By Jesse Wood
Dec. 5, 2014. The High Country United Way recently announced the hiring of Mary Beth Scebold as its new executive director. Scebold has 27 years of business and public relations experience and 16 years that she said were exclusively devoted to nonprofits, where at each stop she has held leadership roles.
High Country United Way Board of Directors Chair Gary Childers said that Scebold was selected from among 15 applicants and five “top-notch” finalists. He added that her reference check was among what sold the search committee on Scebold.
“For one her track record of success was huge for us, and she did a lot of great things down there. And second, the way she presents herself, very positive and very committed to the ideas of High Country United Way,” Childers said.
Childers noted that Scebold has raised nearly 7.1 million dollars from individual donors, foundations, corporations and special events since 1999. She has also coordinated a wide variety of special events including radio-thon, bike race, golf tournaments, dining events and programmatic events. She was even featured in the August 2005 issue of Special Events Galore publication.
“I am excited to be a part of the staff of High Country United Way,” stated Scebold. “The families of this community deserve nothing less than the very best we can give and I am fortunate to be a part of that!”
As for her goals with High Country United Way, she said she plans to work with this “phenomenal board” and continue the transition with the new community impact model.
“The engagement through the entire community and vision councils has been exemplary,” Scebold said, adding that she’s seen other United Way organizations tackle the community impact model but she doesn’t believe they have been executed as well as High Country United Way’s version.
She added that she just wants to continue evolving High Country United Way.
“The life of a nonprofit in this time and age, if you don’t continue to evolve, you will devolve. You have to continue to grow and change with the times,” Scebold said. “That’s what’s most important.”
Prior to her current position as the executive director of the High Country United Way, Scebold held positions as executive director for Smart Start of Davie County, executive director of Davie County United Way, director of fundraising and resource development for communities In Wake County Schools, corporate relations director for Special Olympics North Carolina and various positions with the Eastern Carolina Chapter of the March of Dimes from Community Director to the Director of WalkAmerica (now referred to as March for Babies).
Scebold currently continues to commute to Boone from Mocksville but plans to make a permanent move this summer after her youngest child graduates.
Though she still resides in Mocksville for the time being, Scebold said that the move to lead High Country United Way is like a homecoming. She left Davie County United Way to work for Smart Start of Davie County and realized she regretted it almost immediately.
“Just because United Way is where I belong,” Scebold said.
She graduated in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Arts from Regis University in Denver, Colo. Her major emphasized public relations for nonprofit organizations. She holds minors in business and writing.
The mission of the High Country United Way is to unite people and resources to improve lives in the High Country. This is accomplished by advancing the common good in the areas of education, income and health.