Succession Plan Part of Strategic Plan

Oshkosh, April 27 - The Oshkosh Area United Way board of directors approved a five-year strategic plan that would double its resources to increase its impact by 2023. The plan includes initiatives that will engage the community in identifying and resolving critical needs in health, education and financial stability.

The board identified strategic initiatives, which will focus on:  

  •     Expanding, enhancing, and measuring the impact of community initiatives
  •     Increasing resources to fund programs
  •     Staff and board development

The plan includes action steps that will allow the Oshkosh Area United Way to understand, prioritize and communicate the most critical health, education, and financial stability needs of the Oshkosh area and mobilize the community to support those needs. In order to highlight the impact of the United Way efforts that continuously demonstrate accountability to donors and stakeholders the board will develop and implement effective ways of measuring and reporting collective impact of programs.

"Our strategic plan allows for more business and community involvement in setting of United Way priorities over the next five years. As a result, the Oshkosh Area United Way will be more visible in the community and continue to deliver a high level of accountability," said Bruce Williams, United Way chairman and executive with BMO Harris in Oshkosh.

"Our board of directors will have the opportunity to be engaged with the strategic initiatives going forward and experience a greater sense of accomplishment. The board will support our professional staff, not in day to day operations, but in initiatives to insure the long-term success and relevance of the United Way in Oshkosh," Williams said. "No organization can solve everything and the strategic plan puts emphasis on bringing about partnerships and collaboration. It will create impact with our partners."

As part of the strategic planning process, the board also approved a leadership succession plan to hire a new Chief Executive Officer due to the retirement of Sue Panek at the end of 2018.

Sue joined the Oshkosh Area United Way in 1993 after spending 15 years as a Girl Scout executive and a United Way volunteer.  During Sue's leadership the Oshkosh Area United Way raised more than $26 million to support community nonprofit agencies and the development of community impact programs directed at the Oshkosh Area United Way's objectives of improving financial stability, education and health.

Under Sue's guidance, the Oshkosh Area United Way was a leader in the development of a free tax filing assistance program (VITA), the implementation of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library early childhood learning program and the introduction of the Family Wise discount drug program in the community. She created task forces to address refugee resettlement, hunger and poverty (hub), and collaborated to create the Weight of the Fox Valley initiative and the regional 211 information and referral service.

"In the 24 years Sue has been executive director of the Oshkosh Area United Way, she has helped start and sustain major community initiatives, engaged leaders in all sectors and always put the needs of donors, volunteers, 'clients' and partners first," Williams said. "Without her leadership and direction, we would not be able to have accomplished the collaborative community we have today. We are grateful for all she has done and will continue to do."

As part of the succession plan, Sue will continue as president of the organization, developing and overseeing the Oshkosh Area United Way's community impact initiatives until her retirement, at the end of 2018.


CEO Search Begins

The search for the Chief Executive Officer is underway. The Oshkosh Area United Way has begun the process of hiring a CEO by retaining the Employment Resource Group (ERG) to lead the recruiting.

The Oshkosh Area United Way is seeking a CEO due to the retirement of Executive Director Sue Panek in December 2018. The CEO will be responsible for leading implementation of the newly established strategic plan.

Candidates for the CEO position will have the following qualifications:

  •     Demonstrated success in promoting and sustaining efforts to attract and retain a qualified and diverse staff, volunteer board, and committees. Experience must include leadership and staff management in a nonprofit, for-profit, or government organization.
  •     Demonstrated success in generating revenue such as securing major gifts, fundraising, or a sales campaign, and experience with budgeting.
  •     Demonstrated collaboration and consensus building abilities to bring together a diverse group of constituents. Experience negotiating and compromising without losing sight of the core mission.

Confidential inquiries regarding the search should be directed to