Michelle A. Taylor is president and chief executive officer of United Way of Delaware (UWDE), one of the State’s largest nonprofit community impact organizations.
Taylor leads implementation of UWDE’s statewide strategy to improve outcomes in third-grade literacy, college and career readiness, and financial stability and empowerment, especially in high-need communities. In doing this, she leverages UWDE’s more than 75 years of experience and relationships with the full spectrum of nonprofit and community-based organizations, governments, businesses, academia, and civic-minded individuals, all of whom rely on UWDE to amplify their voices in the community.
As the chief steward of the United Way brand in Delaware and Salem County, N.J., Taylor focuses on building trust and promoting UWDE’s engagement in a wide range of initiatives aimed at achieving UWDE’s strategic objectives. She values a collaborative approach to solving community problems by resourcing, scaling, and leveraging strategies that drive impact and engagement. Importantly, Taylor is effective at generating resources and financial support for UWDE and its partners.
Taylor assumed her role in January 2008, after serving four years as UWDE’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. She joined UWDE in 2000 as director of finance & administration, later served as vice president of operations, and during a six-month leadership transition in 2003, was named UWDE’s acting president. As president and chief executive officer, Taylor reports to the chair of the Board of Directors and is ultimately responsible for all aspects of UWDE’s strategic planning, partner relations, philanthropy, community impact and engagement, operations and administration, finance, marketing, human resources, public policy, and board administration. She is UWDE’s primary representative in the community and provides leadership throughout Delaware on a range of issues central to United Way’s mission.
A career nonprofit professional, before joining UWDE, Taylor held statewide responsibility as director of finance at Delaware Hospice. She is a board member of the Delaware Workforce Investment Board, the Delaware Community Foundation, the Wilmington University Administration of Human Service Advisory Committee and the Wilmington HOPE Commission and serves on numerous committees in the community. She has volunteered with Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Newark and Appoquinimink, Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay Council, Delta Outreach and Education Center, and served on the Board of Directors of the Trustees of Color.
In collaboration with the Governor’s office, the Delaware Department of Education, the Delaware State Board of Education and others, Taylor was instrumental in forming and implementing the initial “Delaware Stars for Early Success” program and was the former chair of the Governor’s High-Quality Early Childhood Programs and Professionals Committee. Also, in partnership with the Delaware Department of Education, Taylor spearheads implementation of the National Campaign for Grade-Level Reading through the Get Delaware Reading initiative and serves as co-chair on the Steering Committee along with Delaware Secretary of Education Susan Bunting.
Within the United Way Worldwide system, Taylor has served on the National Professional Council and the United Way Worldwide Inclusion Council. She has received numerous honors for her work in the community, including the NAACP Leadership Award, the YMCA’s Black Achiever Award, the YWCA Delaware’s Racial Justice Award and has received the Nonprofit Communications Award from the International Association of Business Communicators.
Ms. Taylor earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Morgan State University, a Master of Business Administration from Wilmington University, and is pursuing a Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership at Wilmington University. Taylor and her husband, Vernon, live in Middletown and have three children, Vernon Jr., Cory, and Morgan.