SEUW President, Jay Powell, to Retire in 2022

Jay PowellSioux Empire United Way President, Jay Powell, has announced his retirement, planned for May 2022.

Powell has served as President of Sioux Empire United Way since 1999. The organization funds 40 different agencies across the Sioux Empire.

In that time, the organization has met or exceeded their fundraising goal each year, raising more than $190 million. Under Powell’s leadership, the annual campaign has increased from just over $5.5 million in 1999-2000 to a total of more than $10 million. The current campaign goal is $10,050,622.

The funds raised through Sioux Empire United Way fund local organizations that provide assistance to children, vulnerable adults, and people in crisis. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, an initiative launched by United Way in 2001 made our community the first outside of Tennessee to embrace the program. In 2002, we partnered with other United Ways in the state to make South Dakota the first state with Imagination Library available statewide – and led the national United Way network to partner with the program. Locally, Imagination Library has now distributed more than 2 million books to children from birth to age five.

“One thing our local United Way has done during Jay’s time is to find innovative and successful health and human services programs from across the country, and introduce them to our community,” said Chris Kray, 2021 Sioux Empire United Way Board Chair. “Girls on the Run, Challenge Day, and PATH are all examples of services our community has embraced, that were made possible due to our United Way’s innovative and proactive approach in introducing new opportunities to our community.”

Powell’s career began at Sioux Empire United Way, where he served as the Planning and Allocations Director for the organization. He then served as the President of Greater Mankato Area United Way for nine years before returning to Sioux Empire United Way to take on his current role. 

Currently, Sioux Empire United Way is operated through a 33-member Board of Directors, nearly 800 volunteers, and nine staff. The organization’s annual campaign is supported by 700 local businesses and 23,000 individual givers.

“The work of this organization in the past 22 years was made possible through the thousands of volunteers that dedicate their time and expertise in their volunteer role, the generous support of our community each year, and the terrific staff that I’ve had the pleasure to work alongside,” said Powell.

Sioux Empire United Way’s Board of Directors has named a search committee and they are already underway in finding a new President/CEO.