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United Way of Central Md. CEO Furst stepping down

United Way CEO Mark Furst is stepping down. (File)

United Way CEO Mark Furst is stepping down. (File)

United Way of Central Maryland CEO Mark S. Furst is leaving his post, and the nonprofit is launching a search for a replacement as its top leader.

Jim Wheeler, chair of the board for United Way of Central Maryland, announced today that Furst will take on a senior position at The Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore this fall.

“Mark has been with us for 12 years,” Wheeler said. “He has helped redefine United Way’s role and value; we have moved from being primarily a conduit for philanthropic dollars into a bona fide human service organization with a focus on strengthening families and communities across the region. His shoes will be hard to fill. But if there is a right time to embrace the future, to embrace change, to take a fresh look, this is that time.”

Furst said, “I made a decision in 2004 to move from the world of banking to the realm of nonprofit, community service. While I originally envisioned being at United Way until my last working day, an opportunity arose that I could not pass up.  United Way and Kennedy Krieger are both highly respected organizations with important missions.  It was a difficult personal decision, however, I am excited about continuing to help families and individuals in my new role.”

Furst will remain president and CEO of United Way of Central Maryland through October, assisting with the transition to a new leader, prior to moving to his new role at Kennedy Krieger where he will become senior vice president of external relations working with Lainy Lebow-Sachs, executive vice president of external relations, to expand their national reach.

United Way board member Marianne Mattran will spearhead the search committee, which intends to have a successor named well in advance of Furst’s expected departure.


The agency distributes money to more than 1,600 nonprofit health and human service agencies each year, and more than 100 receive grants.