Columbia, SC – On Tuesday, April 4, the United Way of the Midlands Board of Directors voted to approve Sara Seitz Fawcett as the next President & CEO of the organization. Fawcett will assume her new role in early June, succeeding Mac Bennett, who has held the position for 12 years.
Fawcett is currently Vice President for Human Resources with EDENS, a position she has held since 2004. In her role, Fawcett provides executive HR leadership to one of the largest privately-held commercial real estate development companies in the United States, reporting directly to the CEO. She supports 265 employees in 10 offices nationally, provides strategic human resources consulting and coaching, and manages HR operations, information and benefits.
Fawcett was selected after an exhaustive national search with more than 270 applicants from across the region, state and nation. An ad hoc search committee of current and former board members worked with search firm Capital Development Services to narrow the field and recommended Fawcett for the position. She was approved by the United Way Board of Directors on April 4 and is the first female to hold this role in the organization’s 92-year history. Prior to working for EDENS, Fawcett worked at Wachovia (now Wells Fargo) in various roles from 1990 until 2004.
“During his time at United Way, Mac has had a tremendous impact on the community and the organization,” said Holt Chetwood, United Way Board Chair and Wells Fargo Midlands Market President. “We look forward to a bright future with Sara leading the charge for improving the health, education and financial stability of everyone in the Midlands. She has the skills and experience to make the Midlands a better place to live for everyone.”
There will be some overlap between Fawcett’s arrival at United Way and Bennett’s departure. Fawcett will start at United Way in early June, and Bennett’s last day at United Way will be June 30, 2017.
Her tenure as a volunteer and donor with United Way dates back to 2004. She served as Campaign Co-Chair alongside Mike Brenan, state president for BB&T, from 2015-2017, raising more than $21 million. She has also served as a member of the board of directors since 2012, Chair of the Community Impact Committee from 2013-2015, and Chair of the Financial Stability Council in 2012-2013. She is a member of United Way’s Palmetto Society and Women in Philanthropy.
“United Way of the Midlands has a longstanding tradition of bringing together the people, expertise and resources needed to tackle the biggest problems facing our community, and I am honored to continue those efforts by working with our tremendous staff, volunteers and donors,” said Fawcett.
Under Bennett’s leadership, United Way has experienced continued growth in the many functions it serves including relocating to its new headquarters at 1818 Blanding Street and a record-breaking $11 million campaign this past year.
“Serving as President and CEO of United Way has been a privilege that I will always cherish,” said Bennett. “It has been an honor to serve my community and work with staff and volunteers who are truly passionate about making the Midlands a better place to live for everyone. Sara’s experience in the corporate world as well as her volunteer work with United Way have uniquely prepared her to meet the challenges we face. I know that she will work hard to unite our donors, volunteers and supporters to meet the needs of the community.”