Skip to main content

United Way Announces Rene Gellerman as New President & CEO

United Way of the Quad Cities Area announced today that Rene Gellerman has been named their new President & CEO, starting October 29, 2018.

“We are delighted that Rene Gellerman will be our next President & CEO. She is forward-thinking leader with deep community relationships and a track record of turning big ideas into action,” said Don Doucette, United Way Board Chair and Chancellor of Eastern Iowa Community Colleges. “Her passion for building a stronger region for all Quad Citizens is contagious, and fits our mission to mobilize people and resources to improve lives in our community.”

“I’ve worked with Rene through Q2030, the Big Table and a number of community fundraising efforts. I’m confident that her passion to be a difference-maker and commitment to connecting people to causes they care about will result in new ways to involve United Way’s current donors and engage new supporters in meaningful ways.” said Mara Downing, United Way campaign co-chair and President of the John Deere Foundation.

Gellerman worked at the Quad Cities Chamber for the last 12 years, serving most recently as Senior Vice President and Loaned Executive to Q2030. Her primary responsibilities included guiding and implementing the Q2030 Regional Action Plan, community outreach, visioning, strategic planning, demographic research, building collaborative teams, volunteer development, establishing regional shared metrics and raising the necessary resources to support the backbone operations for the regional vision.  

“I love the Quad Cities. I’m thrilled to lead United Way and hopeful about the possibilities for our region’s future,” says Gellerman. “My work with Q2030 provides the foundation and clarity on how we can maximize our donor investments and United Way’s impact in the region. I’m excited to work together with the more than 12,000 local United Way contributors, our partner businesses, agencies and the non-profit sector to influence lasting, measurable improvements in both individual well-being and region-wide social conditions.”

Most recently, Gellerman’s leadership of the Quad Cities Big Table, an initiative of Q2030, exemplified the elements that will be important in moving United Way forward: elevating civic conversations, fostering new relationships and inspiring collaborative actions across the region. “Rene’s commitment to collaboration and belief that no one organization can create a better future by working alone, aligns with the United Way’s board commitment and desire to do more to bring people together to build a united region,” added Doucette.

“United Way is essential to building a better Quad Cities. The impact funding approach they adopted a few years ago is important to address the increasing complex challenges facing our region. Short-term solutions alone are not enough,” Gellerman said. “Yet, I think we need and can do more. More to mobilize the community. More to ensure the services people rely on are accessible when and where they need them most. More to get ahead of the issues and address the reasons why people are in vulnerable situations. And more to support the nonprofit sector.”

“We conducted a national search, attracting nearly 200 applicants from across the country and found the leader we were looking for in our own community. Rene has a unique blend of talents and experiences that makes her the right person to lead United Way. She was unanimously recommended by the 12-member community-based search committee and subsequently universally confirmed by the board of directors,” said Doucette.

The search committee included: Linda Bowers, retired LinguiSystems; Tom Bowman, Community Health Care; Mara Downing, Deere & Company; Don Doucette, Eastern Iowa Community Colleges; Astrid Garcia, Lee Enterprises; Denise Garrett, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Dino Leone, Quad-City Federation of Labor; Randy Moore, Iowa American Water; Mike Parejko, Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center; Jim Spelhaug, Pleasant Valley Community Schools; Caitlin Russell, Russell; Rich Wehrheim, RSM US LLP.

Prior to her position with the Quad Cities Chamber, Rene was with the Scott County Family Y and earlier with U.S. Representative Lane Evans serving in roles that included fund development, public policy, volunteer development and strategic planning. Gellerman currently sits on the board of directors for the Quad Cities Cultural Trust, River Music Experience and Living Lands & Waters. She is a Founding Charter Woman of United Way’s Women United. She is married to David Gellerman and they have five children ages 19 – 27.