Yvonne Gray Washington is retiring June 30 as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of United Way of Greater Cincinnati after 21-plus years with the organization.
“It’s been my great pleasure and honor to work side-by-side with Yvonne Washington over the past 17 years,” said Rob Reifsnyder, president and CEO, United Way of Greater Cincinnati. “Every CEO should be fortunate enough to work with someone of Yvonne’s mission-driven leadership caliber. She has led many critical initiatives and guided our United Way to great success, while contributing her volunteer talents to numerous community organizations. Yvonne will be sorely missed.”
Washington joined United Way of Greater Cincinnati in March of 1996 as Vice President of Finance & Administration and became Chief Operating Officer in January of 1999. In February of 2003, she was promoted to Executive Vice President.
“I've been fortunate to be part of such a great organization, surrounded by so many dedicated and talented leaders,” said Washington. “It gives me great pride to call them colleagues and friends. While I look ahead to the next chapter of my life’s journey, I will look back fondly on my time at United Way.”
As Executive Vice President, Washington shared responsibility with the President for the overall operations of the organization, including strategic planning efforts, governance and corporate administrative matters. She also had oversight responsibility for the organization’s four regional offices: Dearborn & Ohio Counties in Indiana, Northern Kentucky, Clermont & Brown Counties and Middletown, OH. Notably, Washington led United Way’s recent building renovation and she was a founder of the Herbert R. Brown Society, which engages African American leaders working together to improve the region.
“Yvonne has been a focused, passionate and calm leader whose positive dedication to the people in our community has made a huge impact on our United Way and our community at large,” said Julia Poston, managing partner, EY, and current United Way of Greater Cincinnati Board Chair. “Yvonne’s thoughtful, steady approach to solving problems will leave a lasting impact for years to come. Yvonne will be missed but we wish her the best in her well-deserved retirement!”
Her professional background also includes 21 years experience in banking, public accounting and education.
Washington has been extensively involved in the Greater Cincinnati community. She currently serves on the Boards of 3CDC, Every Child Succeeds, Bethesda Inc., The Christ College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and Executive Service Corps of Cincinnati. Previous activities include serving as a member of the Boards of TriHealth, Inc., Health Care Access Now, The Springer School, Cincinnati Youth Collaborative and Enjoy the Arts.
Washington was named an Enquirer Woman of the Year for 2007. She was a 2000 YWCA Career Women of Achievement honoree and served as Co-Chair for the YWCA Rising Stars program. Other honors include Girl Scouts Woman of Distinction.
She is a member of The Queen City Chapter of Links, Incorporated, and Leadership Cincinnati Class XXII where she has served on the alumni board.
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a Masters of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science from West Virginia State University. In 2005, she received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the College of Mount St. Joseph.
Yvonne and her husband, Dennis, have five adult children and seven grandchildren. They reside in Symmes Township.