United Way of Franklin County Director announces resignation

  • United Way of Franklin County Executive Director Kelly Brigham-Steiner speaks during the annual fundraising campaign held at Camp Apex in August. Brigham-Steiner announced her resignation on Monday. Staff Photo/Dan Little


Staff Writer
Published: 11/29/2019 11:37:12 AM

NORTHFIELD — United Way of Franklin County Executive Director Kelly Brigham-Steiner announced her resignation Monday after a year and a half leading the local nonprofit.

Brigham-Steiner said she is leaving her role as director while the time feels right, as she looks to “find better balance in (her) life.”

“You have certain points in your life where you realize a change has to occur,” she said Tuesday.

Beginning Monday, Dec. 4, Sarah Tanner will serve as interim director, bringing with her 20 years of experience in the resource development field. Tanner started her career at the Mile High United Way in Denver, Colo. There, she served as the marketing manager for information and referral services.

She then went on to leadership positions with United Way of New York City, United Way of Hampshire County in Northampton and United Way of Pioneer Valley in Springfield, where she was senior vice president of strategic communications and resource development. Tanner also holds a background in strategic planning and communications for nonprofits.

“I leave knowing and trusting that we are in good hands,” Brigham-Steiner said of Tanner in a statement announcing her resignation.

Looking back on her time as executive director for the United Way of Franklin County, Brigham-Steiner said the organization has stream-lined its operations. United Way has worked to advance its impact model, aligning the use of its resources closely with the needs of residents.

“Our mission has not changed,” Brigham-Steiner said. “United Way will continue to play a significant role in serving the community.”

This year, the United Way of Franklin County did a lot of restructuring under Brigham-Steiner’s leadership, which she said has had positive outcomes. The organization expanded its literacy program and revived the diaper bank for community members. The diaper bank was implemented years ago, but was recently brought back on a much larger scale, she said.

Tanner and Brigham-Steiner have been working to ensure a smooth transition. United Way Executive Committee Chair Timberly Grout said that, while the board is sad to see Brigham-Steiner go, Tanner will be ready to jump into the role and oversee the organization’s day-to-day activity.

“We are happy that Sarah is willing to take on the role as interim director. She knows United Way inside and out,” Grout said. “This is a best-case scenario.”

“I’m thrilled to be returning to the work of United Way, and in a community as engaged in collective impact as Franklin County,” Tanner said. “I am looking to continue building on the energy Kelly has infused into this organization, finish the annual fundraising campaign on a high note, and work with volunteers and partner agencies to redistribute funds to meet the greatest needs.”

According to its website, the United Way of Franklin County is dedicated to improving the local quality of life by mobilizing people and resources to advance the common good. United Way is the largest privately-funded nonprofit in the world, with 1,800 community-based branches in 41 countries. Locally, the United Way of Franklin County has brought people together for more than 80 years to focus on advancing education, financial stability and health.

Zack DeLuca can be reached at zdeluca@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 264.


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