United Way CEO Tim Stiles steps down

Tim Stiles
Tim Stiles

Tim Stiles, president and CEO of United Way of East Central Iowa, has stepped down, the organization confirmed Thursday morning.

Leslie Wright, the organization’s senior vice president of community building, will take over as interim president and chief executive officer while continuing in her existing role.

“She’s a natural to work with our staff on making sure that we stay focused on the campaign and making sure we take care of our partner agencies,” said Pat Deignan, vice chairman of United Way’s board of directors, citing Wright’s experience and knowledge base.

Deignan said he could not comment on why Stiles left, citing a “personnel issue.” He added that, “Any time you have a transition, you really try to renew your effort to reengage your community and the agencies we fund.”

He said the board of directors will lead an effort to find a new president and CEO and believes a new candidate can be found within two or three months.

“We’re hopeful we’ll find some good local talent that would find a strong interest” in the position, Deignan said, adding, “We’ll get right on it.”

Maintaining United Way’s “forward momentum” will be key in finding a successor to Stiles, said board Chairwoman Linda Mattes in a United Way release Thursday afternoon.


“We have a bright future at United Way of East Central Iowa and the person filling this role will play a crucial role in that progress,” she said.

Stiles’ “passion for and service to” to United Way and the communities it serves “is evidenced in his 30-year career with the organization,” United Way’s release says.

Stiles began in the role at the start of 2017, after serving as the organization’s chief operating officer for nearly four years.

Stiles previously had served as the organization’s allocation director in Wichita, Kan., for United Way of the Plains, and as CEO for United Way of Siouxland in Sioux City.

Efforts by The Gazette to reach Stiles Thursday for comment were unsuccessful.

The United Way of East Central Iowa contributed more than $8.6 million in campaign revenue to 23 organizations in Linn, Jones, Cedar, Benton and Iowa counties between 2017 and 2018, its fiscal year 2018 report shows.

Among those organizations were the Area Substance Abuse Council, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cedar Rapids and East Central Iowa, the Community Health Free Clinic and the Arc of East Central Iowa.

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