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United Way of St. Francois Co. Announces New Executive Director

November 12, 2021 - The United Way of St. Francois Co. is excited to announce Cassie Thomas as their new Executive Director.  “It is such an honor to have been selected for this position. I have always had a lot of respect for the work the United Way does in St. Francois County, and I am looking forward to getting started,” said Thomas following the November United Way board meeting where she was chosen as executive director.
Cassie will carry on the work current Executive Director Clay Whitener has done over the last several years which includes the popular Dine Out for the United Way and Bell Ringing Campaigns but also put her own spin on the United Way.  Cassie will bring a fresh perspective on fundraising and community engagement to the position.
Cassie is no stranger to serving the community. She previously worked for US Representative Jo Ann Emerson and the LIFE Center for Independent Living where she worked daily to connect people with resources. Currently, she serves as the Director of Events for the Farmington Regional Chamber of Commerce.
“Cassie has been such a vital part of our success at the Farmington Regional Chamber over the past 2+ years as our organization has navigated through the pandemic, which impacted so many of our members.” Said Chris Morrison, chamber president. “She worked tirelessly as our Event coordinator to ensure our events were successful and impactful for our community by bringing fresh ideas and backing it up with an unmatched work ethic.” Chamber Executive Director Candy Hente is sad to see Cassie go but knows she has great things in store for the United Way of St. Francois Co, “…we are absolutely confident she will do a phenomenal job at the United Way and be a tremendous asset to them. Our community will be well-served with Cassie at the helm of the United Way.”
Cassie will assume her new role as Executive Director on January 3, 2022, upon the retirement of current director Clay Whitener.  "We are thrilled to have Cassie on board and we are very excited to see what she brings to the table," says Luann Honerkamp, United Way Board of Directors President. Reflecting upon Clay’s time as executive director she said “Clay has brought leadership, knowledge of the nonprofit arena, and an ability to combine resources in our area to meet needs in an efficient manner. Clay has served with distinction and we wish him well in his retirement.”
An open house will be held in January to welcome Cassie to the United Way as well as to wish Clay well on his retirement. Even though taking it easy isn’t what Clay plans to do. “As excited as I am about getting to retire again and just work on things around the house and help out volunteering with Saint Vincent de Paul and the food pantry, I think I'm just about as excited to see how the United Way of San Francis County is about to evolve and grow again.  It has been a lot of fun and educational working with the United Way over these past few years.”
The United Way of St. Francois Co. was established in 1999 with a mission to provide funding and support to non-profit groups to help meet the most basic human needs of food, shelter, health, educational, and social welfare services in St. Francois County. In 2021 $129,859 was given to 28 local agencies in St. Francois Co. For more information on the United Way of St. Francois Co. or to sign up for the upcoming Bell Ringing Campaign please visit our website at

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