The United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley has hired a new director to work with unions and labor in the region.
Daniella De Leon has been hired to the post of director of labor relations, most recently held by Greg Potter, who left his post but remains a volunteer with the local United Way.
Local United Way chapter president David Lewis said De Leon was an excellent fit for the job because of her longtime involvement in unions and her passion for the work of the United Way.
He said she has already begun her work meeting with union leaders and labor councils to gain their support in helping union workers participate in fundraising and volunteering, as well as to raise awareness for United Way-funded services that may be available to assist them when needed.
“We just really want that community to know we’re reaffirming our commitment to them,” he said.
Marci Ronald-Lesko, executive vice president of the chapter, noted that there are 54,000 union members in the Greater Lehigh Valley.
“We owe about $1 million of our annual funds to the partnership and generosity of labor folks,” she said.
De Leon said the job comes with a great deal of personal meaning. The daughter of a single mother growing up in Bethlehem, her family often relied on the services of United Way member agencies, including being educated in a United Way community school, she said.
“That was the village that helped raise me,” she said. “I will always advocate for social and economic justice and work to make our community better for all people.”
She noted that the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley is celebrating its 100th anniversary and she looks forward to her work guiding union involvement in the organization into the next century.