United Way Makes Annual Leadership Changes

It was out with the old and in with the new at the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County’s annual meeting Tuesday.

The group welcomed some new faces to its board of directors, and said goodbye to some familiar ones, too, including Jonathan Scalise, who stepped down from his post as board president.

“Jon’s leadership will truly be missed,” said Jennifer Gibson, incoming board president. “Mr. Scalise presided over some momentous changes over his three-year term, including an entirely new United Way staff, a change in the start of the fiscal year and the sale of Tew Mansion.”

Other members who left the board this year included Thomas Glatz, Victoria James, Hadley Weinberg and Edward Wright. Lorraine Diggs, Wayne Rishell and David Walter were all re-elected as board members. New board members that were elected Tuesday were Dr. James Cirbus, a founding partner of Jamestown Area Medical Associates; Karen Fuller, director of finance at JCC; and Deborah Kathman, who recently retired from her position as executive director of Chautauqua Striders.

“I have to commend Tory (Irgang), because she’s put together a really fantastic team to lead this organization into the future,” Scalise said. “In closing, I thank all of those who have afforded me the opportunity to serve as board president. The pleasure has been all mine and I look forward to working with the dream team over the next couple of years.”

Irgang, United Way of Southern Chautauqua County executive director, thanked the many agencies that they work with for their ability to rise to the occasion, as well as the volunteers that work for United Way and the board of directors and employees of the organization.

“John Scalise never imagined what he was in for when he agreed to be board president,” Irgang said. “He ended up with a green-as-grass executive director, a complete turnover in seasoned staff, changing business practices and procedures, and getting involved in fundraising. Since I’m an eternal optimist, here’s how I hope he looks back on his time as president. He mentored and coached a new executive director, supporting her decisions even if they weren’t what he would’ve done. He provided reassurance when veteran staff resigned. He lent his savvy and expertise for the budgeting process and secured the best deal we could’ve ever imagined when we sold the Tew building.”

After thanking Scalise for his time as board president, Irgang presented him with an award to commemorate his service to the organization.

Board officers were also elected for 2013-14 at the annual meeting, and include: Jennifer Gibson, president; Michael Roberts, vice president; Joe Bellitto, treasurer; Thomas Schmidt, secretary; and Jonathan Scalise, past president.

The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County helps support 18 partner agencies and 39 programs. For more information, call 483-1561 or visit www.uwayscc.org.