New executive takes over United Way
Familiar with tough times,

Nancy Morgan is leading the charge to help others.

FARMINGTON – Nancy Morgan is a believer in the United Way of the Tri-Valley Area, which is making the transition into her new job as the organization’s director a lot easier.

“I am really pleased to be part of something I believe in. I don’t just sell United Way, I believe in the United Way,” says Morgan, who assumed her post a month ago.

A resident of Phillips, Morgan has spent the last 24 years working as the director of human resources for Forster Inc. in Strong. While there, she organized the company’s annual campaign drive for United Way.

Annually, more than $30,000 was raised, which always left Morgan flabbergasted and warmed her heart. “It’s really amazing,” she says proudly. “The people who have the least, somehow always find a way to give.”

Two months shy of 25 years at Forster, Morgan was handed her employment termination papers, ordered to pack up her personal belongings and told that security would escort her off the property. She was just one of many who have already, or will as of June 6, lose their jobs at the toothpick mill, when it closes its doors after 116 years of operation.

For 10 weeks, she was unemployed, and it gave her a chance to slide into the worn shoes of hundreds in the area that the United Way serves. Now, after seeing what hardship is like, Morgan’s desire to make the lives better for people in the Tri-Valley area has intensified that much more.

When she interviewed for the executive director position at UWTVA, vacated by longtime director Buzz Davis who moved on to pursue managing rental units, Morgan said she was nervous. That sentiment quickly changed to elation when she heard the job was hers for the taking.

“I was pleased. It was like, ‘Ok, I am ready. I can do this.’ I am ready to take the challenge and move forward with my life,” Morgan says, laughing.

As enthusiastic as she is to forge ahead, Morgan admits with a sluggish economy, the fund-raising path ahead for the UWTVA is a rough one. Last year, the organization had a banner year, rallying residents of the area to contribute a record-setting $400,000 for the annual capital campaign.

Morgan says she will be sensitive to the economy this year and try to be realistic in setting campaign goals but when times are tough, the 26 agencies under the UWTVA umbrella are leaned on more than ever.

“Everyone is struggling this year with the shifting economy, and we know that, but it can be done,” Morgan says, trying to remain optimistic. “One step at a time, every dollar counts. I am committing to making it for this community. We are going to make it work.”

Among the goals to keep funds rolling in is to encourage more workplaces to get involved with payroll deduction campaigns and to get more of the middle and upper class joining the leadership circle, which is for donors who give more than $300.

Outside of the office, Morgan spends her time savoring the beauty of the area with her husband of 33 years, David, while zooming through the mountains in her sleek, black and silver Mitsubishi Spyder convertible. “You’ve gotta have fun in life,” she says.

Her son, Ryan, and his wife, Iris, are expecting a child, and Morgan is thrilled she will be a grandparent. “I am going to be a granny,” she says excitedly, pumping her fist in the air, adding, “I value friends and family tremendously.”

Having obtained her bachelors degree from the University of Maine at Farmington in 2000, Morgan hopes to one day go back to school and pursue a master’s degree. “It’s important to continue to grow as an individual,” she says.

But despite her plans for personal growth, Morgan’s No. 1 priority for now is fulfilling the United Way’s mission. “I am in it for the long haul,” she says, and then turns to pick up a ringing phone.

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