December 25, 2017
CHARLOTTE — The United Way of Charlotte County has a new executive director.
By ANDREA PRAEGITZER
STAFF WRITER, Charlotte Sun
Angie Matthiessen — who has served as interim director since September — officially accepted the position last week.
The nonprofit organization’s annual campaign has grown to more than $1 million annually, and helps fund 19 partner agencies.
Matthiessen joined United Way in 2014.
“We are delighted that Angie will lead our United Way,” said the United Way of Charlotte County Board President Julie Mathis, who is executive director of the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce. “Her experience, enthusiasm and dedication to our mission will ensure that we continue the good work we’ve been doing in Charlotte County for over 50 years.”
The money raised through the organization in Charlotte County, remains in Charlotte County to serve people who need help, according to Mathis.
“We invest in the financial stability, education and wellness of Charlotte County residents across the lifespan,” Mathis said.
According to United Way of Charlotte County, its fundraising campaign is “in good shape, well over halfway to the goal.”
And the organization says over 40 percent of people in the county are struggling to make ends meet.
Matthiessen obtained her Master’s of Social Work from the University of Georgia in 1994, and her Bachelor’s in Psychology from Georgia State University in 1990.
“Every position I have taken since has been to help people, from working with teenage mothers in inner city Atlanta to children with cancer and their families, to running a statewide coalition in Georgia focused on immunizations and school health,” said Matthiessen. “I am beyond thrilled to use this base of knowledge and experience to serve the people in Charlotte County who need it most as we focus on our mission to eliminate poverty.”
She said her first volunteer experience was singing Christmas carols at a hospital in Atlanta to people who were there on Christmas Day.
“It truly was one of my big ‘aha’ moments. I remember seeing the people there alone and it brought me more joy than I can possibly describe — to somehow bring joy on that day.”
The United Way of Charlotte County Board of Directors announced Thursday that Angie Matthiessen has been named executive director of the United Way of Charlotte County. Matthiessen had been interim executive director since September.
SUN PHOTO BY ANDREA PRAEGITZER
Matthiessen said she was just telling her husband the other night that being in a hospital — especially a children’s hospital at Christmas — was one of the most special experiences she can remember.
“I have always been a people person — all who know me, know that I just love people,” Matthiessen said. “Making another person’s world better, brighter and filled with more hope is what I truly want my legacy to be.”
And she said she sought challenging assignments.
From working with teen mothers as young as 11 who had no idea about bringing a child into the world, Matthiessen said, to working with parents who would do anything to keep their child in the world.
“I will never forget the lessons learned from that experience,” she said.
Doing that kind of direct service was stressful, though, and Matthiessen wanted to move into the bigger picture.
She went on to work in promoting community health, involving immunizations and school health.
From the beginning — in the early psychology classes she took — Matthiessen knew that this was her path.
And now with Matthiessen’s latest job, the pieces are all coming together.
“The job with UWCC truly combines all of the 25 years of work that I have done and allows me to serve a community with all my heart and experience and passion,” Matthiessen said.
The organization’s prior executive director, Carrie Hussey, has been Charlotte County human services director since late September.