Retirement Congratulations

Congratulations on your retirement!

We are honored to have worked with these retiring executives. Their vision and hard work made a difference in their communities and in our state. The United Way system is stronger because of their leadership and hard work.  

Thank you for your dedication and we wish you the best in their new journeys!

Faye Hassell - United Way of Rutherford County

The loss of almost all the large industries in Rutherford County made many of Faye Hassell's 23 years with United Way of Rutherford County quite difficult.  However, under her leadership the United Way continued to help strengthen the community and make life better for struggling members of the community.

Despite reductions in campaign donations due to the failing economy in the late nineties, United Way of Rutherford County continued to be a leader in addressing the needs of the community. In 2000, the organization conducted a needs assessment that showed that the elderly population was greatly under-served, particularly in regard to the affordability of prescription medications. United Way collaborated with other local leaders to create a Senior Care Pharmacy and a Medication Assistance Program for the elderly who could not afford their prescriptions.

In 2008, United Way conducted another human service needs assessment to help identify the primary issues and challenges that affected the county, in addition to the lack of jobs. Substance abuse was identified as a critical issue.  As a result, a substance abuse coalition was formed and work began to address the issue.  Successful outcomes include: drug take-backs, educational trainings, and placement of permanent pill drop boxes. 


Mack Koonce - United Way of the Greater Triangle

Mack Koonce’s tenure began in September 2012. Under Koonce’s leadership, United Way of the Greater Triangle (UWGT) significantly shifted its funding model and its work. Highlights include: 

  • Development and implementation of a community investment plan that required collaboration among nonprofit partners. More than 80% of the organization’s funding now supports collaborative partnerships of both funded and non-funded partners. This is activating UWGT’s network in a different way by positively impacting how agencies work and building year-long engagement opportunities for corporate partners. 

  • A new focus on a two-generational, collaborative approach to support vulnerable children and their families. This family-centered approach has resulted in more integrated services. 

  • The launch of Innovate United TM  with Social Innovation Challenges to tackle childhood hunger and Idea Generation Next for aspiring entrepreneurs and college students. With a focus on inclusive innovation, women and people of color currently underrepresented in the entrepreneurial sector, Innovate United has broaden audiences and brought new solutions to tackle social issues into the marketplace. Innovate United is also a fund to support innovation in the nonprofit sector. 

“My proudest moment was the adoption of our new Strategic Plan in April 2015 which set out this bold new direction for our organization,” said Koonce. “The 2020 Plan represents the commitment of our board, staff, and community partners to the long-term vision of changing the underlying circumstances for kids in low income households. And I am particularly proud of the staff who have worked tirelessly to make our United Way a positive force for change in the Triangle.”

Chris Nelson - United Way of the Cape Fear Area

In addition to serving as President of the United Way of the Cape Fear Area, Chris Nelson's 42 year United Way career included service in Kalamazoo, MI, Wooster, OH, Corpus Christi, TX, as well as with the Michigan Association of United Ways. 

Under Nelson's leadership United Way of the Cape Fear Area became the "go to" lead organization for creation of public-private initiatives to address issues in the community. Highlights include: 

  • Creation of the Home Town Hires program
  • Creation of the successful 10 Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness
  • Creation of a Blue Ribbon Commission on the Prevention of Youth Violence
  • Continuous improvement of the Community Investment process, including multi-year funding