Tocqueville Member Spotlight: Mike Durkin and Ann Bersani

Earlier this month, we announced that after 43 years with the United Way organization, and more than 10 years at the helm of United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, President and CEO Mike Durkin will be retiring next summer. In addition to his many years of leadership in the organization, Mike and his wife Ann have been long-time donors.  We asked Mike to talk to us a bit about why he and Ann feel so strongly about supporting United Way.

What’s it like to be a financial supporter of the company you oversee?

Financial support of United Way is a natural thing for us.  We have been “fair share” givers from the start of my career and we have always been strong believers in United Way’s work.  The financial support is one of the ways, along with volunteering, that we have been able to make a difference.

What’s the most inspiring change you’ve seen in the community over your 11 years of service to UWMB?

There are two things that I feel very good about that occurred during my time in Boston. First, we have been able to “broaden the scope” of United Way.   We serve a very large portion of eastern Massachusetts, including Boston. Seeing the expansion of some of United Way’s great programs–financial opportunity centers, the RISE initiative supporting currently homeless families and others–has been great to be a part of.

How are you planning to stay involved with UWMB after you officially retire?

We will stay involved as donors for sure.  And maybe some time for volunteering for activities like Project Connect.  And I’ll be glad to help out if my good colleagues at United Way miss me. 🙂

How have you involved your family in your passion for philanthropy?

We have been involved in volunteer work for a long time, and that will continue.  Our daughter is a clinical social worker, one son volunteers in the community as does my wife, and our other son is a supervisor in a group home for adults with developmental disabilities.  All of that will keep on going.

Thanks Mike.  Best of luck with this transition.