BALTIMORE, Md. (November 8, 2021) – Throughout the last year, United Way of Central Maryland has worked around the clock to provide what’s needed, where it’s needed most. Today, the organization announced this year’s Campaign Chairs: Rodney Oddoye, senior vice president, governmental and external affairs, Baltimore Gas and Electric Company, and Gregory Farno, Maryland regional president, Truist. The pair will work to lead fundraising efforts in the central Maryland region to support United Way’s important work in the community, such as eviction prevention, preventing hunger, expanding digital access, economic advancement, and more.
After co-chairing a successful campagin that raised more than $17 million last year, Oddoye returns to continue his work for the region! Since relocating to Maryland to attend college, Oddoye – a graduate of the University of Maryland College Park, Washington College, and Loyola University of Maryland – has immersed himself in the community. He serves on the Economic Development and Advisory Board for Baltimore County, the board of directors for the University of Maryland Medical Center, and the Center for Urban Families; as well as on the board of trustees at the Maryland Zoo and Baltimore Center Stage. He is a member of the Power Engineering Society-IEEE, and the American Association of Blacks in Energy. He is also a 2019 graduate of Leadership Maryland and a 2014 graduate of Leadership Maryland Anne Arundel County. Oddoye leads efforts in economic and workforce development to drive equity and empowerment for our communities.
“I’m proud of the work I was able to accomplish and the lives I touched by leading fundraising efforts for United Way of Central Maryland last year,” said Oddoye. “We made strides in preventing evictions, closing the digital divide, and supporting children in school, but we still have a long way to go. Which is why I’m back to lend a helping hand in fundraising for these causes as well as many others for United Way.”
Farno’s passion for education and the community fueled his desire to help raise funds for those in need. After coming to Maryland to begin his financial career, he fell in love with the Baltimore community. He serves on the board of directors for the B&O Railroad Museum, the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, the Greater Baltimore Committee, Living Classrooms, and the Maryland Bankers Association. He is a past member of the executive board of the Baltimore Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Family and Children Services of Maryland, and the Center for Urban Families. Farno received his bachelor’s degree in Economics from Gettysburg College.
“At Truist, our purpose is to inspire and build better lives and communities, which is why we partner with nonprofit leaders making a difference in the community,” said Farno. “United Way of Central Maryland provides what’s needed, when and where it’s needed most, and their work proves that. I’m thrilled to support their efforts to strengthen our community.”
In its 96-year history, United Way of Central Maryland has successfully served the community as it continues to evolve as an incubator of new ideas and provider of services strategically deployed to meet community needs. In the last year, the organization has worked with multiple partners to invest in the community in various ways:
- $3 million was directed to COVID relief efforts through the COVID-19 Fund.
- $3 million in grants was awarded to area nonprofits and other community organizations to support their work and Neighborhood Grants for resident-driven projects.
- $1.6 million was distributed to assist other nonprofits in their work and operations.
- Prevented evictions for almost 1,700 households.
- $4 million was used to establish two new Family Centers in our Neighborhood Zones in Poppleton and Columbia to provide affordable, accessible childcare.
- Hundreds of thousands of calls were answered through the 211 Helpline.
“Our work to support our community, especially as we all continue to respond and recover from the pandemic, must continue. This year’s campaign chairs will inspire central Maryland business leaders to support that work,” said Franklyn Baker, president and CEO, United Way of Central Maryland. “Earlier this year, we launched a statewide COVID-19 survey to help us better understand the needs in our communities since the pandemic began. This data will help us focus our efforts over the next year on the community’s most pressing needs, including eviction prevention, expanding digital access, and addressing the childcare crisis.”
To find out more about United Way’s recent work, visit www.uwcm.org.
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