Helping lead change through the lens of technology and engagement.
Maisha Sturdivant is Vice-President, New York and Partner Plan Operations for Highmark. Originally from East Orange, New Jersey, Maisha came to Pittsburgh in 2018 to lead governance for Highmark’s Strategic Technology Portfolio. Maisha quickly became involved in United Way during the annual Campaign and was elated to see the company’s commitment to the region. “Highmark does an amazing job of being a leader when it comes to philanthropy. We are a company focused on priorities and giving back to the community is one of them. It just makes you feel good when you come to work,” says Maisha.
Maisha’s passion for her job also stems from her love of technology. As the daughter of two schoolteachers, Maisha was always interested in learning. She was an avid reader and liked to understand how the world worked and how things connected. Early in her career she quickly discovered that technology could build efficiencies, fill communication and process voids, and bring improvements at scale—especially in healthcare. “Technology allows us to change many lives. I’m always thinking about doing things at scale, where you can change society.” Tocqueville is another way that Maisha is helping to change society. “I believe very much in ‘to whom much is given, much is expected.’ I hope my contributions alleviate some amount of human suffering. The need has never been more evident, than during the pandemic. Just the sheer number of basic needs is mind-blowing,” says Maisha. She was happy to see organizations that figured out how to serve the expanded needs. “United Way was one of those able to quickly pivot and connect more people to food, utilities, shelter, and short-term financial support. I can see how my donations are making an immediate difference. United Way is an efficient aggregator—getting the money where it is needed most, fast.”
Maisha encourages others to get involved, and not just financially. “As a young person, it felt unfair to see others who had less access. I’ve always asked myself ‘How can I enable others to have the same opportunities?’ and certainly money is crucial, but the answer can also be other things. I hope more people give their talents and time. Volunteer. Use the things they’ve learned in their career to share information, connections, and opportunities,” she says. Maisha is walking the talk. She was part of a United Way committee that helped develop a five-year strategy to address the needs of children in the region. “What United Way cares about, I care very much about. Their efforts are focused on creating more equity. These things change our communities for the better. Tocqueville members, and all supporters of United Way, are enabling people to access the support needed to be successful,” says Maisha.
When Maisha is not transforming through technology, she loves to be active. During the pandemic, she joined a boating club and found a new way to engage in her love of the water. She also enjoys watching sports and listening to music and shares a passion for the performing arts with her daughter, a professional dancer who resides in Los Angeles.