Seven campaigns. Seven years. Seven goals met.

And now it's time to move along.

David Jeffrey, Executive Director of United Way for Simcoe County since 1997, arrived here to develop the United Way's Leadership Development Program. He¹s ended up building tremendous teams to lead the campaign and the organization's main activities.

He took on the interim leadership for a 'four month' stint in 1998. The former ED, John McCullough, had left and David and his wife Donna and their young family had moved to Barrie to make change in their lives.

They'd been living in the Ottawa Valley where David had been self-employed, building passive solar systems for post & beam homes. He was looking for a new challenge.

David calls himself a continuous student, so the opportunity to build a leadership development program to help executives, admin staff and volunteers of non profit organizations intrigued him and the hills of Medonte replaced the Ottawa Valley.

It was just months into this work that David was called on to double-up as Executive Director. There had been six successive years of decreasing campaigns and David's first, in 1998, set a goal of $748,000. The next year was the first entire process under David's guidance, the four months interim had turned into permanent full time. The team shot for $750,000. The team raised $770,000. And the United Way of Greater Simcoe County has been up ever since. Last year's campaign goal was $1.1 million. "We did slightly more," says David proudly. (Just to put this in perspective, the 1973 campaign goal was $17,000)

United Way now serves 21 member charities and gives funding to 26 non profit groups. As well, United Way's Leadership Development initiative has provided scores of sessions to just as many non profit groups. Under David's leadership, the organization has worked effectively to make a real impact on homelessness. The Early Years Centres and the Breakfast programs have received tangible, hands-on, immediate help from United Way.

And like every good leader, David¹s decided to go while he might be missed rather than waiting until he's thanked for leaving.

And when anyone is leaving a significant role, it's important to look in two directions... back at your legacy and ahead to your challenge.

David's doing both. He's spent four years working on initiating the 211 service, a phone based single point access for community and human services. The 211 service will launch in Collingwood this fall, followed quickly by Niagara Falls and Barrie. For Barrie, the Public Library is the information gathering point--the data partner--in this initiative.

And while United Way is receiving very impressive resumes for David's Executive Director position, it¹s also seeking a full time Campaign Director, also a paid position. The Campaign Director carries on the daily responsibilities for the campaign, working with volunteers and the United Way team.

The new Executive Director will no doubt carry forward with the Leadership Development service, initiating the private sector service that¹s in planning stages now.

David's quick to praise the incredible members of the UW team, people who have bought into the goals and the activities, people who ³believe.²

And for David Jeffrey, what next? Well, turning 50 is a pivotal event for most of us, I think. It's a time to revisit, analyze, look back and look ahead. So, what's ahead for David Jeffrey? "I'd like to deepen my sense of self and my contribution to the way of the world. I'd like to open up to change."

You can bet there's a lot more to it. Stay tuned...

Thanks, David.

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