Calm In A Storm - Kevin Montgomery Celebrates 20 Yrs





We are fairly certain that in all of Buncombe County, Kevin Montgomery has shoveled more mulch, painted and built more fences, delivered more thank you cookies and Bojangles biscuits, danced and sang, or been dunked than anyone else. And all of this way done in the name bringing people together to LIVE UNITED and raising money to ensure that we get to live in a united and resilient community where everyone belongs and everyone thrives!

Kevin is an Asheville native who first encountered United Way when he served as a "loaned executive" from Square D during the 1998 and 2000 fundraising campaigns. He officially joined the staff in 2001 and 10 years ago became Campaign Director and is now Vice President of Resource Development.  

Since he began he has helped to raise more than $70 million dollars at local workplaces and in just the past 10 years, Kevin managed 536 workplace accounts and more than 200 campaign volunteers.


But none of these stats speak to the power that is Kevin Montgomery. Here are just a handful of favorite memories and well wishes others wanted us to share 


When I first met Kevin I thought he was so serious. But then...I saw him perform and saw him with a wig on. It's no surprise that he has completed 20 years with United Way! Kevin's heart is in the right place and his desire to help others is so genuine, and the fact that he is a performer too! Congratulations on your 20 years Kevin!

- JoAnn Yoder, is the President of Brumit Restaurant Group and has worked closely with Kevin as our volunteer Resource Development Chair

Over his two decades of service with United Way, Kevin is personally responsible for tens of millions of dollars coming into the organization and, more importantly, going out to vital organizations and initiatives aimed at making this a community where everyone can belong and thrive. Congratulations on this extraordinary achievement!

- Dan Leroy, President and CEO of United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County

In reflecting on Kevin’s 20 years of service I think about family, community, and country, all interwoven in Kevin’s story.

Family is a centerpiece of Kevin’s life. Always, whenever anyone asks Kevin about his plans over a holiday or summer weekend, they would always include dinner or a barbeque with his wife and son and members of his extended family. 

His commitment to service and others was on display in his two deployments to the Middle East during the 1st and 2nd Gulf Wars where he prepared, supported, and evaluated soldiers as they either left Kuwait or returned from fighting in Iraq. 

And finally, his deep knowledge of the community, dedication to his staff and volunteers, and unfailing “I’ll do anything for United Way” spirit continue to serve us well. 

Kevin's knowledge of fundraising is deep and broad. It is hard to even try to capture all he knows and delivers. My most appreciated moments of Kevin working on the campaign are those CEO visits when we both attended. Having Kevin be a part of the preparation and visit was so positive. Kevin’s insights, suggestions during a CEO visit always shaped the “asks” toward a benefit for UWABC and for that company.

Congratulations and thank you, Kevin!

David Bailey - retired CEO and President of UWABC

Kevin is ALWAYS calm under pressure. This is true when it comes to deadlines and raising millions of dollars and it was true when I had a health scare at work. Kevin, in his inimitable fashion, took the lead in his calmness. I ended up having to go to the emergency room, but his quick action was so helpful in keeping me well and calm. We worked closely over the years; he was more than a colleague but a friend who extended himself to me and so many others. Congratulations to him and to United Way for a perfect pairing. 

Ron Katz - worked with Kevin for more than 16 years and still counts him a dear friend

Congratulations on 20 amazing years of life-changing, positive impact with UWABC! How blessed this community is to have you as one of our strongest leaders.

I consider you among my greatest blessings, as you were the one to introduce me to the world of nonprofits. Your encouragement for me to volunteer as the Loaned Executive from Square D to the UWABC Campaign opened my eyes to this beautiful network of people and possibilities. Had it not been for you and all I've learned from you, I would not have found this incredible career of being able to make a difference in people's lives, and now animals' lives, too. I've always told you that you are my hero, and I mean it. For your kindness, your strength, your calm in any storm, your service to our country, and your love and generosity to our community.

Now, grab a tissue ;) and get ready for 20 more years! Thank you. You are the best and I love you!

Laresa Griffin - has worked alongside and been friends with Kevin for 25 years

Kevin's a devil of a snake charmer. He'll show up in my office and say "I've got an idea..." and despite my litany of questions (and protests) he usually convinces me that he's right. I appreciate his tenacity, his belief in the power of people coming together, his willingness to lead by example, and I appreciate that he didn't get me back for that time I put him in the dunk tank. 

Elisabeth Bocklet -  almost 13 years being charmed - oh wait, am I the snake in this story??

In 2015, I was working with CarePartners Adult Day and we asked United Way for some help building a new fence in the garden area of our respite program as a part of the Days Of Impact volunteer event. We were all set, had the tools, snacks, and posts set when the volunteer group forgot to show. I called United Way and Kevin showed up to work with me to complete the fence.

We spent a good 4 hours working and the two of us got the fence going. While working we talked joked and he made the day a real success. Because of that day, Kevin forever represents Living United in my mind. His commitment to community, relationships, and picking up the slack - all with grace and fun - is what I admire most about him. He leads by example and isn't afraid to do what needs to be done. He also has mad dance and baking skills too. 

Erika Goffin - former CarePartners employee and current volunteer manager at United Way!




Kevin is the consummate professional, he leads by example and is quick to lend his expertise and help when needed. My favorite memories to date have all been around Campaign Kickoff. Super enjoy the synergy developed as we brain-storm creative ways to make Kickoff bigger and better than the previous year. That and also seeing him perform with the 211 "Call Girls" every year. Congratulations on reaching 20, Kev! This organization couldn't function without you! Thank you for everything you do!

Ken Venables - Engagement Manager UWABC

Kevin has the best sense of humor and I've loved doing the lip sync battle with him!

Sarah Roth - 

Kevin is the fearless leader of my department, the Resource Development department. He is a wealth of knowledge and is the first to bring humor to any situation. His longtime dedication to United Way's work in Asheville and Buncombe County roots his strong leadership to our Resource Development department.

Nicole Vertel - Resource Development Manager UWABC

On my last day with United Way, I had what I thought was my "exit interview" with Kevin. He sat me down in his office and I started in on a list of ideas I had for the ResDev team moving forward. People kept interrupting our meeting to ask Kevin to come down to the conference room and he kept getting more and more anxious as I kept talking and talking and talking. Eventually, he convinced me to walk down to the conference room with him and it turned out it was a surprise going away party that we were incredibly late for! Congrats Kev, you're amazing and our community is so fortunate to have you leading the fundraising effort at United Way. You're a wonderful boss and friend!

Victoria Calvert - former UWABC staff

Kevin, Congratulations on 20 years. Thanks for all you’ve done and continue to do in our community. We are much the better for it.

Ross Sloan 

During a Days of Impact event a few years ago, a volunteer team was unable to fulfill their role at CarePartners Adult Day. Kevin showed up, assessed the situation, and got to work. He completed the project and ensured our nonprofit partner got their needs met. That's just one of many memories I have of Kev "showing up" and getting the job done! Thank you, Kev for being reliable, taking initiative, and helping out your team. So happy to work with you! 

Michelle Bennett - Volunteer Engagement Director

My favorite thing about Kev is his relaxed nature. Whenever things seem so busy and crazy, he has this magical way of making everything seem okay, and that we can actually take a breath. I also love finding out little tidbits about him, like him in the military and his first aid knowledge, or how he has a son in his twenties!

Sara Morrison - Resource Development Manager

Thank you so much for the leadership, stability, steadiness, and expertise you have given United Way of ABC for the past 20 years. Here's to the next 20!

Lance Edwards - Vice President UWABC and teammate of 16 years