100 Years of United Way in Pierce County
Apr 28, 2022
Dona Ponepinto, Emily Mendez-Bryant, & Jim Walton
100 Years of United Way in Pierce County

Dona Ponepinto, United Way of Pierce County, President & CEO

Dona is currently the President and CEO for United Way of Pierce County. Dona joined UWPC in January of 2014 and brings over 30 years of experience within the United Way network. She is active in both the state and national levels, where she has served as the chair for the United Ways of the Pacific Northwest, and is a past co-chair of the Black Professionals Leadership Alliance, comprised of other United Way CEOs.

She also has worked at three other United Ways including United Way for Southeast Michigan (UWSEM) in Detroit, Michigan as a VP, Orange County’s United Way and the United Way of Greater Los Angeles.

She has been slated as President-Elect of the Association of Junior Leagues International, serves on the board of Pierce County Aids Foundation (PCAF), Tacoma Art Museum, Wellfound Behavioral Health Hospital, South Sound Together, Workforce Development Council, and Tacoma Community College. She is also a proud member of Rotary Tacoma 8.

Dona holds a BA in Psychology and a MS Degree in Counseling from Creighton University. 

Jim Walton, United Way of Pierce County, Board Member and Centennial Campaign Tri-Chair

Jim has a long history with United Way of Pierce County, starting in 1971. He became Board Chair in 1981 and Workplace Campaign Chair in 2005. As a board member, he serves on the Executive and Governance committees, and is currently a Centennial Campaign Tri-Chair.

Originally from Texas and proud of it. He was City Manager for Tacoma and served in leadership roles for 32 years. He is also an original member of the Black Collective and founding director of Commencement Bank.

Jim received The Humanitarian Award in 2018 from Community Health Care and is one of Community Health Care’s six founders. His award celebration drew in over 400 people to celebrate him and his long history leading community change in the City of Tacoma and in Pierce County.

He is a previous board member of Goodwill. He also served as Past President of Tacoma Sunrise Club and has been a Rotarian for 30+ years. His accomplishments and accolades are endless.

Emily Mendez-Bryant, United Way of Pierce County, Chief Development Officer

Emily is currently the Chief Development Officer for United Way of Pierce County. She was born and raised in Seattle and lived in Hawaii from 2005-2019. She relocated to Tacoma to continue the meaningful work of United Way.

Previously, she was the VP of Fundraising and Major Gifts at Aloha United Way in Honolulu. She also worked in leadership positions at Hawaii Pacific Health Foundations, Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, and Moss Adams.

She is a Rotary Tacoma 8 board member, and serves on committees: Welcome (co-chair), DEAI, Finance, Major Projects and Nominating. In Hawaii, she was the President of the Rotary Club of Kona Mauka in 2007. She also serves on the board of Association of Fundraising Professionals-South Sound, and is an IDEA committee member and BIPOC Affinity Group co-lead.

She has a MBA from University of Massachusetts-Amherst, a BA in Psychology from University of Washington, and recently the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy designation from the American College of Financial Services.