Jeff Hayward: President & CEO

Jeff Hayward has served as President & CEO of Heart of Florida United Way since December 2016. With nearly 18 years of experience in the United Way network and as a nonprofit professional, Jeff brings a unique blend of expertise to the Heart of Florida United Way.

Previously, Jeff served as chief of external affairs at United Way of Massachusetts Bay where he was responsible for overseeing the annual strategic investment of nearly $32 million in initiatives and agencies. In addition, Hayward managed the public policy strategy, volunteer engagement, grants, and marketing and communications.

Just prior to his becoming chief of external affairs, he held the position of senior vice president of community impact where he was responsible for the development and implementation of United Way’s strategies related to healthy childhood development, increasing youth opportunities and family financial stability. In this role in 2007, Jeff oversaw United Way’s strategic shift in its grant-making strategy, one which tied United Way’s investment in community-based agencies to the achievement of measurable, specific outcomes in these focus areas.

Jeff’s professional background – a hybrid of politics, public and private sector service – has prepared him well for his responsibilities. He previously served as chief of staff to the Mayor of Lynn for five years. He later served as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives before becoming the New England vice president for development and marketing for a national, publicly traded health care company.

Jeff represented United Way on the Board of the Massachusetts Alliance for Shelter and Housing, a first-in-the-world “Pay for Success” initiative to reduce chronic individual homelessness statewide.  He was also a member of the MA Policy Academy on Ending Family Homelessness charged with developing a 10-year plan to eliminate family homelessness and was a member of the MA Department of Transitional Assistance’s Housing and Homeless Advisory Committee appointed by the Commissioner of DTA. He also served on the Massachusetts Commission to End Homelessness which developed a five year plan to end homelessness in MA under the Patrick Administration.

Finally, he also served as a member of the United Way of America, Financial Stability Partnership Steering Committee, representing one of 25 United Ways selected for their innovation in using asset building as a strategy for providing economic opportunities for lower income families. Since moving to Central Florida, he has joined the board and executive committee of Central Florida Commission on Homelessness and the board of CareerSource Central Florida.

He is a graduate of St. Anselm College and was a Casey Foundation/United Way of America Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government – Family Strengthening for Success.

Jeff and his wife Anne-Marie have three children, Nathaniel, Victoria and Abigail.

Jill Grevi, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

A highly respected member of the executive team, Jill Grevi is responsible for the fiscal oversight of approximately $26.1 million in total resources managed each year by the organization.

Her additional responsibilities include guiding United Way’s financial planning strategies, developing and implementing new policies, ensuring compliance with United Way World Wide membership standards, and managing administrative operations, such as human resources and facility management. As an advisor to the United Way Board of Directors, she also reports on new business ventures, banking and investment strategies and budget matters.

In addition to dollars raised by the annual fundraising campaign, organizational resources for which Jill has oversight include funds managed through United Way’s Emergency & Homelessness Services division, as well as two programs Grevi helped implement — the Ryan White Part B/General Revenue program, which serves AIDS/HIV patients; and the United Way Gifts in Kind Center, which collects and distributes donated goods that help local nonprofit agencies conserve precious dollars.

Committed to fiscal transparency and responsible stewardship, Grevi’s high professional standards have ensured a history of impeccable public audits, which reinforce United Way ‘s reputation as the gold standard for charitable giving — locally and nationally.

An accounting graduate of Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Grevi began her career in the commercial real estate and insurance industries. Guided by her passion for helping others, she joined United Way as Finance Director in 1991.

After three years of working with the agency, she returned to Heart of Florida United Way and has continued her tradition of running a first-class accounting operation, which continually receives accolades from United Way board members and the accounting community.

Robert G. “Bob” Haight, Senior Vice President, Resource Development

Robert Haight joined Heart of Florida United Way (HFUW) in September, 2010 to lead the organization’s multimillion dollar annual campaign effort that helps the residents of Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties.  The Heart of Florida United Way’s 2016-17 campaign raised $17.7 million in support of health, education, financial stability, veteran’s services and basic needs. During his United Way career he has directed campaigns raising over $265 million for local human services.

Haight is a Leadership Orlando Graduate and is a graduate of United Way Worldwide Advanced Leadership Program.  He has served as a judge for the Spirit of America and Summit Award which is United Way’s highest national honor recognizing elite Global Corporate Leaders for outstanding employee and community engagement, volunteering and measurable impact.

