United Way of Central Carolinas names next leader to guide its new strategy

United Way of Central Carolinas names next leader to guide its new strategy

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A new — but familiar — leader has been tapped at United Way of Central Carolinas, as the agency continues to implement a new strategy aimed at improving the Charlotte region’s bleak economic mobility standing.

Laura Clark, who currently serves as United Way’s executive vice president and chief impact officer, has been selected by the organization’s board of directors to replace Sean Garrett as executive director. In late July, Garrett announced his resignation with the local chapter so that he could take over as CEO of the United Way of Metro Chicago.

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Clark will become president and CEO of United Way of Central Carolinas Sept. 7.

The Charlotte native joined United Way in 2016, helping lead the organization’s shift in mission to address the region’s economic mobility problems head-on while still providing a safety net for families and people in need. The agency recently announced the investment of $24.5 million into the community, with $16.3 million going toward the community-impact strategy and $8.2 million for donor-directed funding. That move to focus more on targeted neighborhood revitalization programs and economic mobility while reducing deficit spending from reserve funds resulted in grant cuts of about 10%, as reported by CBJ, which affects many local nonprofit groups including the Salvation Army.

Clark came on board at United Way shortly after the September 2016 fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, an African-American man, and subsequent protests and riots throughout the city. That unrest led to a change in approach by government, philanthropic and business leaders to issues surrounding local poverty and disparities.

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