Shirey to head United Way

PARKERSBURG – Parkersburg South High School and West Virginia University graduate Andrea Shirey has been chosen as the new executive director of the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley.

Shirey, who has extensive fundraising experience in West Virginia, Florida and Texas, will start her new job on Tuesday. She’ll work for a few weeks with Joyce Mather, who will retire after 11 years with the agency on Sept. 15.

“Coming home and leading an organization like the United Way Alliance feels like a dream come true,” Shirey said in a news release. “I cannot imagine a better organization to be a part of, and I’m ready to hit the ground running.”

After graduating from WVU with a bachelor’s of science degree in business management, Shirey worked for the West Virginia University Foundation, the release says. She went on to serve in leadership development roles with the University of Florida, the Florida Baptist Children’s Homes and Baylor University in Texas.

“I’ve been privileged to work in many great universities and in the nonprofit world doing what I love for the past 12 years,” Shirey said. “And while I’m immensely grateful for those experiences, none of those opportunities compare to having the chance to serve the people of my own community.”

She and her husband, Scott, also a South and WVU alumnus, and their two sons moved back to Parkersburg in 2012.

“We had lived away for a long time and just decided you can always come home,” she said in an interview.

Since returning, Shirey has done some marketing and fundraising contract work for various organizations.

Karl Boelter, chairman of the United Way board, said Shirey was selected from a strong pool of applicants.

“Andrea’s background in nonprofit leadership and fundraising is very impressive, and with her leadership, we look forward to continuing the good work already taking place here in the community,” he said in the release.

“We could immediately sense she was a great fit for this role,” Boelter said. “Her energy and experience set her apart, and I have no doubt she will be successful.”

The United Way Alliance supports 40 entities in Wood, Calhoun, Jackson, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Tyler and Wirt counties in West Virginia and Washington and Athens County in Ohio.

“It’s perfect fit,” Shirey said. “I have always wanted to be in a position where I could really help multiple agencies.”

Shirey won’t have much time to ease into her new responsibilities. The United Way Alliance’s annual campaign kicks off Sept. 9, a week after her first day. She considers it good timing, allowing her to meet donors and get exposure in the community right away.