She came. She directed. She helped Walker County.

Then on Tuesday, after seven years as the executive director of the United Way of Walker County, Paula Anglemyer officially resigned her position.

“I’ve been with the United Way since April 3, 2000, and today is my last day,” she said. “It seemed like a really good time for me to go on and do something else. We have a strong board, a strong financial base and good volunteers.”

Even with her confidence in the current board and its resources, Anglemyer said that leaving was going to be “difficult” for her.

“It’s hard. The United Way is a great organization,” she said. “It’s been fulfilling and a welcome challenge, (but) I’m confident that the path United Way is on is the right path.”

A reception was held Friday night in honor of Anglemyer’s departure and her contributions to United Way.

“It was fun. I’d wanted to see past board members and founding members,” she said. “It was really nice to get in touch.”

Anglemyer worked with those members on a number of projects “to benefit Walker County and its citizens.”

“We raise funds for services for the residents of Walker County, but we do a lot more than raise funds,” she said. “We initiate service programs and change, and we also start up our own initiatives for the county.”

During her seven years as executive director, Anglemyer has been involved in the implementation of “some very exciting programs that are still running today,” including the establishment of the Walker County Fair Youth Scholarship program.

“They help kids that may not be able to afford a fair project,” she said. “We give 10 scholarships a year (in the amount of) $200 per student. It’s been going for five years and been very successful.”

Anglemyer also has been involved with the Senior Center of Walker County, located next to the United Way office, in a variety of ways.

“We helped the senior center expand its rural ‘Meals-On-Wheels’ program,” she said. “We’re also currently the administrator for Project C.A.R.E., an Entergy program for seniors that offers them financial assistance for their energy bill.”

During the influx of Katrina evacuees to the area, Anglemyer oversaw the use of a job grant sent to Walker County from the United Way of America, which “helped evacuees gain employment and set up a long-term recovery committee to help with disaster preparedness and response.”

“Both of those programs were a success,” she said. “Given the challenge of limited employment opportunities, the grant was very timely and helped them get back on their feet. I really don’t know what their future would have been like without it.”

Thomas Hart, president of the doard of directors, said the board was “very appreciative” of Anglemyer’s years of service.

“Prior to her arrival, we had no full-time employees, so this United Way was administered by volunteers,” he said. “She was hired to take over all recordkeeping, which had grown more complex and time-consuming than what the volunteers could devote their time to.”

Hart said that during her time as executive director, Anglemyer “coordinated all activities with various service agencies, which had not been done with an all-volunteer board.”

“She developed a good working relationship with the agencies,” he said. “She was instrumental in developing and implementing United Way programs.”

One of Anglemyer’s “last pieces of official business” was to write a letter of recommendation for Julie Schneider, who she will nominate to take over her position as executive director.

“Julie and I had the opportunity to spend a week together to go through a crash course, ‘United Way 101,’” she said. “(The banquet) was an opportunity to introduce Julie so the transition would be seamless.”

In the short time Schneider has worked with Anglemyer, she has been “filled with admiration for her.”

“Paula has done a tremendous job. She has helped United Way in an extremely effective manner, and she makes sure funds are distributed in the ways donors want,” Schneider said. “Now, I’m looking forward to getting involved with the community and the board members’ vision for the future.”

According to Hart, the board is “very excited” to have the opportunity to work with Schneider, even though “the board will miss (Anglemyer’s) guidance and enthusiasm for the position.”

“We look forward to building on the base Paula started as we look to expand the services in Walker County,” he said.

As United Way is “based on volunteers,” Hart asked that any interested volunteers contact the office at (936) 291-8986.

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