Michael Johnson is set to lead United Way of Greater Cincinnati


Michael Johnson

United Way of Greater Cincinnati’s Board of Directors has chosen Michael Johnson as its next president and CEO, a role he will begin July 9. He is currently president and CEO of Boys & Girls Club of Dane County in Madison, Wisconsin.

Johnson will succeed Rob Reifsnyder, who retires as UWGC president and CEO at the end of May.

“United Way is well-positioned to continue the work of uniting communities to change lives, and I believe there’s no better leader to step into this role right now than Michael Johnson.” –Rob Reifsnyder Reifsnyder said. “He has incredible passion and expertise to continue to build on our 103-year legacy of doing good in this community. Having spent time with Michael, I believe our community will love him.”

The six-month nationwide search was led by UWGC board chair Julia Poston with BeecherHill, an Ohio-based executive search firm, and a committee comprised of community and board leaders. Johnson was selected from a pool of more than 200 candidates.

Robert C. Reifsnyder, Julia W. Poston, Michael Johnson

Robert C. Reifsnyder, Julia W. Poston, Michael Johnson

“Michael is a dynamic and inspiring leader,” Poston said. “His passion and personal understanding of this work, combined with his commitment to community engagement, fundraising expertise and nonprofit management experience will position him for great success as our new CEO

Johnson has led the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County for the last eight years, quadrupling the number of children and families served and expanding the operating budget by 318 percent. He developed and instituted strong financial controls and led a private-public part

nership with the Madison Metropolitan School District to achieve eight consecutive years of graduation rates greater than 90 percent for low-income, first-generation college students.  

He joins United Way as the organization takes new steps to address poverty, with a stronger focus on children and families living in poverty.

“I accepted this opportunity because I grew up in public housing in Chicago, overcame not being able to read and write at college proficiency, and I understand firsthand the challenges that trap families in poverty and the impact it can have on a family, city and region,” Johnson said. “I am looking forward to calling Cincinnati home and working with United Way partners, volunteers and the private and public sectors to help unite our community to change lives and provide a clearer pathway to help move children and families out of poverty.”

Johnson served as chairman of United Way of Dane County Government and Nonprofit Division for its 2015 Workplace Campaign. He served on more than a dozen boards and committees, including The Overture Center for the Arts, Bike Federation of Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin School of Human Ecology, CF Charities and the Police Athletic League of Philadelphia. He holds a bachelor’s in business education from Chicago State University, an MBA from the University of Phoenix and several certifications.

Johnson and his wife, Toya, who has been leading as a United Way director in Dane County, will relocate to Cincinnati with their three children.

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