United Way UK is governed by a high-profile board of trustees. The voluntary board oversees all governance and advises on charity strategy, business development and priorities for the charity.
Steve Pappas, recently retired VP Europe, Costco Wholesale Ltd - Chair
Steve has worked in five countries and across four continents with Costco Wholesale. He joined in 1991 as an assistant warehouse manager and quickly progressed to become a general manager in southern California. He moved to London in September of 2006 as Managing Director of Costco Wholesale UK Ltd. and is currently Senior VP Europe.
Steve has been a long-time supporter of United Way and set up a very effective payroll giving scheme in Korea, which Costco has successfully replicated in the UK under Steve’s leadership.
Melanie Czarra, Investment Banker - Deputy Chair
Melanie has worked as an investment banker in M&A, Investment Banking/Corporate Finance, Debt Capital Markets and Debt Syndicate for over 25 years. She has lived and worked in the US and Europe, Hong Kong and Tokyo. Melanie has worked with UBS Investment Bank on London, Mizuho International Plc, Salomon Brothers/Citigroup, Goldman Sachs in New York, Baring Brothers and Lehman Brothers.
Melanie has been passionate about United Way since her first volunteering and payroll-giving experiences in New York and her hometown of Washington, D.C. She joined the United Way UK Board in 2018 and is Deputy Chair.
Bill O'Dowd, CEO and Chairman, Dolphin Entertainment, Dolphin Digital Media and Dolphin Films
Bill is an Emmy-nominated producer, distributor and financier with two decades of experience in the television, digital media, and film industries. He founded Dolphin Entertainment in 1996, one of the world’s leading production companies specializing in children’s and young adult live-action programming.
Bill is passionate about increasing educational opportunities for children around the world. He is a frequent speaker on education topics and creates partnerships based on fostering reading skills and encouraging a passion for philanthropy in young people. He joined the United Way Million Dollar Roundtable in 2009 when he made a $2 million gift to the United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education for the newly named Dolphin Digital Media Demonstration School, Educare of Miami-Dade.
Gary von Lehmden, formerly Managing Director Corporate Bank Head EMEA, Citigroup
Gary von Lehmden is the former Chair of EMEA Corporate Banking and Chief Lending Officer for Citibank N.A. in EMEA. He is also the Head of EMEA Capital Management. He has over 30 years of banking experience in relationship banking and corporate finance.
Gary is the past President and Chairman of British American Business (BAB), the leading transatlantic trade organisation with over 700 member companies. He is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Association of Foreign Banks in London and is on the Corporate Advisory Board of the National Theatre. Gary also serves as the AFB delegate to the Bank of England Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) as a member of their 12 person Practitioner Panel.
Peter Badenhuizen, Partner (Tax), Deloitte
Peter leads Deloitte’s London-based US Business Tax practice and has resided in London since 2000. He is a US certified public accountant, specialising in US inbound and outbound investment funds in private equity, real estate, and overall asset management industry sectors.
Peter currently sits on the Board for BritishAmerican Business (“BAB”) and previously chaired BAB’s Tax Forum for many years, contributing to the organisation’s views on US tax legislation of interest to its transatlantic membership.
Ian Yates, former UK Region Admin Head, Costco Wholesale Ltd
Secretary, United Way UK
Ian has worked for many years in retail in different roles within Operations and IT. Whilst working in IT in the Littlewoods group, Ian was involved in numerous special projects including a joint venture with Carrefour of France and Price Club of Canada. Ian was asked to become part of this JV as head of IT, and following the merger of Price Club and Costco, he joined the newly merged business going back to his roots within Operations.Ian joined Costco before the company opened its first UK warehouse and was heavily involved in the opening of this first warehouse. He subsequently moved throughout the UK, opening and managing new warehouses as the business grew.
In 2013, Ian was asked to join Costco’s UK Executive team, and during that time, was instrumental in rolling out the United Way concept to all Costco warehouses.
Kathryn Pretzel-Shiels is an international business & marketing leader with over 30 years of experience growing commercially powerful B2B and B2C customer relationships. Working across Europe, Asia and the USA Kathryn has success in developing marketing, sales, client management and business development strategies to deliver growth in B2B and B2C at American Express and PAUL, a 130-year-old global family owned French baker.
Kathryn is on the Board of Directors at International Women’s Forum-UK and Board of Trustees at Bowel & Cancer Research charity. In addition, she is head of the Arizona State University UK Alumni Association. She joined the United Way UK board in November 2019.
Lailany Sierra - Head of People Solutions, CHANEL
Treasurer, United Way UK
Lailany Sierra is currently the Head of People Solutions at CHANEL and is responsible for facilitating organizational transformation as the company adopts new digital HR technologies.Prior to joining CHANEL, Lailany Sierra was the Vice President of Human Resources at IgnitionOne, a digital marketing technology company. Previously, Lailany spent 12 years in Human Resources leadership roles in the entertainment industry. She was the Director of Human Resources for IMAX Corporation based in Los Angeles and prior to that spent nearly a decade at ESPN and The Walt Disney Company as an HR Business Partner supporting the media and entertainment divisions in the United States as well as Europe and Asia.
Lailany holds an MBA from the Zicklin School of Business, a BBA from Baruch College, City University of New York and an Associate degree from Monroe College. Lailany is an active member of the International Women’s Forum and a London Chapter Lead for The Rising Network. She is also a Board Member and Treasurer at Workforce Professionals Training Institute.