BT People

New head of United Way has 100-day plan



Jan. 9 Sean Garrett is the new executive director of United Way of Central Carolinas. He will begin March 1, after United Way’s fundraising campaign is completed. United Way is a clearinghouse and umbrella for a wide range of social service organizations ranging from the Ada Jenkins Center to Big Brothers Big Sisters. Garret replaces Jane McIntyre who will retire at the end of the current fund drive.

Garrett is currently the vice president of development for United Way Worldwide, the umbrella organization over all United Ways. He has spent his full career in the United Way network, beginning at United Way of Dane County (Wisconsin), then moving to United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, where he was director of major, planned and leadership giving.

He has been in New York since 2010, initially as United Way Worldwide’s director of global programs and promoted twice since then. A fundraising veteran, Garrett has directed key teams in charge of multimillion dollar fundraising efforts, and he has strong relationships with Fortune 500 companies and private foundations, where he created new multi-year partnerships. He has run capital campaigns, overseen leadership and legacy giving programs, and developed long-term initiatives to steadily grow fundraising capacity.

“We have landed not only a strong fundraiser, but someone who knows how to develop and maintain relationships with major companies, foundations, and individual donors to get everyone engaged and committed to creating community solutions,” said Ed O’Keefe, chair of United Way’s board of directors, who led the search committee. “Long-term initiatives like raising the graduation rate and reducing homelessness can only succeed when the entire community works together. The current leadership team has created an excellent foundation, and we see Sean as someone who can take United Way’s impact to the next level.”

Garrett spoke to local United Way staffers this morning about his passion for United Way, and about his 100-day plan to rapidly integrate into the Charlotte community.

“My family and I are thrilled to be coming to such a passionate and engaged community, and I know the difference that a strong United Way can make for a community like this one,” said Garrett. “I am particularly excited about joining such a stellar team. Under Jane’s leadership, they’ve done an amazing job of bringing together donors and strong agency partners to address critical issues across the Charlotte region.”

Garrett was introduced to the staff by O’Keefe and McIntyre, who also announced that she would remain with United Way on a part-time basis to help introduce Garrett to local leaders over the coming months.