UWGT Staff

Senior Leadership at UWGT

Eric Guckian - CEO & President

Eric Guckian has spent his entire life dedicated to improving student outcomes for our nation’s public schools. Over the past twenty years, Eric has played a leading role in North Carolina's quality public school efforts, and he has been a part of nearly every significant school reform effort in the state. Eric has steadily risen to occupy leadership roles in all sectors of the education space. He has served within the public sector, implemented successful outcomes for students in rural and urban schools, and advised and collaborated with governors and political leaders on both sides of the aisle.

Eric currently serves as the Vice President of Alliances for Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE) where he leads the organization’s fundraising and communications efforts. LEE is a nonpartisan leadership development organization dedicated to getting teachers more civically engaged in policymaking, running for political office, organizing and advocacy.

Prior to joining the staff at LEE, Eric served as Senior Advisor on Education for North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory from 2013-2015. In this role as advisor to Governor McCrory, he represented education efforts for more than 1.6 million K-12 public school students, 800,000 community college students, and 200,000 University of North Carolina students. He spearheaded the largest teacher raises in the nation, broadened career pathways for teachers, and renewed a commitment to high academic standards for all students. In July 2015, Eric was awarded the Order of the Longleaf Pine—the highest civic award given to honor individuals with a proven record of service to the state.

Before joining the Governor’s office, Eric served as the founding Executive Director of New Leaders in Charlotte, where he created a community of high-quality principals and teacher leaders focused on driving dramatic student achievement in Charlotte’s highest need schools. While with New Leaders, Eric grew a community of 72 school leaders to accelerate learning for Charlotte’s highest need students. He was also instrumental in the creation of Project L.I.F.T. (Leadership for Innovation and Transformation), a $55 million community initiative that focuses on a PK-12 corridor of nine of the highest need public schools in Charlotte, serving 7,000 students. From 2000-2005, Eric led Teach for America-North Carolina as a Program Director and then Executive Director, where he led the expansion of TFA into Charlotte. Over the course of his tenure with TFA, the size of the teaching corps quadrupled and the annual fundraising base tripled. Most importantly, student achievement dramatically increased; students taught by TFA teachers in North Carolina had the highest student achievement outcomes in the country among their TFA peers according to ABC Accountability results and a national study by Mathematica. Guckian has also served as: the Director of Strategic Partnerships for the North Carolina New Schools Project; a consultant to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and led a strategic planning effort for KIPP.

Eric began his professional career as an elementary science teacher and TFA corps member in the South Bronx. He has also taught in public schools in North Carolina and Massachusetts. Eric is a proud product of the public school system and a first generation college student. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in English at Colgate University in 1993 and later received a Master’s Degree in Education from Harvard University in 1998. Eric lives with his wife, Lisa, and his daughters, Scarlett and Elsa, in Durham, North Carolina.

Melanie Davis-Jones - Chief Strategy Officer;
SVP, Marketing & Community Engagement

Her focus is on developing brand strategies to increase awareness of issues and engage wider audiences in the organization’s community impact work to advance United Way’s role as community partner, funder, and convener. Previously, she served as the head of marketing for the North Carolina Museum of Art. Melanie spent over a decade in advertising agencies, working on major brands including McDonald’s, Royal Caribbean and Pepsi. She leads an integrated marketing effort including graphic design, strategic messaging, volunteerism, and community outreach.

Edwin Jeffords - CIO & SVP, Information Services

Edwin Jeffords designs and implements the hardware, software, and application strategy for the organization; he also supervises 2-1-1 and Teaming for Technology. As new technologies become available, Edwin finds creative, cost-effective solutions for fundraising, events, promotions, and brand awareness to further the mission and the work of the organization. He has been the driving force behind United Way of the Greater Triangle’s social media use evolution since 2008, and currently serves on United Way Worldwide’s Social Media Advisory Board.

Full Staff Directory

The dial-by-extension directory below will allow you to reach any staff person at United Way of the Greater Triangle.  Just dial 919-460-8687, and then use the appropriate extension from the directory below.  Can't find who you're looking for?  Use the search box and begin typing their first name, last name, or title.
112Alison HicksDirector of Workplace Giving
117Bonnie AshleyProgram Director - Teaming for Technology
135Britney McCoyCommunity Engagement Manager
108Carlos GuzmanTeaming for Technology Program Coordinator
110Cassie ProperRelationship Manager
116Crystal ShreveResource Development Coordinator
106Deanna FroeberDirector of Knowledge Management and Product Development
113Edwin JeffordsChief Information Officer & Sr. VP, Information Services
142Eric GuckianChief Executive Officer & President
141Joey CurrentChanging Generations Operations Manager
124Joe LavenderCreative Services Manager
103Keith ErbData Manager
128Kim O'NeilInterim Director of Finance
131Laurie WilliamsonSenior Community Impact Director
142Mary Ann Stinson-OttavianoAssistant to the President
105Melanie Davis-JonesChief Strategy Officer;
Senior Vice President, Marketing & Community Engagement
130Mike RodgersSr. Network Administrator
125Nancy WayFinance Specialist
107Natasha WayneDirector of Engagement
139Nick AllenCommunity Impact Director
127Sara CarterCollective Impact Coordinator, Youth Thrive
129Sara StephensDirector of Individual Giving
132Sharon VignalieCampaigns Manager
118Stacy ShelpVP, Marketing & Communications
137Stan HoltVP, Community Impact
138Stéphane DanielHuman Resources & Facilities Manager
143Toan ToEngagement Manager