By AMANDA LOVIZA
Glasgow Daily Times
United Way of Southern Kentucky is losing its president at the end of the month, as Doug Eberhart moves on to become the president of United Way of Kentucky.
Eberhart has headed United Way of Southern Kentucky for almost 10 years, beginning his term in 2002. He said it is with “mixed emotions” that he accepted the job as president of United Way of Kentucky, and he will miss the region and the people he has worked with.
“I was very blessed and humbled that they chose me to be the next president of United Way of Kentucky,” Eberhart said.
The position of president at the state level came open in July when United Way of Kentucky’s previous president was appointed by the governor to serve as the executive director of the early childhood advisory council. Eberhart said he put a lot of thought into his decision to apply, and only did so after others encouraged him to apply and he talked to his children. According to those who have worked with Eberhart, United Way of Kentucky is getting a strong leader.
“I think Doug has done a tremendous job,” said Bill Greer, member of the UWSK board of directors and immediate past chairman of the board. “He’s got his heart in the right place...He recognizes there’s a need and he devotes his time, his attention, his effort and his expertise to filling that need.”
One of the strongest aspects of Eberhart’s leadership has been his emphasis on making sure funds donated to UWSK have been used in the most effective way possible, in areas of the most need, Greer said. While under Eberhart’s leadership, UWSK has focused on the issues of poverty, literacy, substance abuse, youth development, senior services, disabilities and personal abuse, according to a press release by UWSK.
As president of the statewide United Way organization, Eberhart will be in charge of 21 different regional United Ways, as well as oversee the Kentucky Employee Charitable Campaign. Having the opportunity to work with so many United Ways will help him get to know the state of Kentucky better, Eberhart said, and he is looking forward to meeting people from Louisville to Hazard to Paducah.
“With each different community, there’s different challenges that they face,” Eberhart said. He wants to help those communities overcome those challenges.
Eberhart has done well bringing together people from across many communities, in many companies and many situations to become involved in United Way of Southern Kentucky, and in particular UWSK’s annual Day of Caring, Greer said. He has made great strides in raising awareness of local needs and what United Way does to help communities.
“I can’t emphasize enough what it says about Doug and his leadership skills that he was considered, and ultimately chosen, to be the new president of United Way of Kentucky, and it speaks volumes of United Way of Southern Kentucky,” Greer said.
Eberhart’s resignation will take effect Oct. 28, and he will begin his new position on Oct. 31. The United Way of Southern Kentucky board of directors will be appointing an interim director to replace Eberhart while they conduct a formal search for his successor.
“It’ll be an extensive search and we want to make sure we choose the right person,” Greer said.
Eberhart said he is excited about his new opportunity, but he will miss the region that his been his home for 10 years.
“It’s been a privilege and an honor to serve the people of this southern Kentucky region and them allowing me to be their president,” Eberhart said.