Just as the United Way of the Central and South Okanagan launches its 2016-17 $1.3 million fundraising campaign, the organization has been rocked by the sudden departure of executive director Shelley Gilmore.
In a brief email to CSO United Way partners, the United Way said Gilmore has stepped down after just over two years on the job. No reason was give for her departure.
While a search for a permanent replacement takes place, current manager of community investment, Ian Gerbrandt, will serve as interim executive director.
This year’s $1.3 million fundraising campaign goal was announced last month as the campaign officially kicked off. Last year, the local United way fell short of its $1.5 million fundraising goal, collecting $1.3 million.
The Central and South Okanagan United Way supports a large number of non-profit and charitable organizations throughout the region and the annual campaign is its largest fundraiser of the year.
Cathy Conway, chairwoman of the United Way board said it was Gilmore’s decision to leave.
“Shelley has decided to move on, she has other things happening in her life right now,” said Conway.
No details of what those other things are were given.
She said Gilmore’s departure effect immediately Wednesday, and that was common when senior executives leave a position.
Conway said with a very capable team that has been working on preparation of the annual United Way fundraising campaign for some time now, she and the board are very confident the group, lead by Gerbrandt, will do good job despite the departure of the former executive director.
“For us, it’s business as usual,” she said.