LIMA — Derek Stemen, current executive director of the the American Red Cross of West Central Ohio, has been named the new president and CEO of the United Way of Greater Lima.
Stemen, a Lima-area native, will begin his new role May 6 and in the mean time will assist with the transition for the Red Cross.
“I’ve had the opportunity for the last four years to serve the community as the executive director of the American Red Cross, and I’ve loved that role. I’ve loved working with different community partners,” Stemen said. “The thing that gets me most excited about this opportunity is the last couple of years I’ve been fighting for one agency, and now I can fight for 19 incredible agencies that have a profound impact.”
United Way is a partner agency with the Red Cross, providing funding to help with direct client assistance programs, so Stemen will still have the opportunity to continue his work with the Red Cross.
“I want to effectively communicate to the community how big of an impact the United Way and all of the agencies it represents really has,” Stemen said. “A lot of times an individual might know what one or two agencies are doing, but we want them to know the full impact that the United Way and its partner agencies have on the community.”
Currently, Stemen is working with United Way board members and interim president Phil Hayne to set a schedule for the transition. Meanwhile, Stemen will continue to actively work with the Red Cross board of directors to find his replacement.
“From a transitional standpoint, right now I’m creating great notes for the next director to let them know about the big projects we’ve been working on and how they can step in,” Stemen explained. “I’m working actively with the board to let them know of any possible interests from the community and individuals they may want to talk to.”
Red Cross Board Chair Carl Berger said most of the decision-making on the new executive director will come from Columbus, where Stemen’s superiors reside.
The Red Cross will likely start looking for a replacement at the end of April, but Berger said the Columbus office may appoint an interim director or have another staff member in mind to take over the role.
Reach Tara Jones at 567-242-0511.