United Way of Douglas County picks nonprofit veteran as new CEO

An administrator with a Nebraska nonprofit agency has been selected as the next CEO of the United Way of Douglas County.

Peggy Johnson, United Way president-elect, said Jannette Taylor, the statewide administrator of children services for Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska, Inc., had been chosen for the CEO position. In her current position, Taylor oversees a statewide team of more than 100 employees and is the leader of programs with 30 to 50 AmeriCorps and paid volunteers.

Taylor will start her duties in Lawrence two days before the kickoff of the 2017 United Way fundraising campaign.

“Her first day is Sept. 11,” Johnson said. “That is perfect. Our campaign kickoff is Sept. 13, so we will get to introduce her. She’s been in nonprofit administration for more than 10 years, so this is not new to her.”

Taylor was one of eight candidates interviewed for the position and one of four finalists invited back for meet-and-greet opportunities with community partners, Johnson said.

“We were very pleased with the candidates we had,” said Johnson, who was co-chair of the search committee. “It was very competitive. It was a tough decision.”

Taylor stood out through her ability to connect with people and bring disparate groups together, Johnson said.

“She has a skill set we need in United Way in that she is an excellent leader and connector,” Johnson said. “She has the ability to bring together people of different social, economic or ethnic backgrounds or genders to work together for a common goal. She has a passion with helping vulnerable populations. She understands you have to have a very clear strategic mission for an organization, so you are all working toward the same goal.”

Taylor has been in her current position with Lutheran Family Services since December 2015. Prior to that she served as the executive director of Impact One Community Connection Inc., which worked to create opportunities for young people as a way to break the cycle of violence. Taylor founded the nonprofit organization in 2009, according to a press release from United Way president Robert Day.

Erika Dvorske resigned as CEO of the local United Way in January to become director of strategic partnerships and development with SS & C Solutions Inc. Rob Mackey has been serving as interim leader of the organization since January.

Taylor wasn’t available for comment on Monday.