The Pikes Peak United Way’s interim CEO will stay on as its leader.
Cindy Aubrey was named to the nonprofit’s top post on Thursday, roughly four months after the abrupt resignation of the organization’s former president and chief executive.
“She has done amazing work,” said Kent Fortune, a USAA executive who is the nonprofit’s board president. “The feedback from the community has been amazing.”
Aubrey’s appointment comes as the nonprofit finds itself at a crossroads.
Its former leader, Jason Wood, resigned unexpectedly in February after he said he reflected on his “personal and professional goals.” At the time, former United Way employees questioned his leadership style and his ability to build trust with staff members.
On Thursday, Aubrey’s goals for the nonprofit boiled down to one thing: “Stability.”
She voiced plans to focus on keeping alive the organization’s 211 hotline – a beleaguered one-stop referral source for myriad social services agencies, including those offering rent, food and utilities assistance.
“We need to raise money for 211,” she said. “We need to keep those lines open for our community.”
Another focus will be the nonprofit’s Colorado Springs Promise program, which Wood began weeks before his departure to raise graduation rates at Mitchell High School. The program is a collaboration with the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Colorado Springs School District 11.
Aubrey – herself a Mitchell graduate – said she wants to see the program grow in a few years to include other schools.
“There are students all over the city who need that kind of help,” she said.
Aubrey joined the Pikes Peak United Way in February 2015 after having previously worked as a spokeswoman for the city of Colorado Springs and earlier as news director for KOAA-NEWS 5. She started as United Way’s chief communications officer, but quickly worked her way up to chief operating officer.
The announcement came during the organization’s Community Celebration luncheon, shortly after she announced an annual fundraising haul of nearly $4.2 million. The total was noticeably less than past campaigns, which have often topped $5 million.
Aubrey said she wants that figure to grow significantly.
“I want people who may have ceased considering the United Way to think of us again,” she said.
Contact Jakob Rodgers: 476-1654