United Way Galveston County Mainland Names Leslie Ornelas as Executive Director

For Immediate Release

Contact: Jini Bailey, vbailey@uwgcm.org

Photo of Leslie Ornelas

Texas City, TX (February 15, 2022) – United Way Galveston County Mainland (UWGCM) Board of Directors announced its selection of Leslie Ornelas as Executive Director. She previously served as Assistant Executive Director of UWGCM, a role she has held since 2016. Her appointment took effect on February 9, 2022. In her new role, Ornelas will guide UWGCM’s new strategic direction by strengthening the organization’s focus on serving as an advocate for Galveston County Mainland’s most vulnerable families and individuals.

Commenting on her appointment, Ornelas said, “Im humbled and deeply honored to have the privilege of leading United Way and transforming our organization to better serve the needs of our community, expand our reach and achieve our strategic goals. I look forward to continuing to work with our talented and dedicated Board of Directors, as well as our outstanding staff. Together, our team will work to continue our growth trajectory as we lead this United Way forward in this exciting time.”

Named in 2019 to Galveston County Daily News’s “40 under 40”, in recognition of professional excellence and commitment to community, Ornelas brings more than 14 years of leadership and business management experience to this role, including significant involvement in major non-profit organizations within Galveston County Mainland. In addition to her nonprofit experience and immersion in the local community, Ornelas earned a Bachelor of Business Administration and Management degree Cum Laude from University of Houston-Clear Lake and will graduate with her MBA with a concentration in Human Resource Management this spring. She is also an Honorary Clinical Instructor at Walden University, dedicating much of her time to self-growth and continuous learning.

Ornelas currently serves as Chairman of the Board for the Galveston County’s Emergency Food and Shelter (EFSP) Program, a federally funded program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Ornelas is also an active volunteer and local program coordinator in the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Programs in which she has received Outstanding Achievement & Community Service Leadership Awards.

She has completed multiple leadership programs, including United Way Worldwide’s Leaders Engaged in Accelerated Development Program and those of the local chambers. She now serves on the Leadership Advisory Council for the League City Chamber of Commerce.

“Leslie’s leadership background, strong community relationships, and depth of experience make her uniquely suited to create and drive this vision,” said Phil Roberts, President of United Way Galveston County Mainland Board of Directors. “During her tenure here, Leslie has implemented enhancements which have improved efficiency of the organization and has frequently exhibited outstanding leadership skills. The Executive Board was impressed by her business acumen, innovative thinking and mission-driven mindset, which we believe will offer a fresh perspective in reimagining United Way Galveston County Mainland and ensuring that we remain relevant and impactful for years to come. We are thrilled to welcome her into this new position and excited for her to lead our United Way through its next chapter of transformation.”