Liz Cotter Schlax

President & CEO, United Way of Southern Maine

Liz assumed leadership of United Way of Southern Maine (formerly Greater Portland) in 2015. As President & CEO, she guides United Way’s strategies to improve people’s lives through long-lasting community change in the areas of education, financial stability, and health.

Liz started her United Way career at United Way of Dane County (Madison, WI) in 1998 after working for four years in other nonprofit organizations including KaBOOM!, Up with People, and the Partnership for National Service/Points of Light Foundation. She served as Campaign Director in Dane County until December 2000, when she left to pursue graduate studies.

Upon completion of her master’s degree, Liz joined the management training program at Deere & Company, more commonly known as John Deere. During her six years with John Deere, Liz became a trained Examiner for the Iowa affiliate of Baldrige National Quality Program while she served in marketing and strategic planning roles in Moline, IL; Cary, NC; Zweibruecken, Germany; and Johnston, IA.

Liz returned to United Way in Des Moines, IA in 2009 and through 2014, led United Way of Central Iowa’s Advancement Division, which included corporate engagement, grants, individual engagement, and marketing.

Liz serves on the Board of Directors of the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Maine Medical Center/ Southern Maine Health Care Planning and Program Committee. She was grateful to participate in the 2017 John T. Gorman Fellowship program and was honored to be named a 2019 Mainebiz Woman to Watch.

Liz grew up in Waterville, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Harvard University and a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University. Liz and her husband, Michael, have two teenaged daughters.