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United Way of Central Maryland Announces Engagement Leadership Council Chairs

Shelonda Stokes of the Downtown Partnership and Greg Farno of Truist

BALTIMORE, Md. (September 28, 2022) – Today, United Way of Central Maryland announced this year’s Engagement Leadership Council Chairs: Shelonda Stokes, president of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, and Greg Farno, Maryland regional president of Truist. They will strengthen and cultivate relationships in workplaces across the central Maryland region and share opportunities for year-round engagement to support United Way’s work to drive long-term change in the community through eviction prevention, education, increased access to healthy food, economic advancement, and more.

The Engagement Leadership Council, new for 2022, is a reimagining of United Way of Central Maryland’s longstanding Campaign Cabinet. Throughout its nearly 100-year history, the organization has continually evolved to meet the needs of residents and communities across Greater Baltimore and those who support its work. 

The social change we are driving with innovative programs, initiatives, and services that span our focus areas of education, economic advancement, housing, and health relies on an ever-growing base of support,” said Franklyn Baker, president and CEO, United Way of Central Maryland. “Over the years, we’ve expanded our relationships beyond workplace fundraising drives that run mainly in the fall by engaging with volunteers and donors year-round. This year's leaders are named 'Engagement Leadership Council Co-Chairs' to reflect our commitment to evolve philanthropy to an experience that encompasses the gifts of time, talent, and treasure whenever and wherever someone is inclined to share them.”

Stokes, a Baltimore native and Morgan State University alum, has always had a passion for serving her community through her work. In her new role with United Way of Central Maryland, she will help advance the organization’s mission to improve lives across the region by empowering leaders and mobilizing the caring power of A person smiling for the camera

Description automatically generated with medium confidencecommunities. Before joining the Downtown Partnership, she was president and CEO of greiBO Media, a full-service marketing and entertainment agency. Stokes is president of the National Women’s Business Council; a member of Morgan State University’s Board of Regents; a member of the Maryland Tourism Development Board; and a board member of the Central Maryland Transportation Alliance, My Brother’s Keeper, the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, UpSurge Baltimore, and more. She has served on the Governor’s Commission on Minority Business Enterprise Reform, the Mayor’s Small Business Recovery Taskforce, and Maryland’s Information Technology Board.

“It’s an honor to co-chair United Way’s Engagement Leadership Council,” said Stokes. “I look forward to lending my voice and lived experience to removing barriers for people in pursuit of economic opportunity. Together, we can improve the life and lifespan of the communities we serve.”

Farno has been involved with United Way for decades. Now he returns to continue his partnership with the organization, fueled by his passion for education and helping community members in need build stronger lives. He serves on the board of directors for B&O Railroad Museum, Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, Greater Baltimore Committee, Living Classrooms, and Maryland Bankers Association. He is a past member of the executive board of the Baltimore Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Family and Children Services of Maryland, and the Center for Urban Families. Farno received his bachelor’s degree in Economics from Gettysburg College.

“At Truist, our purpose is to inspire and build better lives and communities, which is why I’m honored to once again partner with United Way of Central Maryland in this important work,” said Farno. “Local initiatives and organizations that receive United Way’s support are critical to strengthening and growing healthy communities throughout Central Maryland. I look forward to contributing to these efforts alongside Shelonda and the many other dedicated volunteers and generous supporters in this year’s fundraising efforts.”

To find out more about United Way’s recent work, visit

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United Way of Central Maryland helps the working poor and those in poverty access basic needs like housing, healthcare, jobs, and education. The nonprofit’s programs promote equity, create opportunity, and improve the lives of our neighbors and the neighborhoods they call home. For nearly 100 years, United Way has tackled the toughest challenges in Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties. Learn more at