MACON, Ga. The publisher of The Telegraph of Macon announced his resignation Tuesday and said he plans to head the United Way of Central Georgia in January.
George McCanless is replacing Ron Watson, who is retiring after 28 years heading the United Way, agency officials said in a news release.
"He brings to United Way of Central Georgia the leadership skills, passion for community involvement and extensive experience needed to lead the organization through the exciting opportunities and challenges that lie ahead," Jim Manley, chairman of the United Way search committee and CEO of SunTrust Bank, Middle Georgia, said in a statement.
McCanless graduated from Wake Forest University with a degree in business administration and has served as publisher of The Telegraph since 2008. Before accepting his position at The Telegraph, McCanless worked as financial director for several publications, including The Herald in Rock Hill S.C., The New Haven Register in Connecticut, the Times Herald-Record of Middletown, N.Y., and the Raleigh News and Observer where he also served as senior vice president of finance and strategic planning.
McCanless is a current United Way of Central Georgia board chairman and has volunteered with the nonprofit for the past five years, Watson said in a statement.
"His extensive experience as a corporate CEO coupled with his intelligence, creativity and deep commitment to giving back to his community make George uniquely qualified to lead United Way of Central Georgia," Watson said.
McCanless will begin serving as president and CEO on Jan. 14. His last day with The Telegraph will be Jan. 11, and the newspaper's plan to find a replacement publisher has not yet been finalized.
"I am very excited personally to be embarking upon a new career, and am honored to have been selected to lead the United Way of Central Georgia," McCanless said in a statement. "I have always felt that the newspaper and United Way were both very important community institutions with complementary missions, that being to make a difference in the quality of life for its residents."
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