Valley United Way
54 Grove Street
Suite 1
Shelton CT 06484
Contact Information
Address 54 Grove Street
Suite 1
Shelton, CT 06484-
Telephone (203) 926-9478 x
Fax 203-926-1368
Web and Social Media
Corporate Volunteer Council & Youth Leadership Council working together
The mission of the Valley United Way is to generate and organize financial and other appropriate support for the provision of social services to meet identified needs in the community.
At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 1969
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Sharon Gibson-Ellis
Board Chair Ms. Jennifer Bull
Board Chair Company Affiliation Dworken,Hillman,LaMorte&Sterczala P.C.
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses Bar Graph - All Years
The mission of the Valley United Way is to generate and organize financial and other appropriate support for the provision of social services to meet identified needs in the community.

Over the years, Valley United Way and its predecessor organizations have raised and distributed millions of dollars to help improve the quality of life in the five town Valley area. Its strength has always been the volunteers who live and work in the community and make the funding decisions important to the community.

The services provided by Valley United Way have increased dramatically as it has moved beyond its earlier role of just raising and distributing dollars. VUW has established a Volunteer Center and through the Center has developed a Youth Leadership Program and a High School Volunteer Council to involve the youth of the community. Our Corporate Volunteer Council represents a  collaborative effort with area businesses to promote good corporate citizenship through philanthropic and volunteer activities.

We led the effort that resulted in the creation of the Valley Council for Health and Human Services which brings together the Valley’s nonprofit community to work together on issues of importance to the community. Working with the Council and  the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce, we created the Leadership Greater Valley program to recruit and train a new generation of volunteer leaders for the Valley.

Valley United Way was also a leader in several other initiatives that helped build the foundation for the Valley’s selection as one of 10 All America City award winners in 2010.


Valley United Way's mission is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of our community. Valley United Way will measurably improve the lives of people in our community through:

  • Philanthropy Raising dollars to invest in identified community priorities.
  • VolunteerismInspiring people to make a difference by giving their time.
  • CollaborationWorking with others to build coalitions that leverage resources to address identified community priorities.

During the past year we have not only conducted a successful community campaign funding a variety of needed programs in the Valley area, but also clothed 197 low income  children for school bringing our total for this program to over 2,700 children. Our Corporate Volunteer Council conducted monthly food and clothing drives. Our Youth Leadership Program celebrated its 25th anniversary and our Leadership Greater Valley Program also graduated and placed 20 new adult volunteer leaders for our community.

We are  the fiscal  agent for the Discovery Early Childhood efforts for the region as well as Ansonia and Shelton's city efforts.We continued to host and provide administrative support for the Valley Council of Health and Human Services. 

Valley United Way raises funds to support a wide variety services in the Lower Naugatuck Valley and welcomes the support of the general population. We are investing in community services centering on health, education, and family stability.  
 In 2016-2017 we are focusing on food and hunger insecurity in the Valley by working with numerous partners. 
CEO Statement

It is my pleasure to serve as President and CEO of Valley United Way. It is my commitment to the Valley that we will always look at what is in the best interests of our residents. We have many residents who are struggling and it is incumbent on us to be an active part of the solutions to community issues . Our children, elderly and low income families are a priority and I am excited that Valley United Way has the opportunity to work with community partners, including Valley Community Foundation and others to serve our communities better 


Board Chair Statement

One of the real strengths of Valley United Way is the volunteer leadership of the organization. It is my pleasure to now serve as Board Chair after having served on the Board not only of Valley United Way, but several other organizations that make our Valley great.

Though we have an excellent staff, an active and involved Board of Directors is critical to the success of the organization. Ultimately, it is the Board that sets the policy and the vision for the organization and is responsible for the governance of Valley United Way. We are fortunate to have a diverse, knowledgeable and dedicated group of community leaders serving on our Board. They are people who live and work in the community and have a great desire to serve the community.

