After 19 years of service with the United Way of St. Lucie County (UWSLC), Karen M. Knapp is retiring from her position as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective March 31, 2020. At this time, the United Way Board has launched a search for a new President & CEO, and UWSLC Vice-Chair and St. Lucie County Property Appraiser Michelle Franklin has agreed to lead the search committee.
A top priority of the Board is to ensure a thoughtful and seamless leadership transition for this important community institution. Presently, Franklin is in the process of recruiting board members, key donors and community leaders to serve on the search committee. “Throughout this recruitment effort, the UW Board will be committed to identifying and securing the very best leader for this United Way,” said Board Chair Howard Tipton. “The United Way Board is extremely grateful for all of Karen’s contributions to the organization and to our non-profit community. I could not be prouder of what Karen and her team have accomplished – or more excited about the extraordinary opportunities that lie ahead. Our United Way is strong and healthy and we are blessed to have the most incredible volunteers and the most talented and caring team of United Way professionals,” added Tipton. During Knapp’s time as the United Way leader, she has seen the agency through some of the best economic times and most certainly some of the worst in the Great Recession. Through it all, United Way has remained steadfast in living its mission ‘to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of our community’. “For 19 years I have been extremely blessed to work with an amazing staff and many hard-working and committed volunteer boards, dedicated Funded Partner Agencies, volunteers, community leaders and generous philanthropic donors. Working together, we have done so much to improve the quality of life for many children, families and seniors in St. Lucie County. Over the next few months, I will focus on helping UWSLC launch this year’s communitywide fundraising campaign, ensuring a great start to another successful fundraising season. The future of United Way is bright,” said Knapp. “I am confident that the Search Committee and Board will attract and secure the very best leader for this United Way, and I will do all within my power to make sure they succeed.”