Washtenaw United Way Leader to Retire

Sandra Rupp, who has served as president and CEO of the United Way of Washtenaw County since late 2004, is retiring at the end of the summer. The news was announced Wednesday, May 16 by board chair Kristen Holt. According to a press release issued by the nonprofit, a search committee has been formed to select the next president, and Rupp will work with the board during this transition.

Rupp has led the organization during a period of economic challenges, including the departure of major employers in the county like Pfizer and the closing of local auto manufacturing plants. The nonprofit’s highest fundraising campaign (in 2000) raised $8.8 million. The 2011 campaign brought in $5.57 million.

One of the most significant changes during Rupp’s tenure is United Way’s participation in a relatively new countywide initiative to coordinate the funding of local human services nonprofits. Partners include the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, Washtenaw County, Washtenaw Urban County, and the city of Ann Arbor. Coordinated funding is administered by the office of community and economic development, a joint county/city of Ann Arbor department.

Rupp joined the local United Way in December of 2004. She was the organization’s first female president and only the fourth president since it was founded in 1971. She previously served as chief professional officer of the United Way of Lincoln and Lancaster County (Nebraska). She also held executive positions with United Ways in Laramie County, Wyoming; Youngstown, Ohio; and Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska.