Kate Zimmerman has been appointed President and CEO of United Way of Lancaster County, the organization’s board announced Thursday.
Zimmerman begins her new role Monday, Oct. 9. She comes to United Way from Leadership Lancaster, which she joined as program director in 2012 and has led as executive director since 2017.
“We are elated to welcome Kate as our new President and CEO,” United Way board Chair Beth Riley said. “Her exceptional leadership skills, extensive community connections, and deep passion for serving our community make her the ideal choice to lead United Way of Lancaster County.”
Leadership Lancaster provides training to individuals and groups to enhance the positive impact of nonprofits and community benefit organizations. Its programs foster leadership skills and provide a grounding in social issues affecting Lancaster County, including health, education, justice, equity and economic development.
During Zimmerman’s tenure, Leadership Lancaster secured its status as an independent nonprofit, having previously been a program of the Lancaster Chamber. She secured an endowment for leadership development of marginalized communities and expanded programming to promote diverse, equitable and inclusive leadership across Lancaster County.
That included several new partnerships, including collaboration with the city to create the Neighborhood Leaders Academy; and with Intermediate Unit 13 and Church World Service to create the New Americans Leadership Academy, promoting self-advocacy for immigrant and refugee communities.
Zimmerman herself is a 2009 graduate of Leadership Lancaster’s Core Class.
“As a transplant to Lancaster County, Leadership Lancaster helped me understand this community on both a personal and professional level,” she said. “I have become deeply aware of the strengths and opportunities in our community, of the people on the front lines of creating community change, of current impactful initiatives and collaborations, and of the work still to be done.
“I intend to lead the United Way of Lancaster County into a secure future, continuing as a leader in philanthropy for all members of our community. I envision a future where United Way is a community convener as we address our community’s most critical issues across all sectors, and where the reputation of the organization, respected not just in Lancaster but worldwide, is stewarded and amplified.”
Zimmerman, 43, succeeds Kevin Ressler, who stepped down at the end of June to become CEO of the Alliance for Health Equity, a nonprofit based in Coatesville, Chester County.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Calvin College, is certified by BoardSource as a board governance consultant and is certified in fundraising by The Fund Raising School at Indiana University’s School of Philanthropy.
Zimmerman is co-chair of the Coalition for Sustainable Housing, board president of the Manheim Township Educational Foundation a member of the Lancaster Chamber’s Community Advisory Council and a volunteer with the Lancaster County Community Foundation. She lives in Manheim Township with her husband and her two teenagers.