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United Way studies merger

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Posted: Thursday, January 19, 2012 4:00 pm

Stateline United Way and United Way of North Rock County are looking at consolidating, it was announced Wednesday.

The boards of directors that govern the two United Ways in Rock County have passed resolutions to pursue consolidation, which is not expected to be complete until the beginning of 2013. The two United Ways will run parallel fundraising campaigns in 2012, which will kick off in the fall as usual.

The consolidation is expected to streamline United Way efforts in the region and allow more funds raised to be spent directly on improving lives in the area.

Stateline United Way, which was founded as United Givers in 1952, serves the communities of Beloit, the Town of Beloit, Clinton, South Beloit, Rockton and Roscoe. United Way of North Rock County serves the communities of Janesville, Edgerton, Evansville, Footville, Milton and Orfordville.

Steve Kinkade, Stateline United Way executive director, said the executive committee of the two United Ways now will work out consolidation details.

"We will look at merging staff and eliminating redundancies," he said.

Kinkade will serve as the president of the new United Way organization. He has been with the Stateline United Way since 1999. Before that, he was with the United Way of Adams County in Quincy, Ill., the Appleton, Wis. United Way, and the United Way of Brown County in Green Bay, Wis.

An office location for the new United Way also must be determined.

Stateline United Way currently has a staff of three full-time people while United Way of North Rock County has a staff of four full-time people and three part-time people.

Stateline United Way serves 26 agencies. United Way of North Rock County has 37 agencies it serves.

"This is an historic moment," said Lynn Gardinier, chair of the United Way of North Rock County Board. "As synergy thrives between United Way of North Rock County and Stateline United Way, it makes sense to combine our strengths and resources to deliver the greatest impact to our communities."

"United Way is constantly evolving and exploring ways to be more strategic and deliberate in how we work," said Geoff Rand, Stateline United Way board chair. "Restructuring will lower our costs, resulting in more funding available for the programs that build strong individuals, healthy children and thriving families."

"By working together as one community, we have the ability to leverage ideas and resources," said Diane Hendricks, chair of ABC Supply Company and co-chair of the Rock County 5.0 Advisory Board. "A consolidated United Way will strengthen existing relationships and foster a culture of innovative collaboration."

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