Board members take leadership roles in all our activities and Board members chair all of our committees ensuring that the Board is always fully engaged in our programs and services. I would also like to point out that all Board members are also donors themselves, and very generous in sharing their time, talents and treasures.

Like all Boards, we are faced with the challenges of a difficult economy and increasing demands for financial and other support. We are also dealing with the changing demographics of our population, shifting needs in the community and the technological changes affecting our business and the way that we communicate with our community.

Rest assured that our Board is up to the challenge, and our participation in is just another indication of our ability to change to meet the needs and opportunities that we face.


Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Philanthropy,Voluntarism & Grantmaking Foundations / Philanthropy/Charity/ Voluntarism Promotion (General)
Areas Served
In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
Ansonia, Derby, Oxford, Seymour and Shelton Connecticut
The Volunteer Center, a division of Valley United Way, serves as a community resource boosting volunteerism in the Valley by matching the skills and interests of Valley volunteers with the needs of nonprofit agencies providing services in the Valley.

The Center maintains a database of volunteer opportunities listed by nonprofit agencies in the Valley. It also coordinates the Corporate Volunteer Council (Area Businesses) and the High School Volunteer Council (Area High Schools) as well as United Way's Youth Leadership Program.

The Center's new on-line e-Volunteer site is always available to supplement live contact with the Center's Director, Patricia Tarasovic.

Population Served Other Named Groups / /
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state. Visit our Volunteer Center website for full information:
Description The primary objective of the Youth Leadership Program is to develop teens into future community leaders. They learn about community needs in the Valley and the importance of nonprofit agencies and the role volunteerism plays in addressing those needs. Applications are accepted annually from students either attending high schools in the Valley or residing in the Valley and attending schools outside the Valley.
Population Served / /
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state. For full story, visit our website for Youth Leadership at

Close to seventy companies are members of the Corporate Volunteer Council which is a program coordinated by Valley United Way's Volunteer Action Center. The group's enthusiasm, skill and community spirit is leaving an indelible mark on the Valley and improving the quality of life through their everyday efforts that demonstrate that they and their employees care about the community in which they live and work.

The purpose of the CVC is:

1. Networking: Providing a way for companies operating corporate volunteer programs to exchange information and help other companies in the community start corporate volunteer programs.

2. Community-needs identification: Providing a forum where member companies can learn about community needs for employee volunteers. Information is transmitted when the CVC invites a local nonprofit agency to present information on its need for volunteers during a regularly scheduled CVC meeting.

3. Joint Projects: Providing a way for member companies to work together on a community need or problem that is too large or complex for one company to handle alone. Currently active ongoing projects include:

Since 1994 the CVC has also taken on major projects on an annual basis. The two annual projects are the Week of Caring projects which generally involve a very hands on "construction and renovation" project for an area nonprofit organization and the Back to School Clothes for Kids Project which adopts the neediest children in one Valley grammar school providing children with back to school clothing and encouragement for a successful start to the new academic year.

Special Projects

Population Served Adults / /
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state. Visit our website at for full details of the accomplishments of this incredible group.
Description Valley United Way has operated a unique local program which allows individuals and businesses to list items that they would like to donate to area nonprofits. The listings are shared with area nonprofits and agencies needing the items are quickly matched with the donors.


Donors simply need to call or e-mail United Way with the list of items to be donated and the contact information.

Items should be in good condition and usable by an agency or its clients.
Population Served / /
Description Leadership Greater Valley is a joint program offered by Valley United Way, the Valley Council for Health & Human Service and the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce. The program was first started in 1996 through the efforts of United Way and the Council and received a major boost in 2001 when the Chamber became a partner.

What is it about?

Leadership Greater Valley (LGV) combines leadership skill building with community education. During the nine-week program, participants get a bird’s-eye view of the issues facing the community, begin developing the leadership skills necessary to assume leadership roles and are exposed to involvement opportunities in the community. The class is limited to 20 selected individuals – those who will have the personal opportunity to learn from the leaders of many local organizations and associations. Leadership Greater Valley is unlike other programs because it provides a catalyst for community vision and change – it builds a better tomorrow for all of us.

