President & CEO of United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley Retiring after 30 Years
Staff Report From Columbus CEO
Wednesday, December 19th, 2018
After thirty years in the United Way system, United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley’s President & CEO Scott Ferguson will be retiring in August 2019.
Ferguson has served as President & CEO of United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley since August 2007. He began his United Way career at United Way of Brown County (Aberdeen, SD) in August 1989. Following that, he served as President & CEO at Stateline United Way (Beloit, WI), United Way of Atlantic County (Atlantic City, NJ), and United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area (Utica, New York).
During Ferguson’s tenure at United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley, the organization has raised a combined total of $76,106,600 for their annual campaigns. United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley ranks in the Top 100 of the 1,150 United Ways in total revenues and leads the nation in several important areas of giving, including per capita giving and employee participation.
A search committee for the new President & CEO has been formed. Co-Chairs of the committee are Phenix City Police Chief Ray Smith and Gwen Ruff from Columbus Water Works. Several United Way Board Members and two United Way partner agency directors, Rodney Close of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Chattahoochee Valley and Donna Morgan of Columbus Hospice of Georgia and Alabama, comprise the rest of the committee. The committee plans to conduct a nationwide search beginning the first of the year and will work to ensure a smooth transition for United Way.
“Scott’s dedicated service to this community will benefit the people of the Chattahoochee Valley for many years to come,” said Keith Pierce, 2018-2019 United Way Board Chair. “He has been more than the executive leader of our United Way. He has been an active servant, volunteer and advocate for the well-being of this great community,” he added.
Ferguson is proud of the accomplishments that he has made at United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley. “We have a great staff that is focused on the mission of the United Way and is dedicated to the organization,” said Ferguson. “Couple them with a Board of Directors and community leaders that are engaged and supportive, and there is nothing we cannot accomplish,” he added.
During Ferguson’s tenure at United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley, several new programs were formed, including Home For Good: The Alliance to End Homelessness, 2-1-1 information and referral line, Stuff The Bus and Women United, all of which have made a tremendous impact on our community.
In January 2011, United Way was asked by Columbus City Manager and United Way Board Member Isaiah Hugley to begin the Home For Good program. In the past five years, the program has reduced homelessness by 25% and housed 175 of 180 homeless Veterans.
The 2-1-1 information and referral line, a vital service that links people in need with services that can help them, was re-established in 2014. Since then, 2-1-1 has given 76,066 referrals, including referrals for utility assistance, housing and food.
During Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Michael, 2-1-1 provided resources for evacuees via text messages.
Stuff the Bus, a summer-long school supply drive initiative, was established in 2013. Since its inception, the initiative has given nearly 19,000 backpacks to local children in need in the past five years.
Women United, a network of women leaders with a mission to advance the common good in the community, began in 2011. The program has completed numerous service projects, all of which followed the organization’s platform, “Women Helping Women.” Since Women United’s first Power of the Purse luncheon in 2012, the program has collected 13,056 undergarments and funded 956 vouchers for undergarments for United Way partner agencies serving women in need.
Ferguson has been an active member of the Rotary Club for twelve years. He served on the Steering Committee for the Chamber Prosperity Initiative and continues to serve on the Implementation Committee of Columbus 2025. He is an active and enthusiastic supporter of the Chamber of Commerce.
Ferguson’s wife Dona Ferguson, MSN, RN, CNE, is retiring as Assistant Professor of Nursing at Columbus State University. The couple will return to their home state of Maine after Ferguson’s retirement.