Serving Monroe, Owen, and Greene Counties

United Way names Efrat Feferman as new Executive Director

Efrat Feferman named as new Executive Director of United Way. 
Current director Lessow announces retirement. 
August 24, 2017 -- United Way of Monroe County will soon welcome Efrat Feferman as the new Executive Director. Barry Lessow, who has been the Executive Director since 2004, announced he will retire from his position in mid-September. He will continue to serve the organization in a part-time role through the end of the year to assist with the transition. Efrat Feferman will succeed Lessow as the agency’s Executive Director beginning September 18. Feferman, a long-time community resident, has been a board member of United Way, as well as a volunteer with the organization’s annual campaign, agency certification, granting, and Emergency Food and Shelter programs. 
Kate Gagnon, United Way Board Chair, said “We are so glad to welcome Efrat to this position. She has been a long-time active member of the Bloomington community and brings a wealth of professional experience to our organization. We have enjoyed working with Efrat as a Board member and are looking forward to her leadership as Executive Director. We are grateful for the role that Barry has had in helping United Way be an organization that brings partners from all areas together to develop and sustain real solutions to the serious issues facing our community. We’re sad to see Barry leave his leadership role, but are happy he will continue to be a part of the United Way team.”
Lessow remarked, “Efrat is an excellent choice to move the organization forward. In my time with Efrat, she has proven to be a very quick learner, perceptive, and oriented toward bringing people together productively. She values the relationships we have with donors, partners, volunteers, and with our close colleagues -- the 25 certified member agencies. Each person involved with United Way contributes to this community’s ability to ensure everyone has the right opportunity to find their own success… and I am glad they will get to work with Efrat. I have valued the opportunity to lead this organization and build partnerships throughout the community. I began my involvement with our United Way 23 years ago and hope to continue making a contribution to its success. And I certainly look forward to seeing how the organization will grow under Efrat’s leadership.”
Feferman has 20 years of experience in the non-profit and public sector. She currently serves as the Assistant Director of Finance for the City of Bloomington Utilities where she manages the finance, billing, customer service, and purchasing divisions of the Utilities, and directs the organization’s $40 million annual budget. Efrat holds a BA from IU Bloomington, and a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in local government and nonprofit management from the University of Arizona. While in Arizona, Feferman served as a senior staffer in Pima County’s Community Development and Neighborhood Conservation Department, and participated in the United Way Social Services Policy Committee and the Housing Commission in Tucson. 
Her involvement with United Way of Monroe County began early in her career as an intern for Middle Way House while an undergraduate student and then working as an employment support consultant at Stone Belt. Feferman serves on the Monroe County Redevelopment Commission, as well as the Buskirk-Chumley Theater’s Board of Directors.
Feferman commented, “It is indeed a busy time of year, and I’m coming into this position with the full confidence that the staff and volunteer teams will help make this another successful year. Barry’s commitment to a smooth transition speaks to his seasoned leadership and to his unwavering dedication to this organization and this community. I look forward to jumping right in and working with the United Way team.”
Feferman continued, “Throughout my involvement with United Way, I have been increasingly impressed by the knowledge and support of everyone in the United Way world, especially the staff, Board of Directors, and member agency leaders. Every day, they do the hard work so everyone in our community really can learn more, earn more, and lead safer and healthier lives. It is a noble mission, grounded in the goals of our community. I am ready for the responsibility and opportunity to do my part to lead United Way toward an even stronger role in addressing the key issues facing the wonderful people in our community.” 
Under Lessow’s leadership, United Way transitioned to focus on the areas that research shows can lead to measurable outcomes for a better life: a quality education, earnings opportunity, and access to the essentials. United Way has successfully met a series of challenge grants enabling the formation of several multi-sector initiatives, bringing new partners together to address key community needs and opportunities like early childhood development, high school graduation, and financial stability. Some of the notable programs launched under Lessow’s tenure include the SCAN needs assessment, Let’s Read, Real Men Read, Free Community Tax Service, Monroe Smart Start, High School Plus, Bank on Bloomington, 2-1-1, and the local Born Learning campaign. Prior to becoming Executive Director, Lessow was on the United Way Board and chaired the campaign. He was chair of the Indiana United Ways [IUW] executive roundtable, chair of the IUW Board of Directors, and is a member of its Public Policy Committee. 


  • Born Learning
  • Financial Stability Alliance
  • Monroe Smart Start
  • Familywize Discount Prescription Card
  • Bank On Bloomington