They say the only constant is change so, with that in mind, we want to make sure you know about some big staff changes here at United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County.
Ann Von Brock
After 35 years in health and human services, including 27 as a member of our staff, Ann Von Brock has stepped down from her position as Vice President of Planning and Community Investment. Ann has shepherded us through so many significant organizational transformations it is impossible to list them all, but a few include bringing 2-1-1 to Buncombe County and expanding its footprint to a multi-county region; the creation of Children First as a United Way program and establishing it as an independent nonprofit; the transformation of our volunteer center to a full service Hands On; introduction of results measurement to local nonprofits; the adoption of our focus on Education, Income and Health; the selection of a focused initiative around education and the middle school years; and, most recently, our three-year plan that elevates the work of the Middle School Success Initiative to play a more significant role in our efforts to reduce the impact of poverty on people’s lives and strengthen our community. Among her many community service roles, she has served as a board member for Asheville City Schools and WNC Nonprofit Pathways, as well as board member and chair for the NC Center For Nonprofits.
While we will miss Ann in her role as Vice President, we are not losing her forever as she is stepping into a part-time role titled “Special Projects Manager.” Think about all those projects your workplace wants to take on but no one’s workload can accommodate? Well, now we’ve got Ann to help us through!
We are so grateful for all Ann has done as a member of our team and we are excited to see her enjoy this next stage of her life. Read more about Ann’s thoughts as she heads on to her next adventure.
Lance Edwards has been named our new Vice President of Planning and Community Investment. Lance joined our staff in 2005 after serving as executive director for Big Brothers and Big Sisters in central Virginia. He has expertly led a significant community visioning process that transformed the Community Fund – our competitive grants program that led to the adoption of Education, Income and Health as our main focus areas. He led the move to accept electronic applications, program reviews and reporting – something appreciated by the nonprofit community, our volunteers and the environment. In addition, he worked closely with local funders to co-create a “common application” process for those seeking grants. Lance has served our community well, advocating for change as a member and chair of the 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness, WNC Nonprofit Pathways and board member for the NC Center For Nonprofits. For these, and many other reasons, we are thrilled to have Lance Edwards step into the role of Vice President of Planning and Community Investment.
A few years after serving as an LE during the 1996 annual fundraising campaign, Ron Katz was hired to join our staff full-time. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you that he has “Live United” running through his veins. He believes strongly in our mission, but also in the practical knowledge that everyone has the power to improve our community when they choose to Give, Advocate and Volunteer. But if you were to press him further, you'd know that Advocacy is his true passion. He has been particularly instrumental in leading the expansion of our advocacy efforts and helped craft a plan for a separate stream of grant funding for advocacy programs seeking funds from us. Ron is being promoted to Community Fund Director.