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United Way announces hiring of two top executives

January 20, 2023

They are the first major leadership hires serving under new

President and CEO Melanie Patz


Coretta Hill will be serving as chief operating officer and James Ellout will be serving at vice president of community impact.


United Way of Northeast Florida announced today the addition of two new members to its leadership team, which oversees the organization’s work to improve economic mobility in Northeast Florida. Seasoned nonprofit executives Coretta Hill and James Ellout are the first major leadership hires serving under United Way’s new President and CEO Melanie Patz.

“Our impact on the community is driven in large part by the talent on our team,” said Patz. “Coretta and James both bring significant insight and experience to their roles, along with a fresh perspective that will help us transform the way we work and how we serve Northeast Floridians.”

Returning to United Way after four years as vice president of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund (JPEF), Hill will serve in a newly created role as United Way’s chief operating officer. She will be tasked with strategy development and improvements to operational efficiency.

Hill previously spent more than 18 years with United Way in Southwest Georgia and Northeast Florida, where she most recently served as vice president of volunteer and community engagement for more than a decade.

She has more than two decades of experience in nonprofit management, with her professional expertise spanning strategic planning, organizational management, fundraising and communications. Her first day at United Way will be Monday, Feb. 13.

“Coretta has been a tremendous partner to me and leader on our team for the last four years,” said JPEF president Rachael Tutwiler Fortune. “I am grateful for all we have accomplished to help move public education forward together during that timeframe. Our organization is stronger today because of her contributions. I have no doubt that she will continue to be an incredible asset to our community, and I look forward to our continued partnership as she begins a new assignment in this next chapter.”

Also from the local nonprofit sector, Ellout will serve as United Way’s vice president of community impact. In this role, Ellout will be responsible for developing and leading high-impact community initiatives that drive results in basic needs, financial well-being and racial equity. Ellout will join United Way on Monday, Jan. 30.

Ellout began his career in Detroit, where he held positions in juvenile justice, behavioral mental health and public education. Over the past nine years, he led efforts with City Year Jacksonville to ensure students achieve their full potential and graduate high school ready for college or career. He served in a number of senior roles with City Year, where he demonstrated a passion for and expertise in program design and implementation, data and evaluation, and relationship development with stakeholders across the public and private sectors.

For more information on this announcement and/or to schedule an interview with Hill, Ellout or Patz, please contact Sarah Henderson, United Way’s director of marketing and communications, at sarahh@nulluwnefl.org or 904-300-8366.