5919 Oleander Drive
Wilmington, NC 28403
910-798-3900 x. 104 (Work)
For Digital / Print Release
United Way of the Cape Fear Area
President & CEO Announces Retirement
Wilmington, NC, January 11, 2017 – Christopher Nelson, President and CEO of United Way of the Cape Fear Area, UWCFA, will retire on June 30, 2017 after eight years at UWCFA and over 42 years of local, state and national United Way service.
After starting his career as a division director at the Kalamazoo United Way in Michigan, Chris served as the CEO at the United Ways in Wooster, Ohio, Corpus Christi, Texas, and the state United Way in Michigan before coming to Wilmington in May, 2009.
During his career, Chris has been involved in every aspect of United Way including resource development, community planning, grant making, grant writing, public policy, nonprofit volunteer, staff training, and crisis preparedness and response. Over his tenure with UWCFA he has worked with United Way of North Carolina to develop a state-wide 2-1-1 Resource Helpline; instituted a three-year investment process for local programs that focus on financial stability, healthcare and education; supported the development of a separate nonprofit of the Blue Ribbon Commission for the Prevention of Youth Violence; he led several initiatives that helped reduce the chronic homeless population in the Cape Fear Area by 60%; and helped to expand the backpack food programs for children in need in three counties.
“Over a career that has spanned more than 42 years, nine cities and eight years locally with UWCFA, Chris epitomizes loyalty and respect for one’s calling,” said Lisa Leath, VP Human Resources, Alcami and UWCFA Board Chair. “His years-of-service have brought out the best in people and community. The job has meant something tremendous to him and he enjoys realizing the reach of his work and watching results change the lives of many people in need.”
In addition, Nelson has worked with many leaders across the Cape Fear Region. Ben David, District Attorney for the 5th Prosecutorial District and UWCFA 2016-17 Campaign Chairman said, “I have come to know Chris through our work on the prevention of youth violence in co-founding the Blue Ribbon Commission and putting people back to work in co-founding Hometown Hires (now Phoenix Hometown Hires). These two organizations are vital parts of our community and would not be enjoying the incredible success they do today without Chris’ leadership. His contributions have impacted countless lives in the Cape Fear region and will help people in our area for years to come. He will be sorely missed.”
Mr. Nelson currently serves on the board of directors for both United Way of North Carolina and NC 2-1-1.