Daemen alum Trina Burruss, a graduate of the university’s Leadership and Innovation program, has been named president and chief executive officer (CEO) of United Way of Buffalo & Erie County.
Currently serving as chief operating officer (COO), Burruss will start her new position at the end of the year, the organization’s Board of Directors recently announced. Burruss will succeed Michael Weiner, who will retire.
The news was announced in a press release and an article in Buffalo Business First.
At the time, both were high-profile bank executives, with Kawanza serving as a senior vice president and corporate responsibility for KeyBank, a Fortune 500 company.
They are also business partners. In 2021, the sisters launched a business together—renovating and opening an events venue and photography space, The Mahogany, along with relatives. The venture is a revival of a family business from the 1980’s in Buffalo’s Central Park, where the sisters grew up.
Trina started her career in banking as a window teller at Marine Midland (now HSBC) in the mid-1990’s, after marrying and starting a family following high school. Later, she became senior vice president, district manager, and first-ever community development officer at Northwest Bank.
“Our experience at [Daemen] has stayed with us, especially in creative thinking and leadership,” Trina told Daemen Today. “Every class had gems we still use all the time.”
According to the United Way, Burruss is active in many roles in community organizations, including serving as vice president for First Shiloh Housing Corporation, and treasurer and Budget Committee Chair for First Shiloh Baptist Church.
She also serves on the Boards of Say Yes Buffalo, Buffalo Urban Development Corporation and Leadership Buffalo. In addition, she is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Buffalo Alumnae Chapter.
“I am confident that United Way of Buffalo & Erie County will be well positioned for the future with Trina at the helm,” said Weiner, in a United Way press release.