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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Aug. 9, 202205:40 PM EST

United Way of Northeast Florida names new CEO

Melanie D. Patz was a vice president at the nonprofit for a decade.
by: Monty Zickuhr Managing Editor

The United Way of Northeast Florida is turning to one of its former executives as its next leader.

Melanie D. Patz, its former vice president of community impact, will be the nonprofit’s next president and CEO.

The nonprofit announced its selection Aug. 9. Patz will start Sept. 26.

Patz is vice president of community investment and impact at Baptist Health. 

“United Way plays a critical role in our community, and its impact throughout its nearly 100-year history is far-reaching,” Patz said in a news release. 

She said it is an honor to take the helm of an organization that has benefited “so many individuals and families in our region and meant so much to me personally.”

The United Way hired a national search firm to find a successor for Michelle Braun, who retired in April. Patz was with the United Way of Northeast Florida from 2003-14. 

 “We’ve identified an exceptional person to lead our United Way, build on the impact of its work and strengthen its relationships with our community, including its business, government and nonprofit partners,” Lisa Palmer, chair of United Way of Northeast Florida, said in the release.

Palmer is Regency Centers president and CEO.

“Melanie is a proven leader and a natural collaborator who strives to bring people together. She has a unique understanding of our community’s challenges and a history of success in developing solutions to address them.”

At United Way, Patz supervised programs including Achievers For Life, United Way 211, Success By 6, RealSense and Full Service Schools of Jacksonville. 

She also served on the United Way Worldwide advisory councils for health and education and was a member of the United Way Worldwide Education Social Change Task Force.

Patz joined Baptist Health in September 2014. She spearheaded the implementation of a school health center at Ribault High School, drove the creation of JaxCareConnect and led the effort to initiate Blue Zones Jacksonville, the release said.

Recently, Patz worked to develop a strategic plan to address community health priorities, including infant mortality and mental health.

Patz serves on the boards of the System of Care initiative and the Early Learning Coalition of Duval and is a founding board member of 904WARD.

Patz has a bachelor’s in business management from Samford University and an MBA with a concentration in economics from the University of North Florida.

She is a graduate of the Community Coaches program in 2005 and Leadership Jacksonville in 2006.

The  United Way of Northeast Florida, founded in 1924, serves human-service needs in Duval, Baker, Clay, Nassau and Northern St. Johns counties.

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