United Way CEO receives “Most Admired Leaders” recognition

Merl Waschler (Submitted photo)

Merl Waschler (Submitted photo)

Scottsdale resident Merl Waschler, president and CEO of Valley of the Sun United Way, has been named a 2015 “Most Admired Leaders” in the Valley by the Phoenix Business Journal.

Mr. Waschler is among the 25 leaders from business, academia and nonprofits in the Greater Phoenix-area to receive this award.

Innovation and collaboration are the hallmarks of Mr. Waschler’s leadership at United Way. Because of his leadership, the dedication and passion of 90,000 individual donors, 6,000 volunteers, nearly 700 business supporters, partners and staff, United Way is transforming lives and strengthening the Valley, according to a press release.

Mr. Waschler is known to lead with grace and strength, even in the toughest times. In 2007 when he left his position as Chief Financial Officer to take over the helm as President and CEO, he faced leading the organization through the Great Recession. However, with great challenges came the opportunity to make a great impact.

“Merl has demonstrated his unique ability to work across all sectors, build trust, and maximize individual strengths. He is committed to creating lasting change that will improve our entire community,” stated Donald A. Smith, Jr., president and CEO of CopperPoint Mutual, in the release.

At its core, Mr. Waschler’s leadership embraces the idea that to effectively build a stronger community, businesses, nonprofits and community members—are all accountable to each other, and everyone has a stake in each other’s success.

“I am grateful to be among the honorees,” stated Mr. Waschler. “Together, we are working to build a stronger community for us all to live, raise a family and do business.”

Additionally, Mr. Waschler serves on several community boards including the Arizona Ready Council, Arizona Chamber of Commerce, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, Greater Phoenix Leadership, Expect More Arizona, United Way Worldwide National Professional Council, Rodel Foundation Advisory Council, and the Arizona State University College of Public Programs Advisory Council.

The Most Admired Leaders are recognized for their leadership, dedication and impact on their organizations and the community. The honorees were selected by a panel of judges, from the more than 200 nominations, who demonstrated that being a good leader means more than running their organization.

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