrate all who live and work in the community.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Racine,” stated Prunty. “This is a unique community with a strong philanthropic spirit, a culture of volunteerism, and community leaders whose unprecedented collaboration across sectors improves education outcomes, increases economic mobility, and ensures that everyone has the opportunity to be healthier. I am fortunate to have worked with so many individuals who are tirelessly dedicated to making a difference. For that reason and many others, Racine will always have a special place in my heart.”

“On behalf of the board, I want to thank Rodney for his years of service at United Way of Racine County,” said Rebecca Mason, board chair of United Way of Racine County. “Rodney’s outstanding leadership, passion, and vision have helped reshape and elevate our organization and the Racine community. It has been a great pleasure to work with Rodney. Although we are sad he is leaving, we celebrate his success and wish he and his family good luck in this next chapter of their lives.”

Upon Prunty’s departure on June 5, United Way of Racine County vice president of community impact, Karin Kirchmeier, will become acting CEO until a replacement is identified. Prunty’s next steps will take him to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he will lead United Way of Central New Mexico starting June 12.