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United Way cuts 30 percent of work force, commits to reform

A faltering economy and the controversy over United Way's executive compensation have forced the agency to cut 30 percent of its employees. Interim CEO Mac Everett says about thirty employees have taken a voluntary severance as the embattled nonprofit works to cover a $15 million fundraising shortfall in 2008. "Certainly you don't have the same size organization that you do for a $45 million fund drive as you do for a $30 million fund drive," says Everett. "And this isn't just an expense reduction. It truly is a restructure of how we do things and the kind of organization we need to accomplish what our goals are." (click here to listen to entire news conference). At a closed meeting last week, the United Way board approved a five-million dollar withdrawal from its rainy day fund to ease the budget shortfall. The board also voted unanimously to make significant reforms, including cutting board membership in half, holding open meetings and exercising more oversight of future executive compensation. Former United Way CEO Gloria Pace King is suing for the full $2.1 million compensation package she was promised last year, which caused public outcry and led to her dismissal. Listen to the press conference held this morning and tune to 90.7 WFAE later this afternoon for more on the United Way's announcements.