Spencer Smith

Steven L. Sanderson, President & CEO
Office: 239-261-7112 ext 205

Steven is the President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way Collier County. With an eye for business and a heart for charity, he champions exciting new programs for our community. The key to his success lies in his personal mission; to make a positive change in someone’s life. 
 
With 25 years of non-profit experience, Steven brings invaluable experience to many local and regional committees to address economic development in Collier and the surrounding area. His work at Opportunity Naples, Blue Zone Healthy Living Initiative, and the Education Pipeline promotes early learning preparedness, as well as college and career readiness. All of these in addition to the United Way’s own initiatives with family and income stabilization. As a 2013 Leadership Collier graduate, bringing positive change to the county is the foundation of Steven’s work. To make that happen, he and his board have formed a 2020 strategic plan to address the needs of our Asset-Limited Income-Constrained and Employed (ALICE) members of our community. Together with his United Way team, Steven has developed a process for identifying, connecting, and serving the greatest needs of Collier County. He also integrated Volunteer Collier into our United Way, helping us connect people with passion and substantive change. By bolstering Collier 211, the non-emergency information and referral helpline, Steven has established a rapport with the community to help his team more accurately diagnose the struggles facing Collier. 
 
This 2020 plan has motivated our United Way to be the catalyst behind many of the biggest changes this community has seen. Under Steven’s leadership, the United Way has consistently secured grants necessary for our county’s improvement. Grants ranging from local, state, federal and even international sources, such as $51,000 from the Emirates Red Crescent. The $803,479 disaster relief funding from FEMA, part of a $5 million collaborative grant with other affected zones, were critical in getting Collier back on its feet after the devastation of Hurricane Irma. The dedication his team displayed drew the attention of donors around the world, and a partnership was established with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during the long-term recovery efforts of Irma securing $2.7 million to United Way which will bring WI-FI to over 20,000 students in Collier County, building bridges with both the Collier County Public Schools and Grace Place Learning Center. These achievements, on top of the $4 million annual campaign and the $2.4 million endowment fund, represent the significant impact Steven has made on our community.
 
Drawn by both his compassion for those struggling, and the knowledge that he could help, Steven and his family moved from San Antonio, Texas to Naples in 2012. He is excited to see how United Way’s 2020 Strategic Vision will impact Collier as we continue to meet and exceed the expectations and milestones of the plan.