Board of Trustees

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, Senior 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 homettown of Washington, D.C. She joined the United Way UK Board in 2018 and is Deputy Chair.  


Alan Lewis, Former CEO, of Liverpool Charity and Voluntary Services (LCVS) - Secretary

Alan has extensive experience of charity governance, community engagement and social care. As CEO of LCVS he oversaw celebrations for their centenary year and supported a move to LCVS’s new home at 151 Dale Street, which is now a 3rd Sector Resource Centre in the very heart of Liverpool.

Alan's career spans teaching, social work and senior management in public and NGO sectors. He is now enjoying a busy retirement of travelling, painting and volunteering. He acts as General Secretary for United Way UK.


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.



Adam Freeman, Partner, Freeformers and Chair, Metropolis Group

Adam’s career has been focused on the 3 C's- Content, Community and Commercial and 1 D- Digital. In short how to build a business from the relationships consumers have with media/content brands. He has worked in online retail, publishing and digital sectors as Managing Director of Bloomberg Media, EMEA and Executive Director of The Guardian News and Media.

Freeformers is the digital growth partner to FTSE 100 organisations, working with a diverse array of clients including Barclays, HSBC, John Lewis, Camelot and E.ON. Their mission: to create the future workforce, now.