CEO Clarece Walker to retire from United Way of the Lowcountry

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After 18 years of helping make Beaufort and Jasper counties a better place to live, Clarece Walker will retire in February as CEO of United Way of the Lowcountry, she announced today.
A 35-year veteran of United Way, Walker shared her retirement plans with her Board of Directors and staff during their monthly meeting today in Bluffton. She will lead the 2012 fundraising efforts, assist the Board’s search committee and continue her chief executive officer duties until Feb. 27, 2013.
The board plans to have a successor on board before that date to give the new CEO an opportunity to work alongside Walker for a period of time, said Sandra Chavez, chair of the United Way of the Lowcountry.
“For so many years, Clarece has given her heart and soul to the United Way and to the Lowcountry. If you needed help, you called Clarece. She took this organization from raising about $768,000 annually to more than $2.5 million, and she significantly expanded our scope of services. Her impact is felt by our partners and those they serve,” Chavez said.
“She is an exceptional person and a visionary leader, and we will miss her energy and enthusiasm,” she said.
“As the organization has grown and transitioned over the years under Clarece’s leadership,” said Chavez, “her vision and insight have always helped us find innovative ways to meet the critical needs in our community. That continues even more today, with the recent expansion of community impact strategies aimed at addressing not only the traditional agency services, but as well, addressing the root causes of issues to improve education, family financial stability and health.”
In sharing her retirement schedule with the board and staff, Walker said she felt the timing was right and would allow adequate time for a search, screening, interviewing and hiring of a successor.
“It is time,” Walker said, “to enjoy family, friends, travel and just bask in the sun without a to-do list, a plan, or a meeting in sight!
“I have enjoyed every minute of working for the people of Beaufort and Jasper counties with United Way of the Lowcountry,” she said. “We’ve come a long way in my 18 years, but there are still tremendous challenges out there that affect so many people. I am confident this Board of Directors, our staff, the new CEO and this amazing community will find new ways to address those challenges.”
The search committee, led by Chris McCorkendale, chair-elect, will draw upon resources provided by United Way Worldwide. He said the board will search both locally and nationally for the new CEO.
For more information about United Way of the Lowcountry, visit uwlowcountry.org.