United Way appoints first exec. director

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN KATIE LOHRENZ
Marion County United Way recently appointed a retired banker living in Marion as its first executive director.

Phil Foust’s appointment was effective June 1. One of the primary tasks he will face in his part-time role is to help the organization meet its fund-raising goals.

The organization has been run by a board of directors for the first three years of its existence.

“One of the goals we had in trying to get United Way going in Marion County is to get a part-time director,” said Carl Long, board member.

Marion County United Way, an affiliate of the Harvey County branch, has failed to meet its fund-raising goals since its founding in 2003. Long says he expects the new director will reduce the strain on board members, all of whom have full-time jobs.

“The primary goal is the fund-raising, to reach a dollar goal,” said Long. “One way we feel like we can do that is to get a director who can spend more time with the campaigns than we’ve been able to do.”

Although he has been a banker most of his life, Foust also has worked in real estate and has owned several businesses, including a grocery store, an insurance agency and an income-tax preparation service.

He also has been involved in a variety of community organizations.

Prior to moving to Marion about a year and a half ago, he was living in Arkansas City.

“I’ve always enjoyed having time for some community activities, I’ve been on the city council and the school board, city commission and Sunday school teacher,” Foust said.

“Now that I’m retired, I have the time to do this and, I believe, the qualifications to do a good job for our communities in the county.”

Foust said one of his goals is to make sure United Way serves the entire county, and not just Marion and Hillsboro.

“As a newcomer to the county, I’m extremely happy living here, I think it’s just an ideal county with ideal communities,” Foust said. “If the county can share in their efforts, it makes our county more vibrant.”

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