Posted On On: December 8, 2015 Categories Filed Under: Member News

HARRISBURG (December 8, 2015) – Karen F. Snider of Mechanicsburg was recently honored with the 2015 Humanitarian Award from United Way of the Capital Region’s Tocqueville Society for her outstanding commitment to improving lives throughout the region during a special reception, sponsored by M&T Bank; Wilmington Trust, an M&T Company; Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC; and Country Meadows Retirement Communities.

karen snider_2

Snider began her professional career as a caseworker in Philadelphia, but soon moved to central Pennsylvania, which she calls home. Her hard work and creative leadership led to a distinguished career as a public servant. Snider served as the secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services from 1991 to 1995. In this capacity, she was responsible for the largest state human service budget in the country at $11 billion. Her work with Governor Casey included expansion of Medicaid managed care, welfare reform and community-based mental health services.


Following her time as secretary, Snider was the CEO of Northwestern Human Services, Inc., which provides programs and services in the areas of mental health, mental retardation, drug and alcohol, children and youth, juvenile justice and aging. Since 2002, Snider has been president of Susquehanna Consulting and Financial Group, Inc., where she brings her expert knowledge of program management and state government to help nonprofit organizations provide services to the disenfranchised. Most recently, Snider has taken on the role of executive director of the Harrisburg Public Schools Foundation.


Snider has been involved with United Way for 25 years. Over the years, she has served on United Way of the Capital Region’s Board of Directors, Public Policy Committee and Latino Task Force and has helped lead the organization’s community impact efforts. Currently, Snider is a member of the United Way Foundation of the Capital Region Board of Directors and Women’s Leadership Network. She and her husband Jack are members of the Tocqueville Society.


“Karen is one of our community’s most engaged leaders,” says Rae Lynn Cox, United Way of the Capital Region spokesperson. “She is an inspiration to all of us to do more to improve life in our community.”




Humanitarian Award                                                                                                                        Page 2


A hallmark of all recipients of this award is a commitment to voluntary systems of human service, which is exemplified in Snider’s dedication to the Rotary Club of Harrisburg. She is the organization’s immediate past president and current president of the Harrisburg Rotary Foundation Board. Through Rotary, Snider became involved with CARE Court. CARE stands for Court Assisted Re-Entry. She serves as a mentor to participants in the U.S. Federal Court Middle District and has helped her mentees secure health insurance and job training to gain employment.


When the band and athletics activities in the Harrisburg School District were in jeopardy of elimination because of budget constraints, Snider did what she does best – engage the community. At the time, Snider was a member of the Harrisburg Public Schools Foundation Board of Directors; she helped raise the needed funds to keep these programs in place. In 2014, the Harrisburg School District named a wing of the Camp Curtin School in her honor for her tireless volunteer efforts for children and families. The Karen F. Snider Family and Student Health Center provides school-based counseling services, parenting classes and support for grandparents raising their grandchildren.


In addition, Snider serves on The Foundation for Enhancing Communities Board of Directors, the Women’s Fund Initiative and chairs the Women in Philanthropy Committee. She also serves on the board of directors for the Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania, YWCA of Greater Harrisburg and the Homeland Center.


The Humanitarian Award is presented annually to a local leader, or leaders, who meet the following seven criteria:


  • a commitment to voluntary systems of human services;
  • creative in his or her approach to serving the community;
  • outstanding in providing leadership and working with others;
  • provides sustained service over a period of years;
  • inspirational in encouraging others to serve;
  • actions have had or will have a major impact on changing and saving lives; and,
  • produces results that are clearly visible and tangible.


Past award recipients include: Bishop William H. Keeler; Harold A. McInnes; Jeffrey J. Burdge; John (Mac) Aichele; Richard A. Zimmerman; Alex Grass; Morton and Alyce Spector; William H. and Marion C. Alexander; Samuel D. Ross, Jr.; Ralph E. Peters; Stephen R. Reed; Carl L. Campbell; James E. Marley; Conrad and Gail Siegel; Nancy A. Besch; former Governor George M. Leader; George F. Grode; Hasu P. and Hersha H. Shah; Benjamin Olewine, III; Jonathan Vipond, III, and Tim E. Bunner; James Jones; Dr. John and Ann Marie Judson; Drs. Domingo and Veneranda Alvear; Michael J. Breslin; and Robert S. Jones.


The Tocqueville Society includes donors contributing $10,000 or more annually to United Way of the Capital Region. For more information on the Tocqueville Society, or the Humanitarian Award, contact United Way at 717.732.0700.


# # #