United Way director resigns for ‘personal reasons’

Published 1:13 am Saturday, January 19, 2008

NATCHEZ —On Tuesday Kathy Stephens resigned from her post as director of the United Way of the Miss-Lou.

Board members present when she announced her resignation said she only cited personal reasons for leaving.

Board member Mike Gemmell said her sudden resignation came as a surprise.

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“It was a total shock,” he said.

Stephens could not be reached for comment Friday.

Gemmell said a committee has been formed to search for a new director.

“We’re going to throw a wide net,” he said.

Gemmell said the United Way will advertise in an area covering approximately 150 miles to look for a new director.

Hopefully the search time will be short, Gemmell said.

“We want to get this done ASAP,” he said.

Board member, and search committee member, Maria Bowser said now is not the most ideal time of year to start searching for a new director.

In the coming weeks the United Way will start to receive funding proposals and allocate campaign funds Bowser said.

“It’s a pretty busy time for us,” she said.

And now the time that could have been spent evaluating funding proposals will be spent interviewing potential new directors.

Gemmell said Stephens’ ideal replacement would be a well-organized and self-motivated individual.

“We really need someone who can push us ahead,” he said.

Ironically, Gemmell said he knows exactly what the board needs in a new director.

“We basically need someone like Kathy Stephens,” he said.

“She just did a great job.

“This is not an easy job,” he said. “We are going to look at dividing up some of the director’s responsibilities.”

Gemmell said he hopes lessening the intensity of the workload for the next director will give that director more time to concentrate on long-term projects for the United Way.

Gemmell was also quick to point out all that Stephens did while with the United Way.

“She saved the community food bank,” he said. “Without her there’s no telling what could have happened to it.”