Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

April 11, 2013

Compton set to take over as head of United Way

ASHLAND — Jerri L. Compton, the community liaison for HomeCare Services at Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital, has been named the new executive director of the United Way of Northeast Kentucky.

She will succeed former school administrator Steve Towler, who announced in February he was stepping down as the head of the UW in Boyd, Greenup, Carter, Lawrence and Elliott counties after 14 years. Compton’s first day in her new post will be April 22.

Compton, a native of West Virginia and a 17-year resident of Ashland, admits she did not know much about UW before joining the OLBH staff in September 2011. However, because the  hospital is a strong supporter of UW and it encourages its employees to be active volunteers, she soon found herself helping to organize the hospital’s in-house UW campaign and encouraging her fellow employees to give to the organization that raises money to support 70 nonprofit agencies in the five counties.

And the more she learned about UW, the more supportive she became of the organization and how it helps so many agencies perform vital services throughout the region, Compton said.

She said  she believes there are many in the five counties who are still just like she was when she joined OLBH. “They may have heard of the United Way just like I had heard of the United Way,” she said. “But beyond that, they don’t know much about what the United Way does and how important it is to this region. I hope to change that.”

Compton has a bachelor’s degree in social work from Marshall University and a master of science degree in strategic leadership from Mountain State University. She has more than 15 years of finance, marketing and organizational leadership experience that has spanned the not-for-profit, government and private sectors.

 Dwane Johnson, UW board chairman, chaired the committee appointed to head the search for the new executive director. The committee chose to not conduct a nationwide search for the new director because members believed the head of UW had to be someone familiar with the community and region. Sixteen applications for the post were received, and five finalists were interviewed by the search committee. Compton was the unanimous choice of the committee.

“She has the exuberance, excitement and personality that we were looking for,” Johnson said. “She is a very driven person in achieving her goals, and as a fundraising organization, the United Way is committed to achieving its campaign goals.”

While Johnson said he was saddened about Towler’s decision to step down as executive director, “I believe we have chosen a successor who will be able to build on the accomplishments of Steve Towler and help the United Way rise to the next level. We are convinced that Jerri Compton is the right person for the job.”

Compton said she has no qualms about asking people and companies to give to a worthy cause. “I”m not shy,” she said. “If I believe in something, it doesn’t bother me to ask people and companies to give to support it.”

Compton also recognizes that under Towler, the local UW has expanded into areas that move beyond its traditional fundraising activities. The BankOn program supported by financial institutions in the five counties helps individuals establish bank accounts and become better managers of limited resources. With individuals now receiving Social Security and other government checks by direct deposit, it is more important than ever for people to have bank accounts.

The online volunteer center managed by the local UW helps connect nonprofits with people seeking to volunteer. Born Learning, a new program for young children, helps to better prepare toddlers for school.

“I think these are great programs that have yet to reach their full potential,” Compton said of the new programs that don’t involve fundraising. “I want to see them grow and prosper.”

Compton will choose her own staff. Marlena Ross, the former director of UW in Greenup County, who became an administrative assistant when Greenup County merged with other UWs to form UW of Northeast Kentucky, is retiring, and Mary Crowley has already stepped down as the coordinator of the volunteer center. That means Compton will begin her new job as the only staff member of a local UW.

While the experience of the departing UW employees would certainly be beneficial for the new director, Towler said that can be a positive in another sense. “She gets to start anew and choose her own staff,” he said.

JOHN CANNON can be reached at jcannon@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2649.

Text Only
Local News
  • 0419sciencehs.JPG Russell High School wins State Science Olympiad

    The long ride home from Bowling Green was tinged with disappointment for Russell High School students who believed they’d finished as also-rans in the state Science Olympiad last weekend.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0419sciencems.JPG Russell Middle School state Science Olympiad champions

    From identifying hundreds of insects to designing and operating mechanical contraptions that just look like insects, a team of Russell Middle School students took their research and technical skills to the Science Olympiad in Bowling Green last week and came back state champions.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0419melodies0148.jpg Kitchen jazzes up downtown lunch hour

    Some came to enjoy the relaxing sounds of cool jazz and traditional tunes at lunch, while others attended in hopes of picking up a few tricks from a master musician as guitarist Chris Kitchen kicked off the Melodies & Masterpieces concert series in downtown Ashland Friday afternoon.

    April 18, 2014 4 Photos

  • Sparks, Waddell in Carter Coronor’s race

    Incumbent George A. Sparks of Grayson will face challenger William Waddell of Olive Hill in the Democratic primary election for the Carter County coroner’s seat.

    April 18, 2014

  • 04/18/2014 — What's Happening

    Local news

    April 18, 2014

  • Bill3.jpg 'Dreams'

    It was in her own death that Donna Schoonover helped William Schoonover redefine his life.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • guyp-rodnew.jpg 'Uplifting people'

    The snow kept gospel singer Guy Penrod chilling a little longer than it should have this spring.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418star0024.jpg Raising the roof

    Leaks will soon be a thing of the past at Star Elementary School, where workers are busy putting up a new roof.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fire at Russell care facility

    A care facility for the elderly in Russell was temporarily evacuated following a fire in the kitchen Wednesday night.

    April 18, 2014

  • Incumbent, newcomer vie for PVA position

    A longtime office-holder is facing a rare primary challenge in the Greenup County property valuation administrator race.

    April 18, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP basketball
SEC Zone