Early Briefing: Nonprofits Suspend United Way Memberships

Twenty-one area nonprofit groups have suspended their memberships in the United Way and joined a fledgling competitor, citing years of frustration with a steady decline in workplace giving in the Washington region and lingering distrust of the local United Way since it was nearly destroyed by scandal earlier this decade.
The new group, called Community1st, includes some of the region's most prominent nonprofits, including the Make-a-Wish Foundation of the Mid-Atlantic, WETA public television and the Whitman-Walker Clinic. America's Charities, a Chantilly-based federation, will oversee their alliance.

A Senate Banking Committee vote to nominate David H. Stevens as head of the Federal Housing Administration was postponed yesterday after concerns were raised about lawsuits involving Long & Foster, the Washington-area real estate brokerage where Stevens has been president for seven months.
The federal lawsuits allege that Long & Foster violated federal anti-kickback laws through its lending arm, Prosperity Mortgage. Stevens was not named as a defendant in the lawsuits.

Testimony in the W.R. Grace environmental crimes trial resumed yesterday after a federal judge refused to dismiss charges alleging that the company and four former executives knowingly concealed health risks posed by asbestos-laced vermiculite mined in northwestern Montana.

Sunrise Senior Living, a McLean company that runs 435 senior communities, said yesterday that it has reached a deal with its creditors to give it until December to negotiate amended terms of a credit line.
Sunrise warned last month that it could seek bankruptcy protection if it could not work out a new deal with creditors. The amendment to its credit facility gives the company until Dec. 2 to resolve its issues, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The amendment eliminates all financial covenants, except a minimum liquidity covenant, through the new deadline. It also relieves Sunrise's lenders and letter of credit issuers from advancing any additional proceeds of the loans to the borrowers, and from issuing any new letters of credit for the benefit of Sunrise or any of its subsidiaries, according to the filing.

The Corporate Executive Board of Arlington named Richard S. Lindahl chief financial officer, effective May 18. He replaces Joyce Liu, who has been in the role on an interim basis and will go back to being managing director of financial planning and analysis. Liu replaced Timothy Yost, who left the company in September to become finance chief at Clark Construction in Bethesda. Lindahl most recently was senior vice president and treasurer at Sprint Nextel.

By Terri Rupar  |  April 29, 2009; 7:30 AM ET  | Category:  Economy Watch , Morning Brief
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