An Open Letter To The Community From Mark E. Krohn, Board Chair, United Way of Summit & Medina (UWSM)
Aug 06, 2020
Our United Way of Summit & Medina is dealing with a challenging situation, which now has gotten news coverage. Our entire community deserves to hear directly from us about this.
On July 24, we became aware of an email detailing allegations of a hostile work environment, nepotism and other acts at UWSM. It referenced multiple past employees and some current team members, including CEO Jim Mullen.
Immediately upon learning of this email and its allegations, we retained a well-respected, third-party investigator, Sindy Warren of Warren & Associates in Cleveland, to launch a thorough, independent examination of the charges. The investigation began within 24 hours of me receiving the e-mail.
We have committed to cooperating fully as the investigation proceeds, and I have asked everyone involved in the organization – board and staff – to do the same. I have been sharing information with the investigator regularly throughout this process.
I am disappointed and frustrated that I have personally reached out to one of the letter writers, but she has declined my appeals to cooperate with the investigation, as well as follow-up appeals from the investigator.
I am also disappointed that the press coverage so far has not been fairly representative of the information I personally provided. As a result, we have created a Question and Answer document so that all members of our community who are interested in what we have to say can see all our answers in full detail.
We want to be as open as possible about this matter with all our stakeholders. We want the community we love and serve to know what we’re dealing with, how seriously we take this issue, and the steps we are taking to get all the facts. We want everyone to know we are open to criticism and complaints and we will investigate and do what is right.
I firmly believe that this investigation, the findings and any actions we take based on those findings will help propel us forward to become even more successful at meeting our mission and doing the right things the right way. And, with the generous help of so many supporters in our community, we are meeting that mission and making an incredible difference. We also want you to know more about our successful efforts to diversify our board and staff and some highlights from the programs that serve our community, so we invite you to review the Fact Sheet, also on this website. You’ll see the incredible results from our community’s investment and our organization’s transformational change over the last five years. Our tremendously talented team has done an amazing job and achieved unparalleled results, benefitting our entire community. That work must continue.
What we’re finding as we continue our inquiries is only strengthening our commitment to make UWSM the very best organization it can be. Once this investigation is completed, we intend to meet any challenges that arise from it and set the course for an even better United Way of Summit & Medina.
I want everyone to know that we realize that these allegations and sensitive issues are serious and how we investigate them are of acute interest to the community we serve. We commit to being as transparent as possible and sharing updated information when we can as this investigation unfolds.
Mark E. Krohn
Board Chair, United Way of Summit & Medina