Tuesday, April 18, 2000

United Way's Aft to end 13 years as director

Retirement will allow other goals

BY Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The man who has shaped United Way & Community Chest for the past 13 years Monday announced plans to retire at the end of this year.

        Richard N. Aft, 61, broke the news at a United Way board meeting.

        “This fall I will take part in the 40th campaign of my career, and next month I will be 62,” Mr. Aft said. “I would like to change gears.”

        Mr. Aft, a doctoral candidate at the Union Institute, has spent the past several years studying organizational leadership, and hopes to spend his retirement helping troubled colleges get back on sound financial ground.

        He also wants to spend time setting up United Ways, or similar organizations, in other countries. He said: “The high quality of our volunteers, staff, agencies and programs makes it possible for me to redirect my career to help local, national and international organizations identify and implement strategies to help children, families and neighborhoods.”

        An executive search committee will seek his successor, board chairman Thomas G. Cody said. David R. Walker, volunteer vice chair and past United Way treasurer, will chair the search committee.

        During Mr. Aft's tenure, the United Way campaign has grown from $36 million to $58 million. He led the formation of United Way's Every Child Succeeds partnership with Children's Hospital Medical Center and the Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency/Head Start.

        Mr. Aft and his wife, Mary Lu, will continue to live in Clifton. Two of the Afts' three adult sons are presidents of United Way organizations in Virginia and Georgia.


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- United Way's Aft to end 13 years as director