Carol Aquino is retiring July 31 as vice president of marketing at United Way of Greater Cincinnati (UWGC) after 45 years with United Way, the last 36 in Cincinnati.
In an announcement to UWGC volunteers and staff, president and CEO Rob Reifsnyder said, “Carol has had an amazing career and has provided United Way, as well as other community organizations, her passion, leadership and commitment to the cause.”
Aquino, who has directed UWGC’s communications and marketing efforts since 1987, becoming vice president in 1996, said, “It has truly been a pleasure and honor to work with so many dedicated individuals -- staff, volunteers, donors, agency partners -- over the years. While faces and names have sometimes changed, there’s one constant running through all -- a commitment to our community -- that has made working at United Way so rewarding. I look forward to new endeavors and continuing relationships.”
Aquino joined UWGC in 1980 as associate campaign manager, with promotions to senior associate director, campaign and communications, and communications director. She served as staff director, strategic planning, in the mid-90s. Her UW career began in 1971 at United Way of Southeastern New England (RI), where she started in public relations, became communications director, and moved into fundraising. She was also co-affirmative action officer.
She was lead staff for UWGC’s centennial celebration in 2015 and the 2011 grand opening of the Fifth Third Convening Center at United Way. Under her leadership, UWGC has won numerous local and national marketing and communications awards, most recently a national Telly Award for the 2015 campaign videos.
Prior to joining United Way, Aquino was a reporter and editorial page education columnist at the Worcester (MA) Telegram & Gazette and public relations associate at the University of Rochester (NY).
She was on the executive committee of Success By 6® and marketing committee of Every Child Succeeds in the formative years of those UWGC early childhood strategic initiatives. She has led UWGC’s collaboration with the Marvin Lewis Community Fund and Cincinnati Bengals in conducting the Hometown Huddle. In 1999, she consulted in marketing with United Ways in Cape Town and Durban, South Africa. United Way Worldwide recognized her for her length of UW service in 2007.
She was a Great Rivers Girl Scout Council 2005 Woman of Distinction and named Leading Woman -- Communications in 2001.
Aquino is a member of the Reds Community Fund Programming Committee, Cincinnati USA Communications Alliance, CET Community Advisory Council, PR Roundtable, and Social Venture Partners. A Leadership Cincinnati Class 25 graduate, she served on the Bridges for a Just Community board and belonged to the Cincinnati American Marketing Association and Ad Club of Cincinnati (AAF).
She earned a BA degree with honors in history at the University of Rochester and a certificate from the Executive Marketing Institute, Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University.