United Way director stepping down


Danny Avery

Danny Avery


Renee Sanders

Renee Sanders



Isabelle Altman



United Way executive director Danny Avery has resigned his position and will be stepping down June 29. 


Avery and United Way board chairman Jennifer Miles both confirmed Avery's departure Tuesday. 


"We're sorry to lose someone with Danny Avery's commitment and dedication," Miles said in an email to The Dispatch. "We are grateful for his service and wish him well." 


United Way of Lowndes County serves as an fundraising and support arm for about 18 nonprofit agencies in the Golden Triangle. 


Avery has been executive director at United Way since April 2016. He will take a position with a Starkville-based hospice agency where he said the work will be more suited to his skillset. 


"There's no problems, no dissension, no quarreling, nothing like that," he said. "But I came from a position with a hospice agency. That's where my core skillset is. That's where I feel my giftedness and my calling are in serving God, in helping people with end of life situations. So I'm going back to that, to that arena. 


"I just feel at this point it would be better for me and for the United Way to step aside and let someone else who has, perhaps, a broader skillset come in," he added.  


Miles did not release details on the process of hiring a new executive director, but Avery said he thinks the United Way may begin advertising the position within days. 


Avery stressed he will still volunteer with United Way and assist as a consultant during the upcoming search for a new executive director. He also encouraged the community to continue supporting United Way. 


Renee Sanders, director of Volunteer Columbus, an internal program under United Way, said she is proud of Avery for the job he has done over the last two years. 


"I'm really proud ... that he stayed as long as he did because he is a minister and he did have other spiritual obligations for church," Sanders said. "He's an interim pastor, he's a family man and he's extra dedicated to what he wanted to do or what he does do. I never really felt like he was satisfied with being able to completely dedicate all his efforts in one direction or another. 


"Whoever the next person it is, we look forward to ... being an active part of the search," she added.




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