Michael "Mike" Raikos, Manager for NuStar Energy's Terminals in Linden and Paulsboro Areas in New Jersey, has been appointed the new Campaign Chair for United Way of Greater Union County's (UWGUC) annual fundraising campaign.

Raikos has been a dedicated member of the UWGUC Board for the past three years and is looking forward to the UWGUC's Changing the Odds Campaign and fundraising efforts. The campaign's commitment is to change the odds so that all children and their families, regardless of their circumstances, have the same chance to succeed in school and in life, a cause that is very close to Raikos' heart and work ethic.

Raikos' family emigrated from Greece in the 1970s to Jersey City. The family then moved to Staten Island where Raikos attended CUNY Staten Island majoring in Mechanical Engineering. Raikos has 26 years in the oil industry working for Montauk Oil, Hess, Shell, Sunoco and now NuStar Energy. An avid giver to his home and work community, Raikos has been an influential leader at NuStar advocating for the needs of greater Union County.

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"My wife and I have always given back to the community because we feel it is important to make a positive impact in other people's lives," states Raikos. "I believe in United Way's mission and I'm looking forward to putting a new type of energy and strategy into the Changing the Odds campaign."

The Changing the Odds campaign is part of United Way of Greater Union County's mission to improve lives and build strong communities by uniting individuals and organizations with the will, passion, expertise, and resources needed to solve problems.

Raikos' appointment is a clear step towards the achievement of this mission and will continue to spread awareness of the long lasting change a community can make if all stakeholders, corporations, and residents come together for the greater good. Most recently, United Way had announced a special collaboration between the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders with a focus on families to begin in 2015 as well.

"We are excited to have Mike on board. We need more leaders to stand up and become part of this change and we truly feel Mike will help us bring these leaders to the table and help us create greater opportunities for families in our community," stated Alison Yablonowitz, UWGUC Board Chair.

The Changing the Odds Campaign will officially kick off in September 2015 but Raikos has already hit the campaign trail, eager to build on the relationship with local corporations and partners. Raikos resides in Colombus, with his wife and 9-year-old daughter.