Charlotte native named new president and CEO of United Way

A new president has been named for the United Way of Central Carolinas, the organization announced Wednesday.

Laura Clark will serve as president and CEO, making her the sixth leader in the organization’s 86-year history, according to a release.

Clark, of Charlotte, is replacing Sean Garrett, who recently accepted the position of CEO for United Way of Metro Chicago.

“It’s a humbling and wonderful feeling,” Clark told the Observer on Wednesday. “Charlotte is my hometown. I was born and raised here, and to be given the honor of running what I believe is one of our most critical health and human service agencies in the community is really a dream come true.”

Clark joined the organization in 2016, and served as the executive vice president and chief impact officer before taking on her new role.

The organization started two major community initiatives under her direction: United Neighborhoods and Unite Charlotte. The programs work toward neighborhood revitalization and racial equity, according to a release.

Under her direction, she said the organization will continue its work in addressing economic mobility in Charlotte.

“Laura is a dynamic leader with a passion for our community and a remarkable ability to inspire change,” Wes Beckner, UWCC board chair, said in a statement. “Her track record of innovation and success in the communities we serve, and credibility with our nonprofit and corporate partners, will position her for great success as our new President and CEO. We’re excited about the future under Laura’s leadership.”

LaVendrick Smith: @LaVendrickS