May 8, 2020 – Shelton, CT –Despite Valley United Way not being able to hold its planned public Annual Meeting on April 30th, its Board recently elected new officers to serve until its next Annual Meeting and thanked a number of long-time directors whose terms ended on April 30th.

Members whose terms have ended include Jimmy Tickey, who served as Board Vice Chair; Jennifer Bull, CPA, (PKF O’Connor Davies, LLP); Peter Dagostine (First Group America); Michael Duncan (Edgewell Personal Care); Fred Ortoli (Ortoli Photography); Ramon Peralta (Peralta Design); and Janice Sheehy (Webster Bank).

On his departure, Mr. Tickey remarked, “The Valley United Way has made a real difference for people in our community. It has been a pleasure to serve on the Board for 10 years and lead our community campaign for 3 of those years – working to raise substantial funds to support the programs and agencies that thousands of families rely on in the Lower Naugatuck Valley.  I know the Valley United Way will continue to focus on preparing youth to succeed, strengthening families, and helping people in crisis.”

David Kennedy, Interim President and COO, commented, “Valley United Way has been gifted with decades of exceptional service from these Directors.  It was very hard to say “thanks” to them in a non-public forum for their care for the Valley through United Way. However, we look forward to doing that at our rescheduled Annual Meeting, whenever that will be.”

At its April 22, 2020 board meeting, directors elected the following officers for terms ending at the next Annual Meeting:  Chair, Michael Gnibus (Armstrong Teasdale); Vice Chair, Karen Stockla (Prudential Financial); Secretary, Dominick Thomas, Esq. (Cohen & Thomas); Treasurer, Gregory DeStefano, CPA (Cherubino & Company, PC).

Mr. Gnibus is an intellectual property attorney and partner in the New York office of the St. Louis based law firm of Armstrong Teasdale. Before working there, he spent 10 years at the General Electric office in Shelton where he led the GE United Way campaign and multiple service projects that were run through VUW. He has served on the Valley United Way Board for ten years and has provided leadership support to the United Way’s Youth Leadership program.

“It is with mixed emotions that I acknowledge the United Way’s departing Board members,” Gnibus remarked.  “On behalf of Valley United Way I want to thank the departing Board members for their many years of service. We are grateful for their collective, tireless commitment to ensuring that Valley United Way’s support aligned with and met the evolving needs of area residents.  Although they will not be active on the Board going forward, I am pleased to let you know that many of the departing Board members have committed to remaining active by supporting our committees. I am looking forward to leading our dedicated Board, and continuing to evolve the organization to ensure that we maximize Valley United Way’s positive impact on the community.”

Board members continuing to give leadership to Valley United Way include Patrick Charmel (Griffin Hospital); Joy DeMarchis (DeMarchis Family Holdings);  Brian Diehl (Pitney Bowes); Jill Johnson (Iroquois Pipeline); John McFarland (Hubbell Incorporated); Mary Ann Miskowicz (Better Packages); Bill Purcell (Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce); Jeffrey Tracey (Mutual Security Credit Union); and Michael Wilson (Seymour Public Schools).

As a leading philanthropic organization in Lower Naugatuck Valley, Valley United Way improves lives by mobilizing the caring power of the community through philanthropy, volunteerism, and collaboration. For more information about the organization, visit its website at or contact David Kennedy, Interim President/COO at 203-538-6341.




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