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Profile: Fran Weisberg

Fran Weisberg

Fran Weisberg

This story appeared in the RBJ’s commemorative 30th Anniversary section. See more content related to the RBJ’s anniversary here.

Fran Weisberg’s impact on the region has taken many forms: politics, health care, anti-poverty, to name a few.

The president and CEO of United Way of Greater Rochester Inc. is slated to leave the nonprofit organization on Dec. 31. Weisberg was named president and CEO in 2015, succeeding Peter Carpino. In both 2016 and 2017, United Way topped its annual fundraising goals; last year the organization raised $25.1 million and this year it raised $25.4 million.

She also has been a leader of the biggest effort to address poverty the region has seen while also directing a shift within the nonprofit agency to reflect decades of changing demographics and philanthropy.

Prior to joining United Way, Weisberg served as CEO of Common Ground Health, then called Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency. Under her leadership, the agency convened the 2020 Commission, a committee of local community, business and health care leaders that investigated expansion planned by several local hospitals.

The process was not always easy, Weisberg recalled, but it was eventually able to draw consensus among a wide group.

Weisberg also served as CEO of Lifespan of Greater Rochester Inc. for more than 10 years, which she built from a $1.8 million to a nearly $4 million agency. She also served as director of government relations at UR’s medical center and as Catholic Family Center’s vice president of development and external affairs.

Weisberg also was the first female chair of the Monroe County Democratic Party, where her enthusiastic dedication led to a momentary heyday for the party in area politics in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

As campaign manager for Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-Perinton, Weisberg led one of the most exciting horse races in local Congressional history. Underdog Slaughter took the seat away from popular incumbent Fred Eckert. Then as the leader of the county Democratic Committee, Weisberg and her fellow Democrats put Thomas Frey into the county executive’s office.

Quite a track record for a self-described “troublemaker” in high school and college.

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