Volunteer Spotlight: Philip Francis

Phil has served as Chair of the Finance Committee, and as Treasurer, Vice President and currently as President of the United Way of Greater Stark County Board of Directors.

“My background in finance and investments has helped me provide guidance and suggestions to the Finance Committee and the Board. That has, in time, resulted in more dollars being invested in the community.”

Between the many partnerships in the community, United Way has more than 50 programs it helps support – all focused on improving health, advancing education and/or growing financial stability in Stark County.

“United Way programs that resonate the most with me are CARE Team and VITA. CARE Team because it helps children and families; VITA because it helps people put dollars in their pockets and back into the community. It gives them a leg up, not a handout.”

Phil wishes more people knew the important role United Way plays as a convener and collaborator in Stark County. He is excited about the direction United Way is taking and becoming even more focused on collaboration, especially in the areas of financial stability and education. Phil respects people’s right to choose which organizations they choose to support but also suggests they volunteer with United Way to learn what they do for the community. Because once they do, “we’ve got them!”

“Volunteering is in my DNA. It has made me understand the complexity of the issues that we face as a community. There are no quick fixes; just hard work, focused on making positive change every day.”

Every year, on Day of Caring, Phil has a moment of truth – when he realizes “that’s why I volunteer – what an awesome event!”

“Kevin and Linda Smith (past Campaign Chairs and current United Way volunteers) inspire me. They are two of the most selfless people I have come in contact with during my time at United Way. I don’t think they have ever said No when it comes to United Way of Greater Stark County.”

Phil is a Client Advisor for Huntington Private Bank, and has been a Trust Officer and Advisor for almost 25 years. Prior to joining the bank, he was in-house counsel for a local financial institution and an attorney in private practice with a local law firm. Phil is a graduate of Mount Union College and Case Western Reserve University School of Law. He is licensed to practice law in both Ohio and Florida. Phil is past President of the Child & Adolescent Service Center, the Rotary Club of Alliance, the Alliance Family YMCA and the Alliance Community Soccer Club, and a past Chairman of the Canton Fair Housing Commission. He is a graduate of Leadership Stark County and currently serves on the Buckeye Council Boy Scouts Executive Board, the Stark County Board of Health (past Board President and Vice President), the Alliance Salvation Army Advisory Board and the Washington Township Board of Zoning Appeals. He is also Treasurer of the Glamorgan Castle Crusaders’ Capital Campaign. In 2007, Phil was elected to the Marlington Local Schools Board of Education (re-elected in 2011), where he served as Board President and Vice President. Phil has lived in Stark County since 1983. He is married to Lynn (Ermlich) and has three children: Emily, Eric and Stephen.

Find an organization or cause to volunteer for that you’re passionate about through United Way of Greater Stark County today.