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News Release: United Way COVID-19 Response Fund

COVID-19 Economic Chamber News Release

The COVID-19 Response Fund was formed to quickly and effectively address both the health and economic challenges of this virus.

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold, individuals and families throughout our community will be impacted. As bars and restaurants close or reduce their capacities, schools and childcare centers are unable to open, and businesses see diminished revenues, the economic effects will be immense, particularly for those living paycheck to paycheck. Many families still struggling to recover from the recent tornadoes will find their path to stable housing and financial stability even more challenging. Senior citizens will be particularly vulnerable.

In an effort to proactively address the health and economic impact on our neighbors, Mayor John Cooper has convened a group of philanthropic, government and business partners to form a COVID-19 Response Fund, which will rapidly deploy resources to community-based organizations, getting dollars to where they are needed most. 

Housed at United Way and chaired by former Senator Dr. Bill Frist, the COVID-19 Response Fund will focus its initial allocations on helping our neighbors who are experiencing lost wages or who become ill from the virus receive the assistance they need to stay in their homes and keep food on the table.

Side-by-side with the Mayor’s Office, United Way and the Response Committee will work to get these dollars into Greater Nashville quickly—funding nonprofit partners and service providers working directly with those disproportionately impacted by this challenging landscape.

Members of the advisory committee will work with the Mayor’s Office and United Way to quickly assess the needs and make rapid funding decisions to ensure a thorough and efficient process.

The committee members will include (subject to change):

  • Angie Adams: President and CEO, PENCIL

  • Katina Beard, MSPH: CEO, Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center

  • Maneet Chauhan and Vivek Deora: Founders and Partners, Morph Hospitality

  • Robert Dittus, MD., MPH: Director, Institute for Medicine and Public Health

  • Mary Falls: Senior Advisor, Office of Mayor John Cooper

  • Sen. Bill Frist, MD (Chair)

  • Joe Galante: Chair, CMA Foundation Board; CEO and chair, Sony Music Nashville

  • Pastor Robert Gardenhire: Minister, Schrader Lane Church of Christ 

  • Benjamin Goldberg: Founder and Co-owner, Strategic Hospitality

  • Wanda Lyle: Managing Director - General Manager, UBS Business Solutions Center Nashville

  • Rob Mortenson: President/CEO, Tennessee Hospitality and Tourism Association

  • Juliana Ospina Cano: Executive Director, Conexión Américas

  • Brad Rayson: President, SEIU Local 205

  • Butch Spyridon: President and CEO, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation

  • Consuelo Wilkins, MD, MSCI: VP for Health Equity, Vanderbilt University; Executive Director, Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance


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