January 5, 2024
As we welcome the new year, it is with deep gratitude that we also begin 2024 by preparing to bid farewell to United Way Bay Area CEO Kevin Zwick. Last month, Kevin informed the Board of Directors that his last day with us will be on February 16, 2024. The search will soon be underway to find our next CEO, and the Board is developing a plan for interim leadership during that search.
Kevin joined United Way Bay Area as CEO in July of 2020 at a time when the organization sought to further unite nonprofits, businesses and individuals to meet the needs of our communities during an extraordinary time of external challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, regional fires and floods, and renewed and urgent calls for racial justice after the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. Over the past three and a half years, Kevin has led UWBA through an incredible period of growth. United Way Bay Area is on strong footing — with steady financials, impactful programs, and a strong team.
Under Kevin’s tenure as CEO, the organization grew and accomplished a great deal of deeply meaningful work, including developing and executing a bold new Strategic Plan and Action Plan for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Under Kevin’s leadership, our Board and Advisory Councils are now more diverse, the staff has grown over 50%, and United Way Bay Area is now led and advised by members from our community with lived experience directly related to our mission and programmatic work. Kevin and the team mobilized the Bay Area like never before, raising over $80M to assist people living in poverty and to dismantle the root causes of poverty, including receiving a transformational gift from MacKenzie Scott in 2020. Finally, Kevin has taken major steps to bolster UWBA’s financial position, allowing for its long-term stability and success.
When we recruited Kevin for the role, we knew we were bringing on a leader with particular depth and knowledge leading nonprofit organizations on the front lines of critical issues such as aﬀordable housing and homelessness. This is an area where the Board recognized United Way Bay Area could increase our impact head-on as an anti-poverty organization. Kevin led the launch of our new Housing Justice Initiative to increase access to stable and affordable housing, address the racial wealth gap, prevent homelessness, and support organizations engaged in policy advocacy around the issue.
To everyone united in our effort to dismantle the root causes of poverty and build equitable pathways to prosperity, please join me in thanking Kevin for his tremendous leadership and wishing him well in his next steps as he continues driving positive change in the Bay Area.
– Gioia McCarthy, Chair of the Board of Directors, United Way Bay Area
I’m so proud of the work the United Way Bay Area team has accomplished and so grateful to have been a part of it these past few years. United Way Bay Area helps the entire Bay Area region at scale, with a renewed focus on racial equity and housing justice. We’ve invested in data and analysis to help inform decision-making. We’ve expanded high impact programs and initiatives, and developed strong new partnerships that help address poverty and create new opportunities for all communities. And I’m especially proud of the work we have started to become a more anti-racist organization guided by our DEI Action Plan.
The board, advisory council, volunteers, staff and leadership of United Way Bay Area are so inspirational – the way they come together to tackle problems head-on, while also supporting one another is amazing. It is something that I have learned so much from taking part in, and that I will miss dearly. I will certainly apply the lessons I’ve learned here in my future work and leadership.
My deepest appreciation to the incredible staff and volunteers here at United Way Bay Area — you each Live United and show up every day making our community stronger. I’m so grateful for your collaboration and expertise. And to all our supporters and partners – thank you for believing in the work of United Way Bay Area and our urgent call to address the root causes of poverty and build equitable pathways to prosperity. While it is difficult to take a step away from this outstanding organization, my career will remain dedicated to addressing our region’s persistent and devastating housing crisis, so I will continue to be an enthusiastic supporter, partner, and ally in UWBA’s mission and work!
– Kevin Zwick, CEO, United Way Bay Area