PARKERSBURG - The executive director of the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley announced her retirement on Thursday.
Joyce Mather has been with the agency since 2003.
"It has been both an honor and pleasure to serve as United Way Alliance's executive director the past 10 years," Mather said. "I've taken the stewardship of donor dollars very seriously. Alongside a strong board of directors, I feel we've invested in services and programs that change lives every day."
The retirement is effective Sept. 15.
She and her husband, Bill, have two sons, Eric and Ryan. Mather said she will be spending her time with family, friends and volunteering.
"I know she's going to be missed," said Richard Adams, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of United Bankshares.
Her Time There
* The Warming Hands and Hearts Energy Assistance Program in 2007. The program created a central database to coordinate energy assistance programs, which also eliminated the duplication of services.
* The Back-to-School Backpack Program in 2008 to succeed the GE Elfin Society's backpack program.
* The steering committee organizing the Mission of Mercy free dental clinic in 2009 in Parkersburg.
* The recent relocation of the 2-1-1 Health and Human Services Hotline to the United Way office after the closure of the Volunteer Action Center.
* She has served on the steering committee for the C.O.M.P.A.S.S. Community Needs Assessments for the Mid-Ohio Valley.
* Mather is a past president of the Rotary Club, has served on the Community Service Council and the boards of the YMCA, the Wood County Society and Altrusa and committees of the Chamber of Commerce.
Mather worked for United Bank for 26 years before she became executive director of the United Way. She was an assistant vice president.
"We certainly hated to see her go, but it was going to be for the community," Adams said. "And she would do an outstanding job."
Adams and James Spanner, publisher of The Parkersburg News and Sentinel, called Mather an asset to the community.
"Joyce is a tireless leader and advocate for the United Way and the agencies that it supports," Spanner said. "In addition, her community involvement and visibility really enhanced the great work she and the organization provide the Mid-Ohio Valley."
Giving has increased during Mather's tenure at the United Way, board member David McClure, interim CEO at Camden Clark Medical Center, said. McClure cited her presence in the community and the agencies served by United Way.
"We appreciated her support and her interaction with the community to elevate these funds," he said.
The next step will be for the board to organize a search committee for a new executive director, McClure said. A committee will be organized this summer, he said.
The board of directors immediately will begin the search for a new executive director. Resumes may be submitted to United Way Alliance of the MOV (attention board chairman), 520 Grand Central Ave., Unit 201, Vienna, WV 26105
"Over the past 10 years, Joyce has exemplified United Way's core values of caring, accountability, teamwork, integrity and leadership," said Marie Foster Gnage, chairman of the United Way board.
Under Mather's watch the number of funded programs, agencies and distributed funds increased. Its annual campaign has grown from $464,000 in 2003 to about $800,000 in 2014.
Judy Sjostedt, executive director of Our Community's Foundation, said Mather will be a difficult act to follow.
"Joyce has done a wonderful job with United Way," Sjostedt said. "She has been a great partner to Our Community's Foundation and a true leader in our community. Joyce has done a great job of building relationships among businesses and community groups. We wish her all the best. She leaves big shoes to fill."
Robert Stephens, president of the Bernard McDonough Foundation, agreed.
"She was a great partner to collaborate with on a number of grants. She will be deeply missed and be impossible to completely replace," he said. "The Mid-Ohio Valley owes her a tremendous debt of gratitude."
Her decision wasn't a complete surprise, Stephens said.
"We had some conversations," he said. "She was looking forward to slowing down, but given her heart, she will be highly engaged" with the community in the future.
A press release from the United Way said she has spearheaded several collaborative initiatives beginning with the merger of four United Way organizations, the United Way of the Mid-Ohio Valley, the Belpre Area United Way, the Vienna United Appeal and the Williamstown United Way, to form the United Way Alliance. A result of the merger was the elimination of duplicated services and administration.