ASHEVILLE, NC | October 10, 2018 ─ After a 23-year career with United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County, David Bailey, the organization’s President and CEO, announced his retirement effective May 2, 2019.
David began his United Way career in 1985 working at local United Ways in Springfield, Massachusetts; Long Island, New York; Gallatin, Tennessee; Nashville, Tennessee; and Greenville, North Carolina. David joined the staff of United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County in 1996 as Campaign Director. He assumed the role of President and CEO after George Pfeiffer’s retirement in 1999.
With David’s leadership, United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County transformed its 24/7 information and referral service, First Call for Help, to 2-1-1 and became the first AIRS accredited 2-1-1 service in North Carolina. The organization eventually worked with United Way of NC to expand the Asheville Call Center’s service area to all of WNC, responding to more than 50,000 callers each year.
During those 23 years, David and his staff have raised more than $100 million to fuel efforts that improve the education, health and financial stability of the people in Buncombe County. Much of this money came from individual donors at all giving levels, but the organization also saw a 315% increase in the number of families making major gifts. Additionally, David led a capital campaign that raised more than $2 million to renovate the aged facilities at 50 South French Broad Avenue, improving infrastructure for the 12 nonprofits located in the Community Services Center and the thousands of clients and volunteers they serve each year.
With David’s leadership, the board and staff made a significant decision six years ago to work with public, private and nonprofit partners using the community school strategy. By anchoring their work in communities, by school district, and aligning the resources of United Way’s volunteer center, NC 2-1-1, and its grant making experience, the organization and its partners, expect to improve student graduation rates, and strengthen supports for families and communities.
“David has led this organization with a fervent dedication to the needs and dreams of the people of our community and a genuine love for the donors, advocates and volunteers who fuel our work,” said Kit Cramer, United Way Board Chair. “His belief in the power of humanity and everyone’s inherent dignity and worth is something we all cherish.”
The organization’s board of directors has hired Walker Wilson Consulting to conduct a national search over the course of the next few months. Paul McDowell, 2019/2020 Board Chair of United Way and Senior Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer for Mission Health will lead the search committee.
"It's been a privilege to serve our community and fight for the education, health and financial success of local families," Bailey said. “I’m so proud to be able to leave this wonderful organization in the hands of my colleagues. Every day I see how their drive and commitment to community pushes us to be an even stronger organization. I can’t wait to read all about their accomplishments as I do my best to catch a few fish in our beautiful mountain rivers."
David and his wife, Sherie, a teacher for Buncombe County Schools, will remain in Asheville.