Local United Way plans to hire new leader in February

The United Way of Douglas County hopes to hire a new leader for its organization in February, said Peggy Johnson, chair of the board of directors.

A committee conducting the search for a new president and chief executive officer for the nonprofit organization set a general timeline earlier this week, Johnson said. The group hopes to have a new leader in place before the United Way’s annual meeting, which is scheduled for Feb. 20.

“That’s a pretty aggressive timeline,” Johnson said.

The committee published an advertisement for the position on Dec. 4, which will stay open until Jan. 4.

The posted advertisement says the organization is searching for candidates who have a minimum five years of experience in a senior leadership role of nonprofit organizations with budgets over $500,000, have demonstrated they can successfully fundraise and have a record of establishing relationships with donors.

The advertisement also asks for candidates with experience supervising staff and volunteers and expertise with budgeting and financial management, among other requirements.

So far the committee has received 30 applications for the position and has already begun reviewing their resumes, Johnson said. The committee plans to have all of the applications reviewed by Jan. 7.

The committee will then begin interviews with candidates by Jan. 14. After that, the committee will select a few finalists to come to Lawrence for another interview and a meet-and-greet with community members, which is scheduled for Jan. 31 and Feb. 1.

Johnson said those dates are a general guideline and could be pushed back if the candidates cannot visit then.

The United Way of Douglas County is looking to replace Jannette Taylor, who announced in November that she would leave the position at the end of the year because of a family emergency.

Johnson said the work Taylor did in her one year as leader has put the agency in a good position; it is in good financial health, and it is expected to reach its fundraising campaign goal of $1.5 million.

“In the year we’ve had her, she’s done some phenomenal things,” Johnson said. “We are the benefactors of that, no doubt.”

Lea Roselyn, the United Way’s community impact director, will serve as interim president and CEO until a new leader is found. She is a Lawrence native and KU graduate with almost 20 years of experience working for nonprofits.


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