Merrill United Way director named

Merrill Area United Way, Inc. President, Nancy Kwiesielewicz, announced that Dee Olsen has accepted the position as Executive Director of the Merrill Area United Way. Kwiesielewicz stated, “This is a part-time position, yet requires a high degree of responsibility and organizational management skills.” Olsen replaces Lynn Zentner who is retiring.
Olsen’s name may be familiar to many in the community, as she was the Executive Director of the Merrill Area Chamber of Commerce from 1978 to 1999, before leaving the community to serve as Executive Director of the Sheboygan County Chamber of Commerce. Olsen has served in various organizations and numerous statewide Boards, local Boards and Committees. A seasoned professional in organization management, Olsen will bring her enhanced experience to the United Way organization.
She served a six-year term on the Sheboygan and Plymouth United Way Board of Directors and was instrumental in implementing a new direction for that organization. She co-chaired the Strategic Planning Committee and supervised the implementation of a comprehensive needs assessment process for all of Sheboygan County resulting in the development of a new and innovative strategic planning process for the Sheboygan and Plymouth United Way. This strategic planning process and the resulting “strategic plan” was selected as a best practice by United Way of America along with only two other United Ways across the country. That “strategic plan” was the foundation for developing impact initiatives and raising additional resources. Olsen also served in the campaign process, a new marketing initiative, and on the planning and allocations committee.
Kwiesielewicz stated “Dee’s knowledge of Merrill, organization management, and United Way make her a sound choice to help the Board continue to grow the Merrill Area United Way to support impact initiatives to serve the Merrill area and the growing number of families that are dealing with the effects of the economic downturn.”
Olsen started on May 2, and will initially work on the Storm Match efforts, meeting with agencies served by United Way, and gearing up for the annual fall United Way campaign.
The United Way Board commends Lynn Zentner for her outstanding efforts as Director. Zentner is credited for moving the organization to an impact focus that has aided the supported agencies in being more effective with the resources provided. Zentner implemented the 211 services in 2009; increased the volunteer base and brought the United Way focus on health, education, acute needs and income stability. Most recently, the immediate response to the April 10 tornado with the Storm Match campaign brought quick community support for several agencies responding to victim needs. Zentner will serve as a consultant to Olsen until the transition is complete.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top