Population Served / /
Program Comments
CEO Comments
Valley United Way works collaboratively with a variety of other organizations in the community including the Valley Council for Health and Human Services, the Valley Early Childhood Task Force and the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce on a number of programs not specifically United Way. It also hosts the Valley Council for Health and Human Services and serves as the community agent for Ansonia, Shelton and Regional Discovery early childhood efforts.
Valley United Way also hosts a variety of meetings and trainings for area nonprofits in its two conference rooms that are made available at no cost.
CEO/Executive Director
Ms. Sharon Gibson-Ellis
Term Start Nov 2016

Sharon Gibson Ellis is the new President & C.O.O. of Valley United Way succeeding Jack Walsh who will be retiring at the end of November. Sharon comes to Valley United Way with a wealth of experience in the United Way system including serving as the professional head of United Ways of Benton & Lincoln Counties (Oregon), United Way of Muscatine (Iowa) and most recently United Way of Greater Williamsburg (Virginia).

Ellis has earned a reputation for spearheading and facilitating numerous collaborations around housing, food security and homelessness. Of particular importance was the effort in Williamsburg to understand the root causes of homelessness among precariously housed populations. That effort resulted in the establishment of the Housing Collaborative that has effectively transformed and expanded the community system to more effectively deal with the issue.

She has managed disaster recovery efforts at two of her previous United Ways and even authored and taught curriculum on organizational management as well as serving as a consultant for other nonprofit organizations. She has also has a great understanding of for-profit business as she has had personal success in the retail arena where she owned and operated three successful businesses of her own.

Number of Full Time Staff 5
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 300
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate 75%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 5
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 5
Unspecified 0
Senior Staff
Title Volunteer Center Director

Pat Tarasovic is the Director of the Volunteer Action Center at Valley United Way. Pat was first Director of The Volunteer Action Center when it was started in 1991 and served until 1999 when she joined Birmingham Group Health Services as their Director of Development and dedicated over four years to the agency to help them as they launched a very aggressive Development Plan.

During her first tenure at Valley United Way, Pat created the Valley’s award-winning Corporate Volunteer Council and High School Volunteer Council in addition to running the Youth Leadership Program.   

A very active member of the community, Pat was the Co-founder of the Oxford Cultural Arts Commission, and oversaw the building of Oxford’s bandstand and the initiation of its concert series. She co-chaired Oxford’s successful bicentennial and 350th anniversary events. She has served on the towns Beautification Committee and several other town committees. Pat was also a Co-founder of the award winning Oxford School Volunteer Program. She served as the Statewide President of School Volunteer Program  and represented the State on National issues.  

Pat served as President of the Oxford Junior Women’s Club and later went on to Serve as Director of the Connecticut Junior Women. She was also Co-Chair of the Valley’s All America City Weekend Gala and Celebration and a delegate in both 1999 and 2000. 

Pat has been a driving force in the Valley’s LEAD Program which has now merged with the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce to become the Leadership Program. She is also Co Chair of Healthy Valley and is a Past-president of the Derby/Shelton Rotary Club.

She is a past recipient of the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce's Gold Seal award, the Valley Council of Health and Human Services Lewis Savitsky Award, the Birmingham Group Health Services Good Neighbor Award, the Ansonia’s Women in History 2000 Award and the Valley YMCA Volunteer of the Year Award.

Her most recent award is the "Valley Women Making A Difference in the Valley " award which she received on October 1, 2009.

