United Way’s executive director is leaving Charlotte for a larger city

United Way Executive Director Sean Garrett
United Way Executive Director Sean Garrett dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com

The leader of the Charlotte-area United Way office is leaving for a similar role in Chicago, and his replacement hasn’t been hired yet, the organization announced Thursday afternoon.

Sean Garrett began working as executive director of United Way of Central Carolinas in March 2015, and he will stay in the role through early September, according to a United Way news release.

Garrett will become CEO of United Way of Metro Chicago, where his wife’s job is based, the news release said. He previously worked with United Way in Chicago from 2005 to 2010.

In a statement, BB&T president and local United Way board chairman Wes Beckner said Garrett assembled a strong leadership team during his time with United Way of Central Carolinas.

“I am confident the organization is in good hands and will continue its transformational work,” Beckner said.

Beckner and the rest of the board are working to find a new executive director, the news release said.

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In June, United Way of Central Carolinas announced it would spend $24.6 million in the community during the 2018-19 fiscal year. Nearly $15 million was headed to agencies around the Charlotte area, including organizations that support education, job development and economic stability.

United Way leaders, including Garrett, said the organization was focused on improving economic mobility in Charlotte.

During the next three years, United Way will spend nearly $2.5 million over three years in two Charlotte neighborhoods — Grier Heights in southeast Charlotte and Renaissance in west Charlotte. Residents got to have a voice in where that money would go, according to nonprofit leaders working in the communities.

Layoffs for nine United Way employees were also announced in June.

Jane Wester: 704-358-5128, @janewester