United Way of Greater Cincinnati to name new board chair by late February

Posted at 3:50 PM, Dec 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-20 16:39:57-05

CINCINNATI — United Way of Greater Cincinnati's board of directors has appointed Sean Rugless to chair the nominating committee that will appoint a new chair for the board.

Former board chair Julia Poston resigned her position in November after a controversy surrounding Michael Johnson, the organization's first black CEO.

In an email to the United Way board that became public, Johnson alleged that Poston had made "subtle threats" to him. Johnson went on leave from United Way and stepped down from his position within a few days of the email becoming public.

Sean Rugless

Ross Meyer, United Way's interim CEO, sent WCPO this statement about the board's decision:

"The UWGC Executive Board has appointed fellow board member Sean Rugless, CEO of The Katalyst Group, Chair of the Nominating Committee. Rugless will lead the committee's next step in identifying and appointing a new Board Chair, to replace interim board chair Tim Elsbrock, by late February."

Rugless was unavailable to comment because of family obligations. He is the former president of the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky African American Chamber of Commerce and is a United Way board member.

Elsbrock, president of Fifth Third Bank's Cincinnati region, sent this comment to WCPO:

"In an effort to strengthen leadership the Executive Committee has appointed longstanding board member Sean Rugless, CEO, The Katalyst Group as Chair of the Nominating Committee. Sean has served on the Marketing Committee, the Impact Cabinet and the Steering Committee for the Child Poverty Collaborative. This appointment is another step forward to strengthening the organization and fulfill our mission to unite communities and change lives."