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Search for United Way director narrowed

By Angela Ward award@news-journal.com
July 3, 2012 at 11 p.m.


The Greater Longview United Way has narrowed its search for a new executive director to four candidates and hopes to have one in place by early August, board member Lesa Story said Tuesday.

"We had more than a dozen applicants for the position and narrowed it down to four people we conducted telephone interviews with," Story said. "We haven't decided quite yet how many of those we'll be bringing in for in-person interviews, but we hope to do those during the next couple of weeks."

Former Executive Director Donna Mahurin left in May to take a position as executive director of the Midland United Way.

Phyllis Collins, finance and community investment director for the Greater Longview United Way, is serving as interim executive director.

Story had high praise for Collins, who has not applied for the permanent position.

"Phyllis Collins has done a great job keeping things going smoothly while we conduct our search," Story said. "She and the other members of the staff have made sure the Beat the Heat program, which we took over from the city this year, has been moving along on schedule."

Shayne Cowan, another member of the search committee, said commitee members wouldn't be releasing names of candidates yet, but that the group includes local and out-of-state applicants.

Some of the original applicants came from as far away as Ohio and New York, Cowan said.

"We've had a good mix of people applying for this job, which I think speaks highly of the Longview community," Cowan said. "People from a wide variety of walks of life want to come here, or stay here, and be part of making this a better place to live."

The search committee is seeking an executive director with leadership qualities and well-documented experience, but Cowan said members also are looking for someone who can think outside the box in finding the best person for the position.

The agency is also gearing up for its Pacesetters luncheon on July 26, which will be the official start of its 2012-13 fundraising campaign.

"We've got some new features of the campaign that we're hoping will inspire more people to donate," Story said.

The Greater Longview United Way serves as an umbrella agency for 39 programs in 21 partner agencies.

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