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United Way of America Head Resigns

September 19, 2000

NEW YORK (AP) _ The president of United Way of America has resigned amid a struggle between the charitable organization and several of its large local chapters, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

The big-city United Way locals operate regional centers that process donations submitted in workplace pledge drives. The large chapters process the donations, giving money to smaller United Way chapters and individual charities.

The president, Betty Stanley Beene, had proposed a national pledge-processing center, which failed in its first test in November. In June, she announced that she would step down as president in December 2001.

On Monday, she told the United Way executive board that she will leave in January, 11 months early, the Times said.

Beene had also sought to impose national standards on the local chapters. Those included a rigorous and public self-examination of their effectiveness every few years. The move drew intense opposition from several local United Way organizations, which have held back part of their dues from the national organization.

Under the leadership of Beene, 53, a Texas native, contributions to United Way increased from $3.25 billion in 1995 to $3.77 billion in 1999. She also bolstered its partnership with the National Football League and increased national grants from $2.1 million for 81 local United Ways in 1997 to $31 million for 573 United Ways this year.

Between 1990 and 1996, she was president of United Way of Tri-State, serving New York, Connecticut and New Jersey.

Beene was the national organization’s third president since William Aramony left in disgrace in 1992. He was later convicted, along with two colleagues, of defrauding the charity out of $1 million.

Based in Alexandria, Va., United Way is the national service and training center for 1,400 member organizations, which support more than 44,000 charitable agencies.

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