Arica Harris

Arica Harris, 2022 vice chair of United Way of Greater St. Louis Community Campaign, Michelle Tucker, president and CEO of United Way of Greater St. Louis and Emily Pitts were on hand for a recent celebration of the campaign’s launch at Forest Park.

Adrian and Vernon Vito Bracy have been named the 2022 chairs for United Way’s Charmaine Chapman Society [CCS], which has raised $59 million for the United Way’s Community Campaign since its inception in 1994.

“Vernon and I are so excited to be a part of this year’s United Way campaign to help inspire philanthropy and community with other Black leaders,” said Adrian Bracy.

“The Charmaine Chapman Society has long been an important component of United Way’s work in uplifting our St. Louis community and, as a former leader of one of United Way’s partner agencies, I’ve seen firsthand how critical United Way’s support is for its entire network of safety net partners.” 

The Society is named after Charmaine Chapman, the first woman and first African American to head United Way of Greater St. Louis as its president and chief executive officer.

In 1994, Charmaine and St. Louis American publisher Dr. Donald M. Suggs launched the Society to bring Black leaders together through philanthropy and recognize their commitment and passion for the St. Louis region. 

“We are honored to have Adrian and Vernon leading our Charmaine Chapman Society as they have been longtime supporters and members with deep understanding of the impact United Way has in our community,” said Michelle Tucker, president and CEO of United Way of Greater St. Louis. “Garnering support for this Society is key to helping people throughout our region live here and thrive.” 

Adrian Bracy is an author, business and personal coach, consultant, and motivational speaker. She spent 18 years in the National Football League working in financial management. Following her career in the NFL, Bracy transitioned to the nonprofit sector and served as chief executive officer of YWCA Metro St. Louis for nearly 12 years.  She currently serves as the executive director of The Steward Trust.   

Vernon Vito Bracy is the chief executive officer/president of a unified communications company called Renaissance Voice Communications (RVC). Prior to launching RVC, he held several other executive level roles in sales, finance, and data breach protection over the course of nearly 20 years.

The United Way has also launched its 2022 Community Campaign, celebrating the organization’s 100-year anniversary of helping the St. Louis region.

Its campaign co-chairs are Penny Pennington, managing partner of Edward Jones, and Rusty Keeley, CEO of Keeley Companies. Arica Harris, director of banking and payment operation at Edward Jones, is vice chair.

“United Way once again stepped up to serve as a critical leader as many in our region faced devastating and difficult impacts from flooding,” said Harris.

“This is an example of why having a strong United Way in our region is important. Because of its 100-year existence, it has the infrastructure, knowledge, and partnerships to quickly mobilize and coordinate support, so response and relief efforts are available and efficient. A gift to United Way means that this support stands ready when there is a disaster like this.”

The annual fall fundraising campaign officially began Sept. 14, 2022 and runs through November. United Way of Greater St. Louis invests in more than 160 local nonprofits that create a solid foundation for our region through early childhood and youth success, jobs and financial mobility, health and wellbeing, essential needs, and community and crisis response.

During the past century, United Way of Greater St. Louis has raised nearly $3 billion to invest into the community, impacting millions of people.

“We are proud of how our community comes together during this special time of year and lends their generous support to helps those throughout our region who need it most,” said Tucker.

“We look forward to the support of our local businesses, partners, labor unions and individuals whose generosity will enable us to continue to support the St. Louis region into the next 100 years.” 

Individuals can make a gift online or learn more about United Way’s impact at HelpingPeople.org/Give.

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