United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley Announces First Associate Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley (UWGLV) is pleased to announce the promotion of Marci Martinez-Howey to Associate Vice President, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). This position is the first in the organization’s history.

“This is an exciting next step for our United Way, advancing our bold goals and building on the foundation of our work in collective impact, addressing complex social issues at scale,” says Marci Lesko, Executive Vice President, UWGLV. “Appointing Marci Martinez-Howey as a DEI leader within our organization ensures that we cultivate an inclusive environment that delivers equitable opportunities for those we employ and those we serve.”

In her new role, Martinez-Howey will lead UWGLV’s DEI strategy. She will ensure that UWGLV is accountable to its DEI statement and operationalize the organization’s vision that everyone belongs, and everyone thrives in the Greater Lehigh Valley. Because of its importance to the organization, DEI strategy will continue to grow from United Way’s executive office.

Scott Blair, Associate Vice President for DEI at DeSales University, stated in response to the newly created position, “The changes I have seen over the last couple of years in my engagements with UWGLV have been amazing – a true commitment to the work of inclusivity. You have hired and retained a very diverse workforce and now with the appointment of Marci Martinez-Howey, the organization has truly focused on diversity in its infrastructure. There is always more to do, but you are walking the walk and doing so courageously in challenging times.”

“DEI work touches so many – different races, ethnicities, gender identities and expressions, veterans, people with disabilities and diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. Very simply, I will work to ensure that everyone has the tools they need to succeed and feels welcomed and respected. It is a privilege to lead this effort for such a pivotal organization,” added Martinez-Howey.

Martinez-Howey previously served as the organization’s Senior Director, Finance. She has supported significant initiatives related to DEI work as member of the Strategic Response Team, DEI strategy group, and as the internal DEI committee co-chair. Martinez-Howey co-created curriculum and co-facilitated sessions around equitable interviewing and hiring practices, conducted organization-wide climate surveys, worked to develop an equity-based RFP/Qualification process for funded agencies and non-funded partners, and is the organization’s Bank On Allentown representative. Externally, Martinez-Howey’s community involvement includes serving on boards and committees for Financial Literacy Center of the Lehigh Valley, Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce, Latino Leadership Alliance of Lehigh Valley, and Bethlehem YWCA. She is a 2021 Bethlehem YWCA Woman of the Year award recipient. Martinez-Howey expects to graduate in May 2022 from Cedar Crest College with a BA in Applied Psychology focusing on Industrial/Organizational Psychology. She resides in Catasauqua with her husband, Edward, and three of their five children.

Read more:
WFMZ: United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley announces first associate VP of diversity, equity and inclusion
Lehigh Valley Business: United Way of Greater Lehigh Valley names first ever VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

PHOTO CREDIT: Marco Calderon Photography