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Local United Way Losing Its Top Leader

Nancy LaValle Retiring From Post

After more than 20 years at its helm, Nancy La Valle has resigned Nancy LaValle has resigned from the Alexandria United Way.

La Valle’s resignation came after months of turmoil within the United Way of the National Capital Region and as the organization begins a restructuring process that might include closing local offices such as the one in Alexandria.

“I am retiring because the organization is about to undergo a number of changes that make this seem like a good time to do so,” LaValle said. “I hope that my retirement will make it easier for the United Way of the National Capital Region to take the steps they feel they need to take. I will be available to help Robert Egger encourage companies to continue with their campaigns.”

LaValle joined the United Way of Alexandria in June 1982, and has seen the organization through many changes. “I am very proud of the things we have been able to accomplish here in Alexandria and am very grateful to the wonderful volunteers who have worked with me over the years,” she said.

The community will keenly feel her loss. “Her resignation is catastrophic for the Alexandria United Way,” said US Rep. James P. Moran (D-8) who has served the United Way in many capacities over the years. “It is also catastrophic for the United Way of the Capital Region. It is just unfortunate that they don’t realize just how catastrophic her resignation is going to be.”

“Nancy’s retirement is a significant loss to the Alexandria United Way,” said John Porter, this year’s campaign chair. “However, she is going to remain involved to help with the campaign, help that we certainly need and value. It would be impossible to replace her many years of experience and her knowledge.”

Beverly Steele, the city’s acting director of Human Services and a member of the United Way’s board of directors also expressed her concern. “I am very disappointed but understand why Nancy has chosen this time to resign,” Steele said. “I hope that the United Way will move quickly to fill her position and will look at internal candidates.”

Councilman William D. Euille is also on the United Way Board. “This is a tremendous loss,” he said. “I mean, when you think of United Way of Alexandria, you think of Nancy LaValle. “Her knowledge and experience will be missed.”

BECAUSE OF ALLEGATIONS of mismanagement, many companies have decided not to participate in this year’s campaign. “The city has decided to go forward with our campaign,” said Mayor Kerry J. Donley. “Nancy’s resignation is just another casualty of what has been happening with the United Way of the National Capital Region for the past year. They seem to be taking some steps but a lot more needs to be done to restore confidence in the organization.”

Euille explained about the reorganization. “All of the current Board members have agreed to resign and a panel of mostly representatives from the business and nonprofit communities will select new Board members. That Board should be appointed by the beginning of next year. In the meantime, the organization is going to have to cut some overhead and recognize that it is going to have to manage on fewer dollars,” he said.

LaValle plans to remain involved in some type of work with nonprofits. “I care deeply about what happens to the children at Essex House and at the Housing Authority and about the wonderful agencies that provide critical services in this city,” she said. “I’m going to retire but I’m not a very retiring person so I plan to find a way to stay involved in the things that I love so much.”

Her resignation is effective at the end of October.