Jeannine Joy Named United Way President and CEO

The United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee Board of Directors is happy to announce that Jeannine Joy has been named its new President and Chief Executive Officer, effective June 17, 2019.

Joy, who has been with the organization for twenty-four years, will replace Cliff Smith, who is retiring after twenty-six years as the President.

“Our board believes that we have a strong organization and culture. Jeannine Joy demonstrated to us during the selection process that she has a firm grasp of our collaborative philosophy, and she believes in our vision for improving our community,” said Beth Hendry, Board Chair of United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee Board of Directors.

“Twenty-four years ago I fell in love with our United Way and the positive impact it makes on the residents of our community. Our United Way is successful because of our culture, collaboration, generous donors, dedicated staff, and committed volunteers. I am honored to be named President of our United Way and promise to enrich the legacy of my friend, mentor, and predecessor, Cliff Smith,” said Jeannine Joy. 

“Jeannine Joy is the ideal person to lead United Way into the future, and I am sure she will do so with vision, dedication, and integrity,” said Cliff Smith, retiring President. “She has been an integral part of our United Way for many years and demonstrates her commitment every day to the United Way mission of improving the lives of our friends and neighbors. She is respected and admired by our donors, volunteers and United Way staff. I have known Jeannine for twenty-four years and am thrilled that she is my successor. Under her leadership and in partnership with our extremely experienced, highly skilled, and passionately committed Senior Management Team, I am confident that our United Way will continue to do a great job of serving our community.”  said Smith.

Joy earned her bachelor’s degree from Saint Leo University. She is a community volunteer, having served in various capacities from PTA’s to Little League. She was named as a “Woman to Watch” and Gulfshore Life’s 40 under 40. Joy recently completed the prestigious United Way Worldwide Advanced Leadership Program.  She is a resident of Cape Coral. When not working or volunteering you will find Joy spending time with her husband, John, and children Ian and Virginia.

All money raised in the United Way Campaign stays in the local community to help support the local human service network. United Way partner agencies and initiatives like Alvin A. Dubin Alzheimer’s Resource Center, Children’s Advocacy Center, Harry Chapin Food Bank, ACT, LARC, and United Way 211 serve a diverse range of needs in our community such as nurturing children and youth, strengthening families, and meeting critical needs including helping the elderly and disabled live independently, and empowering communities by bringing health and human services to neighborhoods. 

In addition to raising funds for human service organizations in our community, the United Way promotes partnerships and collaborations among agencies and initiatives, helping them to work together focusing on issues and solutions that continue to improve lives.

The United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee has raised and distributed over $177 million since it was established in 1957.  For more information please call United Way at (239) 433-2000 or visit