A results-oriented community leader with 30 years of United Way experience, Haight’s expertise includes workplace fundraising, major gift development, community investment, social responsibility initiatives, financial management and public policy.

Prior to joining HFUW, Haight served as president of Heart of West Michigan United Way, based in Grand Rapids, where he was responsible for revenue of more than $14 million and an additional $8 million in resources-under-management.

From 1999-2003, Haight also served as president of United Way of Illinois, which supported the work of 102 local United Ways in the areas of public policy, resource development, strategic planning and marketing collaborative.  United Way of Illinois members collectively raised approximately $141 million per year. In this role, Haight also guided major marketing and public policy initiatives, including the organization’s NFL partnership with the Chicago Bears; Public Health Initiative supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Governor’s Illinois Charter for Children, which promotes the healthy development of children and families. 

Earlier in his career, Haight also led United Way organizations in Ohio, Michigan and Illinois. He was instrumental in guiding a multistate collaboration to expand and improve the national 2-1-1 Information and Referral System.  He directed the River Bend United Way’s flood relief efforts during the Great Mississippi and Missouri Flood of 1993; which caused over $15 Billion in crop and property damages displacing families and business throughout the Midwest.

Long active in civic issues and organizations, Haight served with the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, Kent County Workforce Development Board, Kent County Family Children’s Coordinating Council and the Emergency Needs Task Forces. As President of Heart of West Michigan United Way, he also co-chaired a Countrywide Mortgage foreclosure settlement program and generated more than $3 million for local youth education initiatives.  Haight is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University, where he earned a masters degree in Social Science Administration. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Ashland College.

Joan Nelson, Sr. Vice President, Community Investment

Joan Nelson first joined Heart of Florida United Way in 1997 as Director of Resource Management. She was responsible for the fund distribution process, where she oversaw recruitment and training of community volunteers who made recommendations for the distribution of approximately $12 million to more than 150 social service programs. She has been responsible for HFUW’s role in the introduction and ongoing training of Outcome Based Evaluation training for agencies and programs serving central Florida.

After a short period away from HFUW, she returned in 2001 to a joint position between HFUW and the University of Central Florida, as the Director of Research and Evaluation/Campus Director of the American Humanics Certificate program for UCF. The university and Heart of Florida United Way have had a long and successful collaboration and Nelson’s efforts and leadership contributed to this success.

In February 2007, Nelson was promoted to Vice President of Community Investment, with the responsibility of implementing an expansion of the current business model called Investing In Results (IIR).The IIR process focuses resources for programs and initiatives that address the root causes of problems in order to move the needle and create lasting change in the community.

In addition, Nelson has served as an adjunct professor in UCF’s School of Social Work and Public Administration departments, and she has taught at California State University, San Bernadino. Active in the community, she has served with numerous groups, including the Orange County Partnership Committee, the Orange County Commission on Aging, Seminole Community Alliance, the UCF School of Social Work Community Advisory Committee, the UCF Nonprofit Management Advisory Board, the Orange County Central Receiving Center Governing Board and the Wraparound Orange Continuum of Care Committee.

A published author, Nelson co-authored an article entitled “Evaluating Performance Systems in Nonprofit Agencies: The Program Accountability Scale (PAQS),” which appeared in the American Journal of Evaluation. Another co-authored article, “Predictive Factors in Creating Successful Outcome Evaluation Plans,” appeared in Nonprofit Management & Leadership. In 2009, Nelson was honored with the National Network for Social Work Managers Exemplar Award. In 2010, she received the UCF Outstanding Alumni Award for the School of Social Work.

Nelson received her MBA from Rollins College and earned a master’s in Social Work from UCF and a B.A. from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. She has two grown sons and has lived in Winter Park for 28 years.

Larry Olness, Sr. Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer

Larry Olness joined the Heart of Florida United Way in May 2005. He came from United Way of Dane County in Madison, Wisconsin where he served nine years as the Program Manager for Statewide 2-1-1 System. Larry is responsible for the Community Services Department and he also is the Chief Strategy Officer with the expanded role of developing, executing and sustaining organizational strategic initiatives.

