United Way of Central Maryland has announced Franklyn Baker as the organization’s new President and CEO, effective November 28, 2016.
Baker comes to United Way of Central Maryland after having served as Principal Deputy and Chief Operating Officer for Greenpeace USA—a $45 million nonprofit with 600 staff.
“I am thrilled to join United Way of Central Maryland and to support their incredible work,” Baker said. “I look forward to working alongside their board, staff, volunteers, community partners and advocates to build upon the gains that have been made to stabilize and improve access to quality education, employment, health and housing throughout the region. Together, we will strengthen our social impact—one person, one household and one community at a time.”
A cross-functional leader with diverse expertise in non-profit organizations, Baker has also served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief of Staff and External Affairs Officer with Volunteers of America Chesapeake.
Before Volunteers of America Chesapeake, Baker worked as Director and Executive Administrator of Public Sector Partnerships within Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C. and has served on multiple boards, including as board chair of Unity Healthcare, which yielded $95 million under his watch.
“These are exciting times for United Way of Central Maryland,” said Jim Wheeler, Chair of the Board for United Way of Central Maryland. “Franklyn Baker is an exceptional leader whose strategic planning, operations and financial expertise, coupled with a career steeped in health and human services, will be a tremendous asset to United Way of Central Maryland’s work. I believe he will drive our organization to reach our new strategic goals, focused on creating stability for struggling families, while strengthening and creating new initiatives and opportunities for donors and volunteers across central Maryland who support our efforts to provide the building blocks for a self-sufficient life.”
United Way has transitioned from being primarily a conduit for philanthropic dollars into a human services delivery organization, directly involved with providing services aimed at strengthening families and communities across the region. The organization focuses its efforts on areas that lead to stability: education, employment, housing and health. United Way of Central Maryland is an agent for change in Baltimore City and the five surrounding counties: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard. Last year, United Way was able to serve more children and families than any other year in its 92-year history.
Its robust portfolio of new and expanded programs for 2017 includes continuing to support the growth and success of its family stability work throughout central Maryland; celebrating the 10th anniversary of the 2-1-1 Maryland United Way Helpline; and launching a pilot Early Warning and Response education program to identify struggling students and respond with urgency, connecting them and their families with the resources they need to get them back on track for graduation.
The organization also plans to move to new headquarters in Baltimore’s Montgomery Park next spring, which will allow the nonprofit to put more resources into its programs, help more people and lift up more neighborhoods.
Baker—who earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Howard University and a master’s degree in nonprofit administration from the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame—will succeed long-time United Way President and CEO Mark Furst, who stepped down in October. Baker lives in Annapolis with his wife Michell and daughter Gabriell.
About United Way of Central Maryland
For more than 90 years, United Way of Central Maryland has been empowering families to become self-sufficient by focusing on the building blocks of a better life: education, employment, housing and health. Family Stability is at the heart of this work, which includes helping children be successful in school so they graduate with a bright future; ensuring individuals, children and families have a safe, affordable place to call home; helping people find stable employment that brings in enough income to cover the basics and ensuring our neighbors in need have access to healthy, nutritious food and healthcare. All of this work is supported by the 2-1-1 Maryland United Way Helpline, a 24-hour, 7-day a week service that provides information and referrals on a variety of health and human service issues to individuals. Program volunteers answered more than 100,000 calls for help in the last fiscal year. United Way is improving lives in central Maryland communities, but no one can create change alone. That’s why United Way of Central Maryland is encouraging individuals to get their friends, colleagues and others involved, to do more in the community and help more families in central Maryland. Together, United Way of Central Maryland, its supporters and its volunteers can empower more families in the communities it serves: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard Counties and Baltimore City.