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Women United

WOMEN UNITED is a powerful network inspiring women to be role models of generosity, advocates for important causes and volunteers for change.

WOMEN UNITED is a global movement of more than 70,000 diverse women leaders. Founded and led by women, WOMEN UNITED recognizes the enormous power and influence of women in philanthropy. Women have historically been leaders of social change through their steadfast commitments of time, ingenuity and financial resources. Over the past 15 years, women leaders across the country have collectively raised more than $1.5 billion for their local communities.

Women United combines the financial power and collective talents of philanthropic women leaders to address early childhood literacy in our community by conducting year-round activities such as book fairs, volunteer reading events, book drives and distributions, networking events and volunteer projects. Women United also hosts our signature event, the Annual Business Leaders for Early Education Breakfast.

Why We Do This

United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona (UWTSA) is focused on advancing early childhood literacy in our community. Women United recognizes that early childhood education is an efficient and effective investment for economic and workforce development. The earlier the investment, the greater the return on investment, because 90% of a child’s brain development occurs by age 5.

Only 46% of third-grade students are proficient in English and Language Arts as measured by the Arizona Measurement of Educational Readiness to Inform Teachers (AzMERIT) in 2019.
Students who fail to reach this critical milestone often falter in later grades and drop out before earning a high school diploma.

In 2018, 10.9% of 16- to 24 years olds in Pima County were not in school and not working (US Census, American Community Survey, Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS), 2018, 1-year estimates).*

What You Can Do

Membership is open to all women who invest $1,000 or more in United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. Membership benefits include:


  • Women United Membership Recognition
  • Complimentary ticket to the Annual Business Leaders Breakfast for Early Education
  • Women United Members-Only Event Invitations
  • Networking and Professional Development Opportunities
  • Committee Service and Leadership Opportunities


Arika Wells

Arika Wells

Women United, Chair

Women United Executive Committee

Tracy Benson

Cory Rees

Lillian Brantley-Thompson

Sara Cohen – Literacy Champion Committee Chair

Lori Cotten

Elizabeth Cozzi

Jane Denigris

Allison Duffy

Dolores Duran-Cerda

Lynne Wood Dusenberry

Aimee Graves – Executive Committee Co-Chair

Denisse Hernandez de Ortiz

Ellen Howlett

Daisy Jenkins

Adrianna Kong-Romero

Dianne Maki-Sethi

Wendy Marquez

Sandy Maxfield

Elizabeth McIntyre

Jessica Novak

Lisa Owens-Sredzinski

Irene Robles-Lopez

Calline Sanchez

Allison Titcomb

Linda Drake

Anne Maley-Schaffner

Arika Wells – Executive Committee Chair

Mary Rowley

Susan Koza

Carol Weber

Monica Brinkerhoff

Kassondra Silva

Stephanie Giambruno

Lindy Cote

Elizabeth Murphy

Nancy  Kluge