Title Director of Resource Development

 Jillian Carroll is the Director of Resource Development at Valley United Way. A Shelton native and resident, Jillian comes to United Way with a background in development with the Jewish Senior Services Foundation in Bridgeport, but she has also worked in media with the A&E Television Network. At Valley United Way all fundraising activities and will be working in marketing and communications as well

Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Connecticut Council on Philanthropy2017
Board Chair
Ms. Jennifer Bull
Company Affiliation Dworken,Hillman,LaMorte&Sterczala P.C.
Term Apr 2016 to Apr 2018
Board of Directors
Mr. Patrick Charmel Griffin Hospital
Mr. Peter Dagostine Robinson & Cole LLP
Mr. John DeGray Point Energy Solutions
Mr. Gregory P. DeStefano Marcum LLP
Mr. Michael Gnibus GE Global Patent Operation
Ms. Mona Kadiwar Edgewell Personal Care
Ms. Eileen Lopez-Cordero United Illuminating
Mr. John McFarland Hubbell
Mr. Ned Miller Ned Miller Agency, A Division of Starkweather & Shepley Insurance
Ms. Mary Ann Miskowicz Better Packages
Mr. Fred Ortoli Fred Ortoli Photography
Mr. Joseph Pagliaro Jr.Riverview and Adzima Funeral Homes
Ms. Ruth Parkins Iroquois Pipeline Operating Company
Mr. Ramon Peralta Peralta Design
Mr. Jospeh Perun People's Bank
Mr. William Purcell Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce
Mr. Richard Rosen The RH Rosen Group
Ms. Janice Sheehy Webster Bank
Mr. Dominick Thomas Cohen & Thomas
Mr. James Tickey Jimmy's World
Mr. Michael Wilson Ansonia Board of Education
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 19
Hispanic/Latino 2
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 1 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 16
Female 6
Risk Management Provisions
Accident and Injury Coverage
Commercial General Insurance
Commercial General Liability
Directors and Officers Policy
Disability Insurance
General Property Coverage
Life Insurance
Medical Health Insurance
Workers Compensation and Employers' Liability
Board Co-Chair
Mr. Joseph Pagliaro Jr.
Company Affiliation Riverview Funeral Home
Term Apr 2016 to Apr 2018
Standing Committees
Board Governance
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction
Distributions / Grant Making
CEO Comments
Valley United Way is constantly interested in developing new volunteer leaders in the community, and was the leader in establishing the program now known as Leadership Greater Valley which is run in conjunction with the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Valley Council for Health & Human Services to recruit and train a diverse new group of volunteer leaders for the community. Five graduates of that program have served on Valley United Way's Board.
Fiscal Year Start July 01 2017
Fiscal Year End June 30 2018
Projected Revenue $1,070,000.00
Projected Expenses $1,070,000.00
Spending Policy N/A
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
Other Documents
Other Documents 3
2015-2016 Annual Report2016View
2014-2015 Annual Report2015View
Valley Hunger Study2015View
2013-2014 Annual Report2014View
2013 Annual Report2012View
Annual Report2011View
Annual Report2010View
Annual Report2009View
Annual Report2008View
Annual Report2007View
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$874,083$808,079$800,083
Current Assets$795,299$719,247$708,724
Long-Term Liabilities$115,200$121,191$128,882
Current Liabilities$218,074$204,313$215,417
Total Net Assets$540,809$482,575$455,784
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountEdgewell $148,586Edgewell $131,586Edgewell $183,205
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountBIC $120,387BIC $113,267Hubbell $106,773
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountHubbell $112,165Hubbell $108,425BIC $101,381
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
CEO Comments Valley United Way has a very capable finance committee which meets, reviews financial data and reports to the Board of Directors every month. A separate Audit Committee works with an outside auditor to prepare the annual audit which is also presented to the full Board of Directors for review and action each year.
Foundation Staff Comments This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Some financial information from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved has been inputted by Foundation staff. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. A more complete picture of the organization’s finances can be obtained by viewing the attached 990s and audited financials. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.
Address 54 Grove Street
Suite 1
Shelton, CT 06484
Primary Phone 203 926-9478
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Sharon Gibson-Ellis
Board Chair Ms. Jennifer Bull
Board Chair Company Affiliation Dworken,Hillman,LaMorte&Sterczala P.C.


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