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United Fund Director Jim Goodling planning to step down in June 2018

The United Fund of Warren will be seeking a new leader this spring.

Jim Goodling, United Fund Director, announced on Wednesday that he will be stepping down from the directorship effective June of 2018.

This year is Goodling’s fifth Torchlight Campaign and, he said, his last.

Goodling is a past Warren County Planning Director, and lived in Corning, N.Y., for 10 years prior to returning to Warren. When the opportunity to come back presented itself, Goodling said it was “very attractive.” What Goodling said he values most about the community is the community itself.

“The people are so friendly. They care so much, as evidenced by the success of the United Fund in Warren.”

Goodling said that the process of finding a new director for the United Fund of Warren will be pretty straightforward. “We’ll probably start mid to late January.”

A search committee will be appointed at the next board meeting, scheduled for January, and the process will go from there to a review of resumes and follow-up interviews.

“I would hope that someone is on board by June,” Goodling said.

His goal is to get enough time to help the new director with any training necessary, but to be able to step away in time for him or her to have creative control over the 2018 campaign. Right around June and July, said Goodling, is when planning for the upcoming campaign begins.

“I want them to have enough time to make any changes or do the things they want to do with it,” he said.

For Goodling, the ideal candidate will have a knowledge of the community, and the services that are needed as well as what’s offered.

“I think that really helps,” said Goodling, adding that the United Fund exists to support local services and programs that impact the lives of the elderly, the youth, and those in need of basic human services, assistance, and comfort in hard times. The director, said Goodling, should “believe deeply in human services, and in our local human services agencies.” Among the duties required by the position are being available to speak to organizations as requested throughout the year, as well as good communication skills, both written and spoken.

Goodling said the new director can look forward to having what he’s had in his time with the United Fund.

“I’ve got a really great board. They’re very supportive. They’re very invested.” And, said Goodling, the best thing about his time with the organization has been seeing the community come out in support every year.

“Having the campaign reaffirmed by the community as a worthy effort to help those who need it,” said Goodling, is what it’s been all about.

As for this year’s campaign, Goodling said that things are going well, and that he expects to be reaching the 70 percent of goal mark within the next few weeks.

Last year’s goal of $665,000, the largest ever set, was not only met but exceeded by $3,500 in February. This year’s target, $670,000, reached the halfway point by mid-December, with $350,000 already raised.

The 20 agencies which use those donations to meet the needs of the community include: Family Services of Warren County, Hospice of Warren County, A Safe Place, the Allegheny Community Center, the American Red Cross, BEI, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Caring for Life, the Don Mills Achievement Center, the Jefferson Defrees Family Center, New Hope Assistance Dogs, the Ruth M. Smith Center, the Sheffield Area Hospitality Center, the Salvation Army, the Warren Area Student Union, Warren County 4-H, and the Warren County YMCA.

Contributions are tax deductible, and can be made until the goal is reached, which Goodling said tends to be near the middle of February each year. Contributions can be mailed to P.O. Box 844, Warren, Pa., 16365, or made online at Goodling said that because all campaign and administrative expenses are paid for using income from the Community Foundation, 100 percent of each donation goes directly to the member agencies.