A leadership transition is underway at Berkshire United Way. According to a media release today from the organization, Board Chair Mike Stoddard has announced that President and CEO Candace Winkler will step down at the end of the summer. She has successfully led the organization since spring 2019, including through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

(Header Photo: BUW President and CEO Candace Winkler speaks at the 2019 Workplace Campaign kick-off event hosted by General Dynamics Mission Systems.)

Under Winkler’s leadership, Berkshire United Way quickly pivoted and mobilized to respond to emergency needs at the outset of the pandemic. The organization partnered with the philanthropic community to establish the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund for Berkshire County, which raised and distributed over $2 million in emergency grants to over 100 organizations working on the front lines. Winkler also facilitated new partnerships to purchase meals from locally-owned restaurants to feed families that were most impacted by school and business closures. 

Candace has had a tremendous impact on Berkshire United Way and our role in the community. With more than 20 years of experience, she brought a fresh perspective to the organization. She helped put us on a strong path forward with the sale of the building on South Street, the reorganization of the development department, and the establishment of BUW’s Volunteer Center that helped facilitate over 1,000 volunteer hours in the month of April alone. ~ Board Chair Emeritus Christina Wynn 


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Winkler says she is honored to have led the incredible team at Berkshire United Way: 

The staff and board are both extremely talented and passionate about helping those in need. They truly are Here for Good and their commitment to supporting children and families is unparalleled. While my focus will move to the national stage, I will continue to support BUW as a leadership donor and community volunteer. ~Winkler 


Winkler will stay at the helm through the end of August, at which time board member Laurie Gallagher will step in as interim CEO until a permanent leader is selected. The BUW board has established a CEO search committee, co-chaired by Wynn and Pat Callahan, to identify a diverse group of candidates for the board to consider for this important organizational and community role.  

Winkler will be assuming a new role at a national nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. in September, but she and her family will continue to live in the Berkshires. 

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