Larry Olmstead – 
President & CEO

Larry joined United Way of Northern California (UWNC) on Feb. 1, 2016, after serving more than five years at United Way Silicon Valley (San Jose, CA) where he was a vice president in charge of human resources and operations. During his time at UWNC, the agency’s staff and revenue have more than quadrupled as UWNC has responded to numerous wildfires, the pandemic, homelessness and other community challenges with programs that have helped thousands of North State residents.

Previously, Larry spent more than 25 years in the media industry, as a journalist and executive for news and human resources. As Managing Editor of the Miami Herald, he helped lead the newsroom to two Pulitzer Prizes. Larry also was named a Pulitzer finalist for his work as a correspondent in Africa for the Detroit Free Press. Larry’s journalism travels allowed him to meet such figures as Nelson and Winnie Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Jesse Jackson, Rudy Giuliani, Jeb Bush and Arthur Ashe – but his most unusual and challenging assignment was giving a performance review to Miami Herald humor columnist Dave Barry.

Larry has served on numerous philanthropic and professional boards. He is a past chair of organizations including the International Women’s Media Foundation, the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors and 2-1-1 California, the state association of 2-1-1 social services help lines. Due to his expertise in media, leadership, management and diversity & inclusion, Larry has been invited to teach in executive development programs at Harvard, Northwestern and other colleges and universities.

Larry is an avid tennis player and fan. He is a certified tennis instructor and has served in volunteer leadership roles for the United States Tennis Association.

Larry grew up in the Bronx, NY, and studied journalism at George Washington University. He completed the Advanced Executive Program at Northwestern University’s Media Management Program, and is currently enrolled in a degree completion program at Simpson University. Larry is married to Michele Chandler, a journalist; the couple have two grown children and live in Redding, CA.