Granite United Way celebrates community leaders

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Josselyn Ascencio, 5th grader at Gossler Park School who gave an incredible speech about the Leader in Me Program – the audience gave her a standing ovation, Patrick Tufts, President and CEO of Granite United Way, Lori Upham, Principal of Gossler Park School. Courtesy Photo

MANCHESTER, NH – Granite United Way hosted its Southern Region Annual Celebration on Wednesday, May 9, 2018. The evening was filled with award presentations for donors, agency and corporate partners and volunteers. The event was sponsored by Catholic Medical Center, Provident Bank, NH Healthy Families, and Lincoln Financial Group.

The event opened with Josselyn Ascencio, a fifth grader at Gossler Park School, sharing her experience with the Leader In Me program. Ascencio kept her eyes on her audience the entire time, never referencing her notes at the podium. The audience gave her a standing ovation.

“This evening brings out the best in our community,” said Patrick Tufts, President and CEO of Granite United Way. “Listening to Josselyn speak about a program that is empowering our youth and developing the next generation of leaders drives home the fact that no one organization can meet the needs of our community. We are all working together to create change.”

Another highlight of the evening was when the LIVE UNITED Award was presented to long-time supporters, Mark and Sally Stebbins, owners of PROCON.

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Patrick Tufts, President and CEO of Granite United Way, Mark Stebbins, owner of PROCON, accepting the LIVE UNITED Award for he and his wife, Sally; Sean Owen, President of wedu and Granite United Way Board Chair; Sarah McCluskey, Senior Director of Leadership and Planned Giving. Courtesy Photo

“Mark and Sally’s Get on the Bus Challenge has helped engage 50 new companies with Granite United Way over the past two years,” said Sarah McCluskey, Senior Director of Leadership and Planned Giving. “Their creative challenge matches have leveraged over $300,000 for our community.”

Last week Granite United Way also announced Sean Owen, President and CEO of wedü and Talient Action Group, as their new Chair of the Board of Directors. Nannu Nobis, President of Nobis Engineering ushered in Owen after completing his service as Chair since 2017.

Owen has mostly recently served as a Board Member for Granite United Way, and as Campaign Chair for the Southern Region Campaign. He served on the Board of the former Heritage United Way, and played a key role in advocating for the merger of 6 local United Ways to form Granite United Way.

“Sean has brought strong leadership to our Board of Directors and has infused our work with tremendous energy,” said Patrick Tufts, President and CEO of Granite United Way. “His innovative, strategic thinking and dedication to this community have been a true asset on our Board. This is going to be an exciting year with him at the helm.”

The following individuals and companies were honored during the May 9 celebration:

Photo Gallery by Granite United Way

GIVE Award ~ Eversource Energy

ADVOCATE Award ~ Donna Tighe, Greater Derry Community Health Services, Inc.

VOLUNTEER Award ~ Dallas Lagerquist, Primary Bank

Employee Campaign Coordinator (ECC) Award ~ Campaign Team at NH Healthy Families lef by Nicole Tower

Granite Awards

Catholic Medical Center

Cogswell Benevolent Trust



Eversource Energy

Hannaford Supermarkets

New Hampshire State Employees’ Charitable Campaign


Southern New Hampshire University

United Parcel Service

Granite United Way

Granite United Way is an experienced and trusted organization dedicated to leveraging the resources of investors and volunteers to create lasting change by addressing the underlying causes of our community’s most pressing needs.  Granite United Way is committed to improving the lives of individuals and families by supporting programs in the areas of education, income and health.  Granite United Way works with over 1,000 companies, 25,000 investors and thousands of volunteers every year to make our communities a better place. Granite United Way is highly rated by the nation’s most recognized experts on nonprofits, GuideStar and Charity Navigator.

Granite United Way serves the Southern (Manchester/Derry/Salem), Merrimack County, North Country, Central NH, Northern and Upper Valley Regions of NH and VT as well as Windsor County, VT.  For more information, visit


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