Success Stories

Jul.27, 2021


Meet Mary Ellen Jones

(Retired) Pratt & Whitney Vice President of Asia-Pacific Sales And United Way Tocqueville Society Member


Mary Ellen Jones
(Pratt & Whitney)

Q: Tell us a little about yourself.
I lead the Asia-Pacific Customer Business team for Pratt & Whitney Commercial Engines. In normal times I’d be spending a lot of time in Asia – our engines are with operators Japan, Vietnam, Australia, Singapore, the Philippines and everywhere in between – but since March of last year my team and I have been engaging with our customers via Zoom. It can mean a lot of late nights given the time differences!

Q: How long have you been engaged with United Way?
I’ve been a supporter for more than 20 years, but my awareness and appreciation for United Way’s work really heightened when I was asked to chair Pratt & Whitney’s United Way campaign in 2009. That was my first year as a Tocqueville Society member, and I’ve re-upped every year since as I see the value and encouragement United Way offers its constituents.

Q: What first attracted you to the organization? Why United Way?
Pratt & Whitney has always had a strong relationship with United Way and does a good job publicizing the campaign and its value to the community. United Way’s message of caring for our community really resonated with me. Being campaign chair gave me greater visibility into the many ways United Way works to make life better for Connecticut residents through teaching, training, advocacy and providing needed resources.

Q: Tell us a little about your involvement with United Way. In what ways have you partnered with the organization to give back to your community? 
I’ve partnered over the years through my contributions, by advocating for the United Way to my colleagues at Pratt & Whitney, through volunteering at food banks, especially during my time as campaign chair, and by attending Tocqueville Society events where I’ve heard directly from beneficiaries of United Way support about the differences it’s made in their lives. Even basic things like learning how to budget can have a major impact. We’ve hosted United Way fundraisers at Pratt & Whitney via fun activities like golf outings and auctions, and United Way representatives have joined us at Pratt & Whitney team events to stuff backpacks and share more about the challenges facing many members of the community.

Q: Why Tocqueville? Why Now?
The need remains, and of course COVID-19 made things even worse as it shut down many employment opportunities and child care options.

Q: Is there anything else you wish to share?
I’m very proud of my association with United Way. Paula Gilberto and her team do a tremendous job of reaching into the community and providing the tools people need to improve their circumstances and their lives. There’s been a big emphasis on kindness stemming from our shared COVID-19 experience. United Way’s work and supporters are kindness personified.

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