United Way of Kankakee and Iroquois Counties Leadership Change: Rust Resigns, Vail Named Successor


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KANKAKEE, IL – After serving the community for the last three and a half years, Kerstin Rust, the Executive Director of United Way of Kankakee and Iroquois Counties, has announced her resignation from her role. Rust stated that her decision was not easy but was necessary to focus on raising her one-year-old daughter.

During her tenure, Rust accomplished a lot, including launching a new affinity group called Women United and partnering with the Community Foundation of Kankakee River Valley to distribute over $650,000 in COVID-19 emergency response funding to social service agencies. Rust also coordinated the unveiling and design of the first outdoor art mural in the Village of Bourbonnais and increased awareness of local resources for Kankakee and Iroquois County residents.

Mariah Vail, Development Manager for United Way of Kankakee and Iroquois Counties, has been chosen as Rust’s successor. Vail has been with the organization for the past two years and was unanimously approved by United Way’s Board of Directors on April 28th. With an MBA from Olivet Nazarene University and a strong background in the non-profit sector, Vail is well-suited to take on the role of Executive Director.

United Way’s incoming Board President, Sarah Marion, expressed her delight in having Vail step up as the new Executive Director, citing her dedication, background, and intimate knowledge of United Way as key reasons for her being a perfect fit for the role.

United Way of Kankakee and Iroquois Counties has been mobilizing caring people to invest in communities for 80 years. United Way brings direct service providers, business and philanthropic communities, and local institutions together to tackle some of the biggest issues affecting the region. The organization is a 501c(3) nonprofit, governed by a local volunteer board of directors. For more information, visit myunitedway.org.


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