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United Way of Central Iowa’s Buck announces her retirement


Elisabeth Buck, who has served as president of the United Way of Central Iowa since 2017, will retire in July, the organization announced this afternoon.

Buck joined United Way of Central Iowa in 2011 as chief community impact officer. She was promoted to president six years later.

In a news release announcing her retirement, Buck said leading the “amazing team at United Way of Central Iowa has been an incredible honor, and I am so proud of what we have accomplished together.”

“We are fortunate to live in an incredibly generous community, one so willing to help those most in need,” she said. “I am amazed at the strong partnerships we have formed and can’t wait to see what’s next for this great organization and for central Iowa.”

Under her leadership, United Way of Central Iowa launched OpportUNITY, a community plan to reduce poverty, and HealthWorks, a program focused on helping Iowans be successful in health care careers.

Buck also helped launch the early-education literacy initiative Read to Succeed, the statewide 211 resource information services, the 21-Day Equity Challenge, and the organization’s new strategic focus, UNITED to THRIVE.

“We are tremendously grateful for Elisabeth’s leadership and commitment to United Way of Central Iowa’s mission and to our community,” said Nora Everett, board chair. “She connected the generosity of this community with the strategies and investments that have and will continue to change lives here in central Iowa.”

According to the release, Buck fostered a mission-focused culture around addressing the health, education and stability of Central Iowans, and elevated equity issues in the community, advocating for eliminating racism and disparities.

Andy TeBockhorst, chief strategic communications officer for United Way of Central Iowa, said Buck helped lead the organization through the challenges the coronavirus pandemic created for nearly every business sector in the past year.

“Under Elisabeth’s guidance, despite the challenges we faced during the pandemic, our organization has remained strong, agile, and focused on supporting our community, our region, and our state,” he said.

The organization’s board of directors has begun a search for a new president. That work is expected to be completed by July, the release stated.

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