United Way of Greater Stark County President & CEO Maria Heege Announces Retirement

(Stark and Carroll Counties) Sept. 26, 2021 — United Way of Greater Stark County President & CEO Maria Heege announced today her plans to retire from her position, effective March 31, 2022, after a remarkable 40 years of service with the nonprofit.

“It’s truly been my privilege to serve in this role,” said Heege. “I’m incredibly grateful to work alongside the staff, board, volunteers and supporters, who share my passion for United Way and this community. I’m so proud of all that we have accomplished together to improve lives for children and their families in this region. I know that through all of you, that good work will continue.”

Heege began her career at United Way of Central Stark County in March 1981 and has held multiple positions with the organization throughout her tenure. In 2004, Heege helped to oversee the merger of United Way of Central Stark County, Alliance Area United Way and United Way of Western Stark County to form United Way of Greater Stark County, which serves both Stark and Carroll Counties. She served as Chief Operating Officer for United Way of Greater Stark Country from 2004-2008, before accepting the position of President & CEO in March 2008. 

Earlier this year, she informed the Board of Directors of her plans to retire in 2022.

“Throughout her tenure, Maria has served as fierce champion for United Way and a true advocate for those in need,” said United Way of Greater Stark County Board Chair Mike Howard. “Her leadership, dedication and vision for our community has made an immeasurable impact on this region and countless individual lives. We wish her and her family all the best in her retirement, and we hope to build on the exceptional foundation she’s established for us.”

United Way of Greater Stark County’s Board of Directors formed a search committee to fill the position of President & CEO. Heege will continue her role through the end of United Way’s fiscal year in March 2022 to ensure a successful transition for the organization.

United Way of Greater Stark County recently launched its annual fundraising campaign, where the nonprofit aims to raise $5.92M by Dec. 9 to support its collaboratives, funded programs, and direct services. This year, the organization has committed to tackle the growing crisis of childhood poverty in Stark and Carroll Counties.

“With this being my last campaign at United Way, I hope to see us meet and exceed that fundraising goal,” said Heege. “I’m asking the entire community to join United Way in this fight to end child poverty. We’ve seen time and again how much we can accomplish together when we live united.” 

About United Way of Greater Stark County

For nearly 100 years, United Way of Greater Stark County has served Stark and Carroll Counties. During that time, we have continued to build a better, equitable community where every person has the potential for a healthier life, a better education and more financial stability. We look to the future through our investment priorities, which ensure our community will have the foundation it needs to thrive: Access to Health, Childhood Success, Youth Success, Economic Mobility and Basic Housing Needs. With the support of volunteers, community partners and donors, we invest donor dollars efficiently and effectively into local community programs serving the most critical needs. Learn more at uwstark.org.