United Way executive director announces retirement

By John Bailey


After 20 years of serving those in need, the Catawba County United Way Executive Director Jennie Connor announced her retirement during the CCUW’s December board meeting.

Her last day with the United Way will be March 31 of this year.

“My heart is full. I retire to spend time loving on my family and laughing with friends, having complete conviction that there are caring people who will carry on…creating life-changing opportunities for those less fortunate because they will listen,” Connor said. 

Jennie Connor

Along with the past 20 years leading the CCUW, she served with equal commitment on the Catawba County Board of Education, over 10 years as a Guardian ad Litem, as a volunteer with the state of North Carolina during three Presidential declared disasters, as a member of the Board of United Way of North Carolina and as a board member of the United Way of North Carolina 2-1-1.

Reflecting on the United Way’s annual campaign, Connor said she enjoyed watching how faithfully the board and volunteers worked together to assure donations were distributed to the most needed resources and programs in Catawba County.

“Over the last 20 years I have had the honor and pleasure of working alongside incredible Boards of Directors, company leaders, staff, non-profit colleagues, elected officials, local and state governments, school personnel, donors and the many people who are our neighbors and who reached out for assistance. Thank you, I am honored to have been in your presence,” Connor said.

With that much time giving back to her community, Connor just smiles when asked about enduring memories from the last two decades.

There was a request from a grandmother for a guitar, wishing to give it to her grandson at Christmas. 

Connor remembers working with a teacher seeking assistance for a young adult with limited life expectancy. He had a desire to attend college, an apartment, a job…all seen as life accomplishments before leaving this earthly world. 

Connor’s advice to anyone she meets is to listen when talking to those in need and realize the impact even the simplest request can make on a life.

She resides in Sherrills Ford with her husband of 39 years, Chuck Connor.  Her greatest accomplishments include two sons, Oliver and Andrew, a beautiful daughter-in-law, Elizabeth, and the newest sparkle in her life - a two-year-old grandson, Wyatt. Jennie has offered this assurance for all who wonder about her next step:  she will be enjoying retirement “her way.”