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Unemployment rates dip in Clark, Champaign counties

United Way leader stepping down

Lineberger oversaw merger, new funding model for Clark County group.

The executive director of the local United Way announced Monday he will retire from the organization, effective July 31.

Doug Lineberger has led what’s now known as the United Way of Clark, Champaign and Madison counties since 1998, providing 15 years of service in the position. Officials hope to appoint his successor by Aug. 1.

“This 15-year journey with United Way has been wonderful and very satisfying,” Lineberger said in a statement.

Lineberger, who had a 25-year career in speech pathology and audiology prior to talking over at the United Way, was also the former director of the West Central Ohio Hearing and Speech Center.

After working in two careers for the last 40 years, he told the News-Sun it’s simply time for him to take a break.

“This is a good time. There’s a voice inside of you that just says this is the right time,” Lineberger said. “This is not a retirement from the community or from life. Once I catch up on a few naps and a few walks, I’ll continue to be involved in the community. I’m not leaving.”

During Lineberger’s career with the United Way, he has develop partnerships with local businesses, schools and other organizations that have helped people in need and changed the funding model for organizations who receive money from the United Way. They now must demonstrate how they improve the quality of life of the people they serve.

Lineberger also led the merger of the Madison County United Way with the United Way of Clark and Champaign counties in 2005, United Way Board President Joe Jackson said in a statement.

Lineberger said the merger of the United Way of Clark and Champaign counties in the 1980s and the merger with Madison County made the organization stronger.

“It helped broaden the geographic based and help bring more dollars into our community,” Lineberger said.

Lineberger took the helm of the United Way during a time when the organization replaced two executive directors in less than two years.

Former United Way Executive Director Geoffrey Steele resigned in 1996 amid a sexual harassment allegation, an allegation that he denied. Steele’s replacement, Timothy Nawn, resigned 15 months later in January 1998 for “personal and professional reasons,” according to Springfield News-Sun archives.

Lineberger said he plans to continue to volunteer in the community, but he will miss those he’s worked with in the last 15 years.

“The people I work with every day are just like family. The board has been phenomenal, and I’ve formed some great relationships,” he said.

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