Executive Team

Through the talent and leadership abilities held by staff at all levels of our organization, we will increase our ability to insure that all citizens we serve can realize their dreams of being independent and self-sufficient.


Michaels Picture


President and Chief Executive Officer
Williamson is responsible for organizational operations and integrity, building community partnerships and assuring that United Way conducts an effective annual campaign. He is committed to a focus on community outcomes as the key strategy for increasing accountability and maintaining United Ways’ leadership in philanthropy and community building.  He has over 19 years of executive level nonprofit management experience and has served the United Way system for over 15 years. Full bio here.


Charmaine Caccioppi


Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer
Caccioppi has a focus on Public Policy, Governmental Affairs and Community Impact. Her career at United Way of Southeast Louisiana has included the successful advocating for the first ever EITC state match, passage of the Child Care Tax Credits, implementing statewide high quality Early Child Care Rating System, and securing funding for the Louisiana 2-1-1 Information Referral and Crisis Management Service.



DEBRA MODLIN Chief Financial Officer

Modlin has the primary responsibility for all accounting operations, including the preparation of monthly consolidated financial statements for twenty-four funds with many departments and cost centers, the budgeting process, as well as the annual audit.  She supervises the Finance and Operations Department, MIS Department, and Building Operations.



MARY AMBROSE Chief Impact Officer

Ambrose works with a team of volunteer and staff experts to guide and direct the community impact work of the organization. This includes the recruitment and development of volunteer leadership, research, community engagement and partnerships, identifying community problems and solutions and directing the distribution of funds raised through the United Way’s annual workplace campaign. 



JAMENE DAHMER Senior Vice President, Long Term Recovery

Dahmer works where disaster strikes, helping families rebuild their homes and lives. She is leading the long term recovery efforts on behalf of survivors of the 2016 March and August floods. Jamene’s mission is to provide opportunities to help rebuild family’s lives for those affected by the disaster.  She also coordinates disaster response and planning with parish, local and state officials. In just three days following the August flood, Jamene opened a United Way warehouse to collect and distribute goods.  Leading the collaboration of 90+ community organizations she oversaw the distribution of 1.2 million recovery items at a value of $1.4 million dollars in the first month following the August flood. 



CAROL GSTOHL, PHR, SHRM-CP  Chief Human Resource Officer

Gstohl is responsible for managing compensation and benefit policies and assists management staff with recruitment and retention. She reviews health and safety procedures, training opportunities, and remains up-to-date with employment law to ensure organizational and staff compliance.




TODD BATTISTE Senior Vice President, Community Impact, Equity, and Education

Battiste is a vital link in our effort to create equitable communities where every person is healthy, educated, and financially stable. As Sr. VP of Community Impact, Equity, and Education, Battiste is responsible for creating effective solutions that are aimed at serving our communities on their path to prosperity. 



LEIGH THORPE Senior Vice President, Resource Development and Marketing

Thorpe oversees the Resource Development and Marketing departments of United Way, working with a team of fundraisers and marketing professionals to share the message of the organization, including its mission, vision and impact across the seven-parish region. She oversees United Way’s Campaign Cabinet, made up of volunteers throughout the community who are dedicated to recruiting new individuals and organizations to be engaged with the organization through volunteerism, advocacy or philanthropic support.


EDWARD J. KRAUSE Chief Technology Officer & Strategy Advisor

Krause is the Pro Bono Chief Technology Officer & Strategy Advisor for UWSELA. He is responsible for all Technology Operations and Strategy. In addition, he serves on the Board of Trustees, Community Impact Committee, and the Campaign Cabinet. Krause has been a volunteer with United Way for over 30 years and is the former Senior VP in Energy and Utilities for a Global Consulting Firm.  



Director, Office of the President

Appleton Gaines serves as a member of the senior leadership team, and manages the activities of the organization’s Board of Trustees and Governance Committee, and leads the organizational culture initiative. She oversees all administrative, financial, and programmatic tasks for the Office of the President, provides information and deliverables in support of organizational priorities, facilitates communication with key stakeholders, and provides staffing support for key meetings and events.

Our full staff listing can be found here.