The United Way of Clark, Champaign and Madison Counties has named Kerry Pedraza as its new executive director.
Pedraza, who most recently was assistant director of Job and Family Services of Clark County, will begin her new job on Oct. 1, filling a void left by the retirement of Doug Lineberger this summer after 15 years in the role.
“When I heard about Doug retiring, I thought this was a great way to bring everything full circle,” Pedraza said Friday.
Her background in both development and human services will come into play at an organization whose mission of raising money for social service agencies has been made more challenging in a tough economy.
“United Way has to continue to get that message out there,” she said, “that it is providing some very essential services.”
The three-county United Way recently began its respective fundraising campaigns.
Clark County has set out to raise $1.23 million, while Champaign County hopes to raise $220,052 and Madison County strives for a goal of $85,852.
Pedraza is a lifelong Clark County resident and a graduate of Wittenberg University.
“She knows the community,” said Joe Jackson, president of the United Way board.
During her 15 total years at Job and Family Services, Pedraza worked closely with people and organizations that align with United Way’s mission, Jackson said.
Lineberger left the local United Way in good hands, including a strong staff, according to Jackson.
“We think she’ll be the right person to continue and build on Doug’s work,” he said.
Pedraza hopes to tap into the community’s Gen X and Y’ers and millennials, a population that has had community service ingrained in it thanks to school requirements.
“They’re looking for an opportunity to give,” she said. “Sometimes they just need to be asked.”