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United Way Announces New Vice President, Director

HARTFORD, CONN., APRIL 26, 2016 — United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut has announced Jennifer Gifford as the organization’s new vice president of community resources. Additionally, United Way announced the promotion of Maura Cook to the position of community engagement director.

Jennifer GiffordJennifer Gifford is a career-long United Way professional, beginning with her graduate fieldwork at then-United Way of Massachusetts Bay. She joined United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut after graduation from Boston College Graduate School of Social Work, serving in multiple positions throughout the organization, including director of community investment, director of planning and assessment, and, most recently, director of community engagement.

In her time at United Way, Gifford’s leadership in organization planning has been instrumental in United Way’s refinement of its strategic direction and the engagement of area companies, employees, and individuals in critical volunteer work to improve community conditions.

In her new role, Gifford will be responsible for strategically aligning United Way resources (United Way Community Investment funding, volunteers, public policy and advocacy) to advance community priorities. 

Gifford has a master’s degree in social work from Boston College School of Social Work and a bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies from The University of Connecticut. She is a Glastonbury resident.

Maura CookMaura Cook joined United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut in 2013 and has built a career with a wealth of experience in nonprofit management, volunteer mobilization and donor engagement.

At United Way, she has led the organization’s volunteer mobilization and engagement for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program; managed the successful re-launch of the United Way Volunteer Budget Coaching program; and led the creation of United Way’s Making Choices activity, helping raise awareness of our region’s ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) population. 

In her new role, Cook will provide leadership for the organizations development and implementation of volunteer engagement strategies, in addition to duties related to public policy and funding generated outside of the United Way Campaign.

Cook has a master’s degree in communication from Sacred Heart University (Fairfield, Conn.) and bachelor’s degrees in political science and English from Assumption College (Worcester, Mass.). She is a West Hartford resident.

United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut mobilizes people and organizations to give, advocate and volunteer to help children succeed, ensure families are healthy and financially secure, and provide access to basic needs. Since 1924, more than $930 million has been raised through United Way to help people in our 40-town region.

For more information about United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut, visit UnitedWayInc.Org.