United Way’s Annual Meeting highlights grantees, volunteers, philanthropic workplaces

June 14, 2023


NEW ORLEANS – United Way of Southeast Louisiana (UWSELA) unveiled Wednesday a dynamic lineup of corporate recognitions, prestigious awards, programmatic grant recipients and volunteer leadership representatives at its highly anticipated annual meeting of members.

“For nearly 100 years, the community has embedded United Way of Southeast Louisiana in its foundation, and today’s announcements reflect the unwavering dedication of our supporters. They make all our impact possible,” said UWSELA President and CEO Michael Williamson. “In a region when half of households are struggling to make ends meet, I’m hopeful for progress as I know help is available to our most vulnerable neighbors thanks to the extraordinary people and partners who make up United Way.”   

The gathering celebrated the remarkable individuals, dedicated partners and transformative programs that fuel UWSELA’s mission to eradicate poverty in Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Washington parishes.


UWSELA Names Board of Trustees and Campaign Cabinet Chairs
UWSELA Board of Trustees members elected Ronnie Slone, President of The Slone Group, as the 2023-24 chair. Slone served the organization for the last two years as campaign cabinet chair, a fundraising role that Paul Matthews, the Port of South Louisiana CEO, will now fill. 

The following individuals will join the Board of Trustees for their first three-year term.

  • Tony Adams, First Horizon Bank
  • Michelle Delery, Entergy Corporation
  • Meghan Donelon, Red River Bank
  • Dr. Rochelle Ford, Dillard University
  • Chris Masingill, St. Tammany Corporation
  • Kay Miller, Ericksen Krentel
  • Michael Neely, WDSU
  • Courtney Nicholson, Entergy New Orleans
  • Will Wainwright, Southeastern Louisiana University


Blueprint for Prosperity Grants Awarded to 65 Local Programs
UWSELA announced the 2023-26 Blueprint for Prosperity Programmatic Grant recipients, including 65 programs and 57 agencies serving residents across Southeast Louisiana. 

UWSELA hosted community listening sessions in 2022 to understand the pressing issues and pathways to maximize impact in Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Washington parishes. 

The sessions revealed the shortage of high-quality youth programming and educational opportunities, economic instability, resource navigation assistance and unaddressed behavioral and mental health challenges are holding many area ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) households back. Additionally, while many nonprofits and programs exist to support the health and vibrancy of local communities, they reported often lacking the funding and coordination needed to drive systemic change.

The new grantees align with the Blueprint for Prosperity, UWSELA’s plan to end poverty, and drill into priority areas identified through the listening process in each parish. 

“What is truly remarkable about our new grantees is the level of diversity and inclusion they bring to our work,” said Slone. “Among these organizations, we have 22 led by Black, indigenous, or people of color, amplifying their voices and ensuring their expertise is at the forefront of our efforts, and 21 of these organizations are new partners to United Way. Their innovative approaches and fresh perspectives will invigorate our collective work, bringing new insights and strategies to address ongoing challenges.” 

A community volunteer and UWSELA Community Impact staff member scored each grant proposal as part of a comprehensive review process.

View a full list of programs at UnitedWaySELA.org/CommunityPartners.


Southeast Louisiana’s Top 10 Most Generous Workplaces Revealed
The annual Top 10 Most Generous Workplaces ranking recognizes the businesses in UWSELA’s seven-parish service area that contributed the most to and through the organization during the previous fiscal year.

This year’s outstanding philanthropic partners include: 

  1. Shell
  2. Entergy Corporation
  3. Valero Meraux Refinery
  4. Chalmette Refining, LLC - PBF Energy 
  5. International Paper
  6. Freeport-McMoRan, Inc.
  7. Rain Carbon Inc.
  8. Pan-American Life Insurance Group
  9. Zachry Group
  10. Turner Industries

Shell and Entergy Corporation swapped spots atop the list while Chalmette Refining, LLC - PBF Energy rejoined the Top 10 this year after raising over $335,000 in special event proceeds alone. 



2022-23 LIVE UNITED Award Winners: Recognizing Remarkable Social Impact Leaders
UWSELA also paid tribute to the recipients of the 2022-23 LIVE UNITED Awards, spotlighting the extraordinary individuals and organizations that embody the collaborative spirit of United Way, joining forces to tackle our community’s most pressing challenges.

The winners, nominated and selected by UWSELA staff, each made a unique impact on Southeast Louisiana households, helping raise funds for tornado victims, increasing access to affordable early care and education, engaging young professionals in UWSELA’s mission and much more. 

The 2022-23 LIVE UNITED Award winners:

  • Ed Krause Volunteer of the Year
    •  Bea Forlano, Enterprise Holdings 
  • Hidden Heroes
    • Terry Delancy
    • Charles Raymond
  • Lisa Arseneaux Employee Campaign Champion (ECC) of the Year
    • Ashley Morgan, Rain Carbon Inc.
  • Outstanding Communications
    • WDSU
  • Public Policy Award
    • Louisiana First Lady Donna Edwards
  • Community Impact Funding Partner Award
    • New Orleans Mayor’s Office of Youth and Families
  • Community Impact Service Partner
    • The Power Coalition for Equity and Justice
  • Small Company
    • Hartwig Moss Insurance Agency
  • Mid-Sized Company
    • Chalmette Refining, LLC – PBF Energy
  • Large Company
    • Shell

This year marked the naming of UWSELA’s annual Volunteer of the Year Award as the Ed Krause Volunteer of the Year Award. Krause, a long-time, dedicated donor and volunteer, acted as UWSELA’s pro-bono chief technology officer at the time of his passing in 2022.




About United Way of Southeast Louisiana
For nearly 100 years, United Way of Southeast Louisiana (UWSELA) has been a leader and trusted partner in improving lives and making a lasting difference. We fight to eradicate poverty by preparing people for quality jobs, growing incomes, and affording better health and education opportunities throughout Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington parishes. We have a bold vision of equitable communities where all individuals are healthy, educated, and financially stable – and we have a plan. United Way of Southeast Louisiana’s Blueprint for Prosperity guides all strategic investments in programs, initiatives, collaborations, volunteerism, and advocacy aimed at tackling poverty. For more information, please visit UnitedWaySELA.org. Find us on social: @UnitedWaySELA.