Community Services includes the 2-1-1 Contact Center, serving 15 Counties and 3 national contracts with over 240,000 contacts per year,  the Gifts In Kind warehouse which distributes over 1.5 million dollars in Fair Market Value products to area non-profits, the Emergency Homeless Services programs which includes internal case management and external fiscal management of between 3 and 5 million dollars annually, the Volunteer Resource Center which manages organizational and community volunteer opportunities and events  and the Information Technologies staff that support the organization.

Additionally, Larry is a veteran who served in the U.S. Army for 7 years and he has oversight of the Mission United program for veterans and their families. Larry also is responsible for all logistics for the Dress2learn program that provides new clothes to homeless children.

Today, Olness is active with a number of national initiatives including the 2-1-1 CEO workgroup where he led the Performance and Metrics Committee that developed national 2-1-1 standards and the veteran’s workgroup helping to identify United Way of America’s role serving veterans.

Larry has been married for 40 years to Shellie and has 4 daughters.

Raymond L. Larsen, M.A., Vice President for Collective Impact

Raymond Larsen is the Vice President for Collective Impact at the Heart of Florida United Way. Heart of Florida United Way’s Investing in Results goal is to create lasting, measurable change – not just for today, but for generations to come.

Ray Larsen received his master’s Degree at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium. He has worked in the nonprofit sector in Central Florida for his entire career. Ray was co-author of the “Central Florida Regional Indicators Report: Legacy 2000”; and the “Central Florida Children and Youth Report”. He has published numerous articles including: “The Opportunity for Quality Child Care”; “A Strength-Based Approach to School Readiness”; and, “Incubated in Terror: The effects of Abuse and Neglect on Child Brain Development”.

Raymond has been recognized for his efforts in the community proudly receiving the Lawton Chiles State Child Advocacy Award; the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce Unsung Hero Award and the March of Dimes National Distinguished Volunteer Service Award. Ray is married to Mary Larsen and the is father of three sons.

Ashley Blasewitz, Chief Marketing Officer

Ashley Blasewitz leads the strategic direction of the marketing and communications department for Heart of Florida United Way.

She joined the leadership team from Costa Communications Group in Winter Park, Fla. after nearly five years of managing high-profile clients’ communications needs in a variety of industries, including education, nonprofit, banking, real estate and senior living.

Ashley brings expertise in public relations, marketing, social media, community relations, branding and integrated communications. In her previous role as a senior account executive, her duties included overseeing communication strategy, handling media relations on local, regional and national levels, developing community relations campaigns, writing press materials, coordinating events and facilitating production of marketing materials.

An active member of Public Relations Society of America, Ashley was recently certified as an Accredited Public Relations professional. Through the course of her career, Ashley’s work has been recognized by Florida Public Relations Association through Awards of Distinction, Judge’s Award, an Image Award and a Grand Image Award. She earned both her bachelor’s degree in public relations and master’s in integrated marketing communications from Florida State University. A native of Central Florida, she currently lives in Seminole County with her husband, Brian.

Stephanie B. Husted, Director, Office of the President

Stephanie Husted is instrumental in managing Heart of Florida United Way’s Public Policy programs and assisting the CEO in achieving the long-term goals and objectives adopted by the president/CEO and board of directors.

She returned to United Way in 2013 after earlier serving as the organization’s director of the Ryan White Part B program, which annually administers more than $2.4 million in support of HIV/AIDS patients in Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Brevard counties.

Most recently, she served in a similar capacity with Orange County Government’s Ryan White Part A program, where she managed relationships between federal, state and local stakeholders and also assisted with grant applications, fiscal management and program compliance.

During the course of her career, Husted was elected chair of the Orlando EMA HIV Services Planning Council, selected by the Florida Department of Health to serve as the area’s Patient Care Planning Group Representative and served as a member of the State of Florida Native American Health Disparities Advisory Council.

Earlier in her career, Husted managed the development, implementation, evaluation and marketing of three HIV/AIDS support programs for The Center for Drug Free Living. As program manager she was directly involved with the preparation and negotiation of two state level grants with awarded funding totaling over $300,000 per contract year.

Husted holds a bachelor’s degree in public administration from the University of Central Florida.

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Heart of Florida United Way, 1940 Traylor Blvd, Orlando, FL 32804

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