Local Visionary – Kevin Ressler

I'm interested in the assemblage of people...

Introducing you to the people and places that make Lancaster special is our mission. In the spring edition of Fig, you met some of our friends who are forging new paths and are selflessly committed to our community. Now, more than ever, we want to show our appreciation.⁠

Meet Kevin Ressler, President & CEO of United Way of Lancaster County


“I live in Lancaster City which makes my affections personal: these are the streets and parks my daughters play on, the collaborative initiatives my wife and I get to till the gardens of our ideas, and the organizations that have nurtured our spirits and understanding of community. Often people talk about the architecture as making Lancaster unique, but I’m more interested in the assemblage of people, all of the people, even those our systems and opportunities too often forget to include.”

“Lancaster has always been a diverse place, but too often pressures and barriers have led to disenfranchisement. Right now, those issues are around housing, poverty, and gentrification, challenging our ideas of who gets to make up our City. I believe, though, that where our goodwill meets our intentionality, we can take bold risks to change the systems and narrative possibilities for everyone’s future.”

"If daring enough, Lancaster can respond proactively to early indicators and find successful pathways to solutions instead of responding to established crises. Communities near and far will emulate us and call our expertise to them."

This is a Lancaster where the tables do not always seat the same people and leave room for more. This is a Lancaster that embraces new ideas and reverences the past without being chained to it. This is the Lancaster our United Way is working to envision and create, and I invite you into it.

Passion Projects:

“Spending six years at Meals on Wheels taught me so much. I am grateful in the ways I remain connected (board service), but also watching how they are already growing since my departure. I also care deeply about community health and vitality which is why I serve on the Boards of Everence Federal Credit Union, Conestoga Valley Education Foundation, UPMC Lititz, and LG/Penn’s Mission and Community Benefit Committee.”

Reason for Gratitude:

“I am humbled by the quiet servants, often women, in our community. People like Sue Parker, Susan Adams, Jean Weglarz, Sue Paxson, Hilary Grant, Joanne Bauer who have volunteered to lead and serve at multiple places in Lancaster for literally decades, each with little to no recognition. They, and women like them, have covered the cracks where prosperity didn’t follow and ensured a healthier and brighter community for us all. I am grateful to work in their shadow.”

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