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ROCHESTER – United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes has appointed Lawana Jones as Chief Operating Officer.
Jones will oversee several internal departments, projects and processes, including resource expansion, marketing, leadership development programs, community engagement, building data warehouses and business analytics. She brings over 20 years of organizational management experience and 16 years of nonprofit leadership to this role.
“We are thrilled to have such a talented and visionary seasoned leader join United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes leadership team,” said Jaime Saunders, President and CEO of United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger. Lakes. “Lawana brings a unique combination of business leadership and nonprofit insights, along with continuous improvement and in-depth knowledge of IT. She looks forward to using her talents and skills in leadership to support our six-county region as we evolve to meet the local needs of our community, now and in the future.
United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes was formed in 2021 from the merger of six United Way organizations in Genesee, Livingston, Wyoming, Monroe, Ontario and Wayne counties.
“I am excited about the bright future of United Way and the transformation of the organization as we now support our six-county region. We are working hard to make sure we continue to show up and support our community every day and in more transformative ways,” Jones said.
Jones previously worked at L3Harris as Director, Continuous Improvement Manager and Senior Project Manager. Prior to that, she held the position of Project Director for Information Security Services at Xerox.
Jones is also President and CEO of the Autism Council of Rochester, which she established in 2005. She is active in community service, serving on several nonprofit boards and committees.
Jones is a certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Scrum Master and Agile Project Manager. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Nazareth College, an MBA from the University of Rochester, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Transformational Leadership from Bakke Graduate University.
Jones has received the NY Senator District Women of Distinction Award, the Community Service Award from the Rochester Business Journal, and the 40 under 40 Community Award from the Rochester Business Alliance.
Jones is also a 2001 graduate of the United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes African American Leadership Development Program and a 2007 graduate of Leadership Rochester. Jones took over as COO on March 31.