Tuesday, October 14, 2003

United Way recruits women

By Howard Wilkinson
The Cincinnati Enquirer

When the United Way's Alexis de Tocqueville Society was founded 18 years ago in Cincinnati, it was hard to find a woman who could afford the society's admission fee - a $10,000 individual contribution to the United Way.

But, today, as more women fill upper management positions in Cincinnati's largest corporations, the ranks of women among the "leadership givers" for United Way are growing - from three at the society's founding in 1985 to 76 today.

United Way of Greater Cincinnati, with its newly-formed Women's Initiative, is out to find more.

"We've barely touched the ranks of professional women out there - the doctors, the lawyers - who could be part of the campaign," said Kathy Beechem, the U.S. Bank vice president who is co-chairing the society's Women's Initiative.

Tonight, the Women's Initiative will host a 5:30 p.m. reception at the Queen City Club for current women members of the de Tocqueville Society and others that organizers hope will soon become members. The new president of the University of Cincinnati, Nancy Zimpher, who organized a Milwaukee Women's Initiative for United Way when she was president of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, will be the keynote speaker.

The intent, Beechem said, is to find women able to make donations of $10,000 or more and to organize a network of women to serve on United Way agencies' boards.

For information, contact Valerie Macarie at the United Way of Greater Cincinnati at 762-7112.

E-mail hwilkinson@enquirer.com

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