Hamblin takes the reins at United Way

Published 1:03 am Friday, August 19, 2011


A civic leader with a business background has taken the reins at Beaufort County United Way.
Mark Hamblin began his duties as executive director Aug. 1.
Hamblin, 50, is a Washington resident and a former employee of SIA Group insurance in Greenville.
He served one term on the Washington City Council.
His wife is Jan, and the couple has three boys, Mark, Christian and James.
Hamblin replaces his UW predecessor, Mary Elizabeth McNeill, who stepped down to return to school.
As head of UW, Hamblin oversees an organization supplying financial support and publicity to 19 nonprofits in Beaufort County.
The nonprofits benefiting from United Way’s aid include Habitat for Humanity, Literacy Volunteers of Beaufort County, Boys & Girls Club of Beaufort County and the Greater Pamlico Area Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Hamblin sees informing people about United Way’s mission as critical to success in these difficult times.
“Based on the current economic status, I think it’s real important for the people of Beaufort County to know what we do and probably what we don’t do,” he said.
Every February, United Way distributes grant applications seeking nonprofits’ information — what they do in the community, financial statements, Hamblin advised.
“Based upon what other funding sources they might have and, quite frankly, what they ask of us, are some of the things that go into how much we fund them,” he explained.
UW’s fundraising taps businesses and individuals to help meet charitable needs.
This relationship with community givers will be key in meeting UW’s next fundraising goal of $430,000, Hamblin indicated.
Hamblin recently met with employees of PotashCorp Aurora, the county United Way’s biggest contributor.
“They work so hard on this campaign every year,” he said.
Other major donors are Beaufort County Medical Center, the City of Washington, Beaufort County Schools, Stanadyne, Carver Machine Works, Beaufort County government, National Spinning, VT Hackney and others.
Hamblin hopes to reach out to more area businesses that may be willing to give to UW.
“I just get excited about the folks in Beaufort County who are still giving in these tough economic times,” he said.
Hamblin has already drawn praise from members of the United Way board.
“We are very pleased to welcome Mark as the Beaufort County United Way Executive Director and look forward to his leadership and energy as we further our mission of ‘Neighbors Helping Neighbors,’” board Chairman Bill Mathews said in a news release.
“I’m optimistic that he will lead the United Way toward creating opportunities for a better life for Beaufort County citizens,” said board member Catherine Partrick. “My feeling is the United Way is about making the future better and, as the slogan says, ‘To live united.’”
For more information on United Way, call Hamblin at 252-975-6209 or visit www.unitedwaybc.net.