Effective June 1, the Board of United Way of Eagle River Valley has appointed Karen Lechner as executive director, replacing Gretchen Babcock who has filled the position since 2008. As executive director, Lechner is tasked with the creation of cutting-edge marketing strategies that reinforce the organization’s image and heritage to galvanize engagement of donors, advocates, volunteers as well as partner relationships in communities in the valley.
“I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with so many local nonprofits. It gave me a great overview of the needs in this valley as well as the terrific organizations and their dedicated people serving those needs. I am confident the current board and Karen will continue to increase United Way’s impact in our community,” Babcock said.
“Our board and the community owe much to Gretchen for her tireless and effective support of our board and the local agencies who serve our neighbors in need. We have made significant strides in the last several years due in large part to Gretchen’s leadership and commitment,” said John Genova, United Way president. “We are excited about having someone of Karen’s caliber as our executive director. She brings a storied career as a marketer with a remarkable ability to develop effective strategies that build, transform and revitalize venerable brands. She fully appreciates the needs of our community and I have every confidence that she will lead us to continued growth and success.”
Lechner earned her degree from the University of Southern California, and she has been a strong advocate of community involvement working with Make-a-Wish Foundation and other local and national charities. Lechner and her family have lived in the valley for more than 10 years.
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to support a great organization like the United Way while being able to give back to the community that means so much to all of us,” Lechner said. “One of the key reasons I decided to support the United Way of Eagle River Valley is because of the nonprofit’s phenomenal reputation for effectiveness. An impressive 99 cents of every new dollar donated is distributed right back to local charities.”
The United Way of Eagle River Valley mobilizes local businesses, county-based charities, community residents, leaders and public officials to create new and expanded opportunities to help our neighbors in need. It works to empower members of the community to achieve their human potential by improving education and reducing the number of school drop-outs, helping people get on the road to financial stability and promoting healthy lives and reducing risky behaviors.
Learn more by visiting the United Way of Eagle River Valley website at www.unitedwayeagle.org.