United Way of Miami-Dade announced today the appointment of Maria C. Alonso as its new president and chief executive officer. Alonso, a banking professional and respected civic leader, will start her new position in early August, overseeing one of the region’s most robust nonprofit organizations.
“Maria has proven herself a tireless champion for all of United Way’s diverse stakeholders: the programs we fund, the services we operate, the donors we depend upon, and – most importantly – the children and seniors and families whose lives are made better through the organization’s work,” said Carlos A. Migoya, a longtime United Way volunteer leader and current board chair. “She brings a perfect combination of skills, experience, credibility, and relationships.”
Alonso has a rich history of community leadership, chairing South Florida institutions, such as the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and New World School of the Arts, and co-chairing the One Community, One Goal initiative of The Beacon Council. Her past and current leadership includes serving on the boards of The Miami Foundation, Camillus House, the Miami Dade College Foundation, the March of Dimes, and Teach For America. She has been honored with numerous civic leadership awards and was selected from a group of highly qualified candidates after a vigorous national search.
“The heart of our work at United Way of Miami-Dade is building a thriving community through access to education, financial stability and health,” said Alonso, who has been an active United Way volunteer and donor, most recently chairing its community impact committee. “Donors trust us to partner only with the most reputable nonprofit organizations, fund them through the most transparent processes and hold them accountable for data-driven results.”
“Maria’s knowledge of the community and our United Way position her for great success as our new CEO,” said Harve A. Mogul, United Way president and CEO. “Maria inherits a team that is recognized across the country for its excellence. Working hand-in-hand with these talented professionals, I know Maria will build on this organization’s already strong track record and continue to guide it forward.”
Alonso has been a leader at Bank of America since 1995, most recently as senior vice president and Miami market manager. Her role there included corporate social responsibility, providing a unique perspective on the importance of accountability and fiscal discipline in the nonprofit sector. Her scope also included volunteerism, marshalling the bank’s local workforce to make a difference through numerous community organizations. In earlier roles at the bank, she was responsible for the implementation of the marketing strategy for its International Private Bank unit and spearheaded the national Hispanic marketing strategy.
In her role as president and CEO, Alonso will be responsible for every aspect of the organization’s strategy, operations and finances. This includes securing grants and philanthropic giving of more than $40 million per year, managing a staff of nearly 200 professionals, supporting thousands more volunteers, and guiding a community-driven process to prioritize the programs and services funded with United Way dollars.
“It’s hard to overstate the responsibilities that our United Way expects of its leader,” said selection committee member Richard Fain, chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises, which is one of United Way’s most generous supporters. “Maria is the right choice to be the ambassador we need in our community and the executive we need in our offices.”
“People across South Florida genuinely trust, respect, and admire Maria,” said business leader Sheldon Anderson, who chaired the selection committee. “Our United Way has such a strong staff and committed corps of volunteers – it takes someone of her passion and stature to lead us into our second century.”
“I’m delighted that we’ve found a new leader with such a strong background in business, such a strong profile in our city, and such strong skills in communicating across our diverse community,” said United Way executive committee member Susan Potter Norton. “The fact that Maria has such a long history of volunteer leadership at our United Way means she’ll be able to hit the ground running and build on our many strengths.”
Last fall, United Way President and CEO Harve Mogul announced his decision to transition to a new leadership role, as president emeritus, focusing his energies on building United Way’s Endowment, managing key donor relationships and providing advice and counsel on other key strategic issues. Following his announcement, a search for a new CEO was launched.