With new appointments, United Way looks prepared for 2014

Sep. 30, 2013 @ 12:01 AM

With this month’s announcements that a new executive director and campaign chairman for 2014 have been named, it’s become apparent that — like a phoenix — the United Way of Sevier County has risen from the ashes.

And that’s a good thing.

The United Way does a lot of good for the organizations it benefits.

Amy Harper, the group’s new executive director, and R.B. Summitt, the campaign chairman, are two highly capable individuals who seem determined to get the United Way turned around.

“(She was) always prepared to help, volunteer and be involved,” Margit Worsham, a board member for United Way, said of Harper. “I am so delighted that she will be the front of Sevier County United Way for years to come. Thank you, Amy, for leaving a great job at Tanger Mall to lead United Way, so we can make sure our Community Partners will be funded, making them able to do a great job for the citizens of Sevier County.” 

Harper holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Tennessee and has spent the majority of her career living and working in Sevier County.

She has served on many non-profit committees and boards, which include the  Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation “Paint the Mountains Pink” Committee, Sevierville Chamber of Commerce Marketing Committee, American Cancer Society Sevier County Relay For Life chairperson, board member of the Boys and Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains, county chairperson for United Way of Sevier County and the Pigeon Forge Citizen’s Advisory Board.

As for Summitt, United Way is also happy to have the experienced community leader.

“We are really glad R.B. agreed to step up and serve as our campaign chair,” board chair Russell Treadway commented. “This year is really important for the United Way. The past three years have been a struggle and we are determined to make this campaign a huge success for our community and our partner agencies. We plan to reach out to companies that don’t yet run an annual donation effort and attempt to increase the number of leadership givers of $1,000 or more.”

A native East Tennessean, R.B. Summitt has lived and worked in the Sevier County area all his life. Now retired, he worked at Sevier County Bank from 1978 to 2012 and continues as a director and chairman of the Audit Committee. He was a founding director and faculty member of both the Tennessee Consumer Credit and Commercial Lending Schools.

It was just a year ago that the group looked like it would never recover from financial difficulties.

The board of directors announced it was resigning and the group would cease operating at the end of 2012 unless new funding could be found. 

Since then the board has reformed, a new strategy has been developed, and the group looks headed toward a successful 2014.