United Way Western Regional Conference Co-Chairs
For the first time, United Ways of California and United Ways of the Pacific Northwest are glad to announce co-chairs for the United Way Western Regional Conference. In addition to helping shape the vision for the Western Regional, our conference co-chairs will serve as "masters of ceremonies" and provide critical leadership in intersecting our United Way priorities with our shared equity framework. They will also be instrumental in ensuring a safe space for everyone as we continue to heal from the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay tuned for testimonials from the following United Way leaders in the months to come.
Keisha Browder is the Chief Executive Officer with United Way of Santa Cruz County – she is the first African American and person of color to serve as CEO in the United Way’s 80-year history in Santa Cruz County. Keisha is an experienced nonprofit executive with a career spanning 20 years in community development, education, youth success, and philanthropy throughout the United States. She leads multiple initiatives addressing issues ranging from academic success to youth violence prevention and criminal justice reform – these initiatives have earned national recognition for their equity-centered approach to creating cultures of health.
With her commitment to dignity, integrity, and compassion for all, Keisha joined several other leaders to create the Black Health Matters Santa Cruz County – a community initiative that focuses on community partnerships to address the social determinants of health in the Santa Cruz County Black community. From COVID-mindful spaces to “click and mortar” classes, these cultural programs and health resources are in partnership with County Park spaces.
Keisha has been part of the United Way Network since 2010, starting as a Development Director with Trident United Way in Charleston, South Carolina. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, the National Coalition of 100 Black Women – Silicon Valley Chapter, Soroptimist International – Watsonville Chapter, and the Santa Cruz County Black Coalition for Justice and Racial Equity. Keisha is a graduate of the University of Washington and the Stanford University Graduate School of Business Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders.
Blake Pang is a 15+ year executive leader in the United Way Network. He started his career in Resource Development at Aloha United Way (Honolulu) and has progressed to positions in Cincinnati, OH and Spokane, WA before taking on the role of President & CEO of the United Way of Linn, Benton & Lincoln Counties.
In 2019, Blake successfully completed the merger of two Local United Ways via a Strategic Alliance. In 2020, United Way of Linn, Benton & Lincoln Counties was the first United Way on the West Coast to establish the shared services management model thus reducing back-office costs by 50%. In 2021, the organization posted a revenue increase of 125%.
During his career, he has served as a relationship manager to all sizes of accounts from Fortune 500 Corporations to local School Districts with a track record of increased giving throughout that timeframe. He currently serves as an elected member of the United Way Worldwide Operating Model Task Force charged with shaping the future of the international organization. His specialties are strategic planning, innovation, creating amazing partnerships for his stakeholders, and organizational change management.
Rodney Prunty is a passionate, dedicated community servant with 34 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, including 15 years with United Way. Rodney began his role as President & CEO of United Way of Central New Mexico (UWCNM) in June of 2019. In his first year, Rodney’s experience in fundraising, relationship-building, community engagement, and collective impact began to have an effect in central New Mexico. Under his leadership, UWCNM exceeded its campaign goals for the past two years. UWCNM was also chosen as one of forty-six local United Ways across the country to receive a gift from MacKenzie Scott in 2020. UWCNM also raised over $1.4 million in COVID-19 Recovery and other emergency funding in 2020. Mr. Prunty is unwavering in his focus to create long-term, positive community change at scale. He holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership and a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services.