SAN DIEGO  – United Way of San Diego County has named two community leaders and strong advocates – an award-winning employment attorney and a veteran educator – to key positions on its board of directors. Dave Carothers, partner at Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger LLP (CDF), steps up as chairman of the board. Richard Pattenaude, Ph.D., president emeritus at Ashford University, becomes vice chair for the next two years, leading up to the nonprofit’s centennial celebration. Both men are passionate about issues that align with United Way’s goal to change the odds for San Diego’s children and families.

“My journey to where I am today was not free of challenges,” said Carothers, “and I am grateful for organizations such as United Way for their investment in providing resources for underserved children and families. Serving on the board of one of San Diego’s most respected charities is my honor, especially being among peers collaborating for local solutions and with the shared vision of a community encouraging opportunity for all.”

As chair, Carothers will serve on the executive committee, lead the 27-member volunteer board of directors and provide general oversight of board policy implementation. As partner at CDF, a statewide management-side labor, employment and immigration law firm, he brings more than 30 years of legal practice to the courtroom. He has tried more than 75 cases to verdict in jurisdictions throughout California. His clients include educational institutions, national retail chains, religious organizations and more.

Carothers is also CDF’s diversity committee chairperson and a founding participant and committee member of the San Diego County Bar Association Diversity Fellowship Program. He was appointed to the Fair Employment and Housing Commission by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in November 2008. Carothers has served on the boards of the Neighborhood House Association, the San Diego Police Review Board and the Inner City Games Foundation. Carothers also served in the U.S. Navy from 1975 to 1979 and was awarded the Navy/Marine Corp Expeditionary Medal for services related to Iran. Carothers resides in Point Loma with his wife, Janice.

As vice chair, Pattenaude will serve on the executive committee and will perform the duties of chair in Carothers’ absence. He will also chair the campaign cabinet, leading a team of executive volunteers to develop and deepen relationships with United Way’s top corporate partners and work to develop relationships with future San Diego company partners.

“When I came to San Diego from Maine, I reached out to learn about the local United Way. It was a delightful surprise to learn that the primary focus was on education for kids,” said Pattenaude. “As an educator, I believe deeply in that purpose as it leads to success in school, career and life. It is an honor to be elected to a leadership role for this dynamic organization that is so essential to our community.”

Pattenaude has a long tenure in higher education, most recently as president of Ashford University from 2012-2015, where he oversaw the school’s range of associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs available online. His previous roles include president of the University of Southern Maine and chancellor of the University of Maine System. He is also a U.S. Army veteran who served one year in Vietnam. The father of four grown children, he enjoys reading, race cars and the Red Sox. 

“These are engaged, invested members of our board who will bring their passions and expertise to the leadership level,” said President and CEO Laurie Coskey. “I know they will shepherd our mission to elevate the possibilities for San Diego’s youngest community members and the next generation. We are grateful to have captured the energies of these extraordinary community leaders.”

About United Way of San Diego County

For 97 years, United Way of San Diego County has been disrupting the cycle of poverty by tackling issues impacting children and families in San Diego. The nonprofit plays a unique role, working with hundreds of nonprofits, schools, businesses and community leaders to change the odds for children by focusing on academic success and family stability. United Way provides support outside the classroom so children can be successful inside the classroom. LIVE UNITED is a call to action for everyone to get involved by donating and volunteering. Learn more at www.uwsd.orgFacebook and Twitter.

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