United Way picks CEO

WARREN – Following what officials called an extensive search, the United Way of Trumbull County announced Ginny Pasha will take the position of chief executive officer, effective June 30.

“Although donor trends and giving patterns have changed, United Way continues to be the best way to help those in need in our country,” Pasha stated. “We know there will be challenges, but we are looking forward to a strong campaign in 2013.”

Pasha will replace outgoing CEO Thomas J. Krysiek, who has spent more than 30 years with the county’s United Way. Krysiek alerted officials of his impending retirement in March, giving the Board of Directors plenty of time to find his replacement.

“It will be a very smooth transition,” Board Chairman John Guarnieri said. “The two of them know each other and have worked together in the past, so we expect the change to go seamlessly.”

The search committee conducted an extensive nationwide search for a CEO. Pasha was one of 61 applicants to apply, officials said. The committee narrowed the candidates down before interviewing the finalists.

Don Emerson, search committee chairman, said Pasha seemed like the right fit.

“When it came down to the interview process, we were struck by her preparation and passion for United Way and Trumbull County,” Emerson said. “She has a great desire to get us back on the correct road. We were very pleased with her presentation.

“Obviously, Ginny is a well-known entity. The comfort level is very high with her as well.”

Pasha has served as president of Junior Achievement and Youth Employability Solutions. She also was the State Development Coordinator for Buckeye Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates.

For the past eight years, she has served as the director of community impact for United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley.

Emerson said Pasha’s background in Youngstown was instrumental in the decision to name her as CEO in Trumbull County.

“A big part of her job there was grant writing,” Emerson said. “That’s an area we haven’t taken full advantage of in the past. That isn’t the only reason why we chose to go with her, but it played a role. We just feel like she’s the best person to take us to the next level.”

According to Guarnieri, her connections to Mahoning County will be important going forward.

“She knows lots of people in that community as well as in Trumbull County,” Guarnieri said. “That will give us better opportunities to work with Mahoning County on possible marketing opportunities and joint campaigns. There’s no doubt her background will benefit us.”

Last summer, donors voted down a proposal to merge the United Way of Trumbull County with the Youngstown and Mahoning Valley division to create a new organization. Emerson said that while there are no immediate plans to revisit the topic of a merger, nothing is off the table.

“As our chairman has stated, we are always open to a partnership and we always want to explore ways of working together,” Emerson said. “I was a part of that process. I firmly believe it was the right thing to do at that time. My constituents said no.

“Never say never, but our focus right now is on making Trumbull County United Way better,” he continued.

In addition to her experience, Pasha has received numerous awards and recognition for her work including being twice recognized by Junior Achievement National for program growth, fiscal responsibility and overall management effectiveness.

Pasha, a lifelong Trumbull County resident, will be the first female CEO in the organization’s 90-year history.

Among the improvements Guarnieri would like to see made within the organization, a more year-round approach is an important step.

“We just need to be out in the community more than in the past,” Guarnieri said. “We need more events than just the campaign in the fall. We’re confident Ginny will make that happen.”

Emerson noted a broadened approach to fundraising as a key to the organization’s future.

“We need to do much more outreach to smaller companies and focus on segments that we haven’t really explored in the past,” Emerson explained. “We can’t solely rely on the large companies anymore. We need to take advantage of new opportunities.”

Krysiek will leave the organization with a career spanning more than 40 years with United Way.

“He has been a tremendous leader for us over the years,” Guarnieri said.

Pasha will be introduced at the United Way of Trumbull County’s annual meeting Thursday at Leo’s Ristorante in Howland.