Laura Thrall Steps Down as CEO of United Way of Metropolitan Chicago

Laura Thrall, President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of Metropolitan Chicago (UWMC), announced today her plans to step down from this role effective December 31, 2011. Wendy DuBoe, Chief Operating Officer, has been named interim Chief Executive Officer as the UWMC Board conducts an executive search for Thrall’s successor. “I thank the United Way staff, community partners, donors and Board for their support during an eventful and productive period of our organization’s history,” Thrall said. “It has been a privilege and a pleasure to serve United Way, and to contribute to its vital mission to ensure that every individual and family have the tools they need to thrive.” Under Thrall’s leadership, UWMC made significant strides in a number of areas including the successful launch of LIVE UNITED 2020 — an ambitious, 10-year plan that connects families to the building blocks of economic stability: income, education, health and crisis services. She was instrumental in stabilizing United Way fund raising efforts while reducing overhead costs, putting the organization on a stronger financial footing. In addition to her role at United Way, Thrall has also served in various leadership roles at numerous nonprofit organizations, most recently as CEO of YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago, a human service agency, serving over 130,000 people annually through economic empowerment programs, early childhood services and rape crisis services. Her numerous roles include past board chair for the Chicago Alliance for Collaborative Effort and currently as a founding board member of its Back Office Cooperative. She was a founding member of Illinois Partners for Human Service, a legislative coalition comprised of the largest health and human service providers in Illinois. Thrall chaired the Donors Forum Public/Nonprofit Partnership Initiative Policy Forum and was an appointed member of the Visiting Committee for the Biological Sciences Division and Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago. Thrall currently serves as an appointed member of the Governor’s Human Service Commission. “Laura has led United Way of Metropolitan Chicago to its present strong position, and on behalf of the Board I want to thank Laura for her hard work and valuable contributions,” said Ellen Costello, Chief Executive Officer of BMO Financial Corp. and United Way of Metropolitan Chicago Board Chairman. “Our Board remains committed to our LIVE UNITED 2020 vision and will be working closely with the United Way staff to continue its implementation in 2012.” For more information, please contact Sarah Frick at 312.906.2231 or or visit the United Way media center at

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