United Way names new executive director

Jennifer Boyett

The United Way of Central Arkansas named a new executive director who will take the helm on Feb. 3.

Jennifer Boyett currently serves Henderson State University as vice president for university advancement and executive director of the HSU Foundation.

“We are excited to have Jennifer join and lead the United Way of Central Arkansas,” Osmar A. Garcia, board president, said in a news release. “She has demonstrated the ability to grow and advance organizations through her professional career, and the board is excited to see her impact on the community.”

Boyett is a Conway native who graduated from Conway High School in 1997 and the University of Central Arkansas in 2001. She received a master’s degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2003.

She has more than 18 years of experience in communications, marketing and fundraising. She spent 12 years working in university advancement at UCA before joining HSU.

“My heart is in working with nonprofit organizations that help make communities stronger, so I am beyond thrilled to return to my hometown and work with the United Way of Central Arkansas,” Boyett said. “I look forward to visiting with community leaders about the important mission of the United Way and how we can partner together to make Faulkner, Conway, Perry and Van Buren counties even stronger.”

After six years at HSU, Boyett will succeed Maret Cahill Wicks as executive director next month.

Wicks served as United Way of Central Arkansas executive director for seven years. She announced her retirement from the organization in November, saying she was leaving the nonprofit sector to pursue other opportunities.

The community celebrated Wicks and her accomplishments during a retirement ceremony on Thursday.

During her tenure, Wicks led the United Way to increase campaign donations and brought a variety of programs to the central Arkansas including free tax return preparation (VITA), Financial Opportunity Classes (FOC) and Charity Tracker.

During her time as director, the United Way also established a Financial Opportunity Center that provides financial literacy classes to help residents become financially independent.

The United Way of Central Arkansas serves Faulkner, Perry, Van Buren and Conway counties supporting 18 agencies and 30 programs.

Staff writer Jeanette Anderton can be reached at janderton@thecabin.net

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