Q & A With New CEO & President of United Way of Greater McHenry County

By Heather Arnold

It might not be news to you that this summer, United Way of Greater McHenry County announced a new leader at its helm. After four years as CEO & President, Carole Peters retired from the role and the United Way board of directors spearheaded a search for a new dynamic and passionate leader to take her place. In July, well known leader and community advocate, Jamie Maravich, was appointed to the position and has hit the ground running. In the last month and a half I have had the pleasure to work alongside her as we gear up for a new campaign season. Though she is well known for her work in McHenry County, I thought it would be great to delve into her background, her passion and how she came to accept this fantastic new job!

Q: Prior to joining the United Way as CEO & President, what was your role?

A: Prior to now, my career was in the banking industry. I held a number of different community based and corporate roles pertaining to various competencies such as product development, business process improvement and acquisition, integration, and alignment. I began my career as a teller, now more commonly called a service representative, and worked my way up to my most recent role of Community Banking Market President for McHenry and Northern Lake County. I had responsibility for the overall performance of 14 branch locations for over 10 years.

Q: What compelled you to join the United Way Team?

A: I had the pleasure of serving on the Board of Directors for our United Way for several years and as a result, I was able to see the tremendous impact the organization has on the quality of life for everyone in McHenry County. 25% of residents utilize the programs the United Way helps to fund. All residents benefit from the assistance being provided to their loved ones, colleagues, and neighbors. You never know when you or your family may be the ones who unexpectedly need help.

Q: What is one surprising thing you learned about United Way while going through the process?

A: I was pretty well versed in the United Way of Greater McHenry County, so no big surprises in that regard. However, my eyes were opened to the lack of Broadband/Internet access in various areas of the County. The criticality of that type of reliable and accessible infrastructure was amplified during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic.

Q: What are you most excited about in your new role?

A: There is so much that I am excited about. I get to work with a fantastic team and a fantastic board in support of a fantastic County. It’s very meaningful work. Every success that I have directly translates into betterment for countless others.

Q: What are some of your goals as the new CEO/President for our local United Way?

A: In addition to raising as much money as possible in support of nonprofits and programs that meet ongoing needs, I’d like to become known as a leader who plays a strong role in solving key problems in the county and who creates and inspires innovative, positive changes.

Q: What is one interesting thing people might not know about you?

A: I love roller coasters. My favorites right now are Raging Bull and Goliath at Six Flags Great America and the American Eagle will always hold a favorite place in my heart.

Q: How do you LIVE UNITED?

A: I try and keep an open mind and an open heart. I am generous with my time, talent, and treasure. I make connections that make things happen. I do my best to raise my kids to be considerate and productive people. I now lead the United Way of Greater McHenry County!

The timing of Jamie joining our team couldn’t be any more perfect. We are now launching our 55th campaign season and she brings a wealth of fresh ideas. She is extremely inspired to keep writing great chapters and continuing the story of giving hope, all of which is evident here!

If you are interested in learning more about Jamie Maravich and helping support the mission of United Way of Greater McHenry County, please feel free to check out our website at www.uwmchenry.org!

  • Heather Arnold is the Director of Marketing & Communications at the United Way of Greater McHenry County.