CLEVELAND: United Way of Greater Cleveland and the Board of United Way Services of Geauga County today announced Karen Perko’s appointment as Director of Community Engagement to develop the organization’s integrated philanthropy and fundraising strategy, increase community engagement and invest in initiatives to serve people in need throughout Geauga County in the most meaningful and lasting ways.

“Karen is an active member of Geauga County. Her passion to help her neighbors and experience in the non-profit community is a wonderful match with United Way Services of Geauga County. I look forward to working alongside her to improve the quality of life for this community,” said Mary Ann Stropkay, board chair of United Way Services of Geauga County.

Perko will work closely with the United Way Services of Geauga County’s advisory board and the leadership team at United Way of Greater Cleveland to continue the two organizations’ 50-year plus partnership to optimize resources and measurably improve the self-sufficiency of individuals and families living throughout Geauga County.

“United Way Services of Geauga County is a constant for this community, providing vital support for our county’s residents, and creating a community where everyone can thrive,” said Perko. “I look forward to a seamless transition and I’m eager to continue the great work already underway at United Way because I love Geauga County. There is nowhere else I would rather live or work.”

Perko will report to Helen Forbes Fields, Executive Vice President of Regional Initiatives and General Counsel at United Way of Greater Cleveland.

“Karen is a tremendous addition to the United Way of Greater Cleveland and United Way Services of Geauga County teams,” said Fields. “Her knowledge of the Geauga county community and her collaboration and leadership skills will ensure that Geauga County residents receive the ongoing support they need.”

Perko was previously Director of Member Impact at Geauga YMCA and is the Head of Personnel at Christ Presbyterian church and a member of the Chardon Local School District Levy and Bond Issues Committees.


Founded in 1913, United Way of Greater Cleveland is a local, independent nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting poverty across the Greater Cleveland area. The largest private-sector investor of health and human services, United Way invests in efforts that address poverty using a two-pronged approach. The first prong focuses on the daily issues affecting those living in poverty, the Community Hub for Basic Needs. The second drives research and innovation through the Impact Institute, a think tank with an action plan, focused on identifying long-term solutions to break the cycle of poverty. For more information, visit www.unitedwaycleveland.org.