September 19, 2019
One President Now Leading Two Massachusetts United Ways

Paul Mina
November 6, 2018 — United Way of Pioneer Valley in Springfield recently welcomed aboard a new president and CEO, Paul Mina, who also happens to hold—and will continue to hold—the same position at United Way of Tri-County in Framingham as part of a sharing agreement, thought to be the first of its kind among Massachusetts nonprofits.

Mina succeeds Kathy Dube, a board member of United Way of Pioneer Valley (UWPV), who had been serving as interim president since James Ayres left the organization in June after a year on the job.

The two organizations agreed to try the arrangement for two and a half years.

Mina, who has three decades of Unity Way experience, proposed the arrangement three months ago to Steve Lowell, UWPV board president.

Following discussions, the boards of UWPV and United Way of Tri-County (UWTC) signed an agreement that calls for the organizations to share a CEO and other key operations, including financial management and marketing. UWPV remains independent, overseen by its board.

Mina, who lives approximately midway between Springfield and Framingham, will divide his time between the organizations.

The agreement could lead to a savings of $200,000 in administrative costs, according to BusinessWest, which reported that UWTC will be compensated for the arrangement by receiving a share of funds raised through UWPV's annual campaign.

Mina will report to the UWPV board of directors on matters relating to his work with the organization, so that local control and oversight is maintained.

“This is not a merger, but a way to gain efficiencies in the back-end management,” said Lowell. “Plus we’ll get some much-needed stability in leadership and the value of Paul’s experience and energy. It’s a great opportunity for us.

"The ability to maintain our local fundraisers and community impact personnel, while leveraging the backroom from the UWTC will make us a stronger organization."

UWPV has had two CEOs and two interim CEOs since early 2016.

Jennifer Moulton-Proctor, digital communications and special events manager at UWPV, said the arrangement, which has been in place for a month, has progressed smoothly so far and expects it to continue along the same vein: "While have a part-time CEO in the office, we can always call him in Framingham."

Mina joined the United Way in 1988 as senior campaign fundraiser for the United Way of Central Massachusetts. in Worcester and in 1994 became president of the United Way of Assabet Valley in Marlboro.

Since 1996, he has led UWTC, which was created through the merger of several smaller United Ways based in Marlboro, Framingham, Norwood, Westborough, and Clinton, which touch on the Middlesex, Norfolk, and Worcester counties.

Mina is also board chair of the Mass 211 organization, a free service referral phone line supported by United Way organizations statewide that connects callers to a range of services, including rental assistance, food banks, and affordable housing, health resources, child care, after-school, elderly care, financial literacy, and job training programs.

He noted that 45% of the phone calls to the Mass 211 helpline originate from the UWPV service area, so already was familiar with work being done in that area.

Mina earned a Bachelor of Science degree in human service administration from Springfield College.

The Pioneer Valley spans Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties in western Massachusetts, from Holland and Brimfield in the east to Tolland in the west, to Granby and Chester in the north.

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