United Way of Summit & Medina and Heart to Heart Leadership announce intent to merge

Apr 11, 2024

New initiative to come under United Way of Summit & Medina.

The boards of directors of United Way of Summit & Medina and Heart to Heart Leadership today announced the two organizations are working to merge, effective June 1, 2024. The move will combine United Way of Summit & Medina’s current development and training programs, and its ability to convene stakeholders to advance and improve local conditions with Heart to Heart’s leadership development expertise and proven record of developing individuals and organizations who are more purpose-driven, values-based, and community-minded. Together, the two have an extensive history of collaboration to train local leaders, both within the nonprofit field and the wider business community.

Following the merger, United Way of Summit & Medina will launch a new initiative led by Jeremy Lile, currently executive director of Heart to Heart Leadership. Under the initiative, United Way of Summit & Medina will build on its work and that of Heart to Heart, providing leadership development and workplace training programs throughout Summit and Medina counties.

“One of the greatest investments we can make in the long-term health of our community is to cultivate purposeful, inspiring and service-minded leaders,” said Brad Wright, chair of the board of directors of United Way of Summit & Medina. “We are proud to deepen our collaboration with our longtime partners in Heart to Heart Leadership to expand our impact across Summit and Medina counties.”

“By joining forces with United Way of Summit and Medina, we can expand our services, amplify our impact, strengthen our resources and ultimately make an even more significant difference in the greater Akron community and beyond,” said Barb Whiddon, chair of the board of directors of Heart to Heart Leadership. “We are thrilled to embark on this collaborative journey and to the possibilities that lie ahead.”

“When we founded Heart to Heart over 35 years ago, our vision was to find a way to bring people together, in a heart to heart way, to dialogue about the things that matter most and to unite around shared values and purpose for our community,” said Fr. Norm Douglas and Larry Vuillemin, co-founders of Heart to Heart. “We have appreciated watching that vision grow and expand under new leadership over the past 8 years and we fully and enthusiastically support this merger between Heart to Heart and United Way and the new possibilities that it opens up for this community that we value so much.”

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