KTTU "In Focus," Sunday 1/2/11, 10:30 AM & KMSB "Fox-11 Forum," Sunday, 1/9/11, 7:30 AM

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By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter

Host Bob Lee interviews Tony Penn, CEO, President, United Way of Tucson & Southern Arizona.

Penn was named to the position in July.  He is the first to hold the top position at the fund-raising agency since 1976.  Plagued by allegations of mishandled funds and mismanagement prior to his arrival, Penn accepted a two-year contract. 

Penn says he welcomes the opportunity to turn the agency around.  He says that’s what he accomplished as Chief Development Officer of the YMCA of Greater San Antonio.  He says he hopes to find new sources of contributions by increasing support from the private sector and from trusts.  He says the type of donation most needed is “unrestricted” contributions rather than those designated for a certain agency.  He says a renewed effort will also be made to expand workplace giving.  He says United Way needs unrestricted funds to expand its collaborative programs aimed at improving four specific areas of need:  Education, income, health and the working poor. 

Penn says he sees a lot of potential in Tucson or he wouldn’t have accepted the job, and the challenge.  He says his pledge is to maintain transparency at the United Way and to improve communication with the community and with the agency’s stakeholders.