United Way Of Greater Cleveland CEO August Napoli Sets Retirement Date

United Way of Greater Cleveland President and CEO August Napoli
United Way of Greater Cleveland President and CEO August Napoli [United Way]

United Way of Greater Cleveland President and CEO August "Augie" Napoli is retiring. He’ll leave his leadership role in June 2022, six years after taking on the position.

During his tenure the organization shifted its role from funding a broad spectrum of local charities to more targeted efforts at addressing poverty.

“I greatly appreciate the board’s support for the changes we’ve made in the way United Way operates and the work we do improve the lives of those living in poverty across our community,” Napoli said in a press release Wednesday.

In the past year, the United Way turned its attention to organizations providing pandemic assistance including Big Brothers Big Sisters, which helped families with digital mentoring, and the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, according to United Way’s annual report.

Since January, the organization’s 211 service answered tens of thousands of calls from residents trying to navigate COVID-19 vaccination appointments when they were hard to come by. It continues to provide assistance with social services.

A search for Napoli’s replacement will begin immediately, the release said, with the aim of having a new president in place by the time Napoli vacates the job.

The change in United Way’s direction was not without controversy. It meant funding cuts to many organizations that receive financial support through the United Way. Scene’s Sam Allard pointed to mismanagement and disillusioned employees in a 2020 story.

Explaining the reasoning for the change in direction on Ideastream Public Media’s the “Sound of Ideas,” Napoli argued the existing system of philanthropic funding is inadequate.

“United Way's long-standing practice of funding good ideas and intentions clearly is not working – we must do better for our city's citizens, and we will work with a concentrated group of partners to tackle this issue head on," he said.

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