UPDATE: Former United Way President speaks; Interim CEO named for organization
SALISBURY, Md. – United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore is responding after former President Kathleen Momme spoke out on what she calls her “abrupt firing”.
The non-profit claims many of Momme’s comments are “unfortunate and/or incorrect”.
In a letter, the former President says in part, “I did not resign from United Way. I was abruptly terminated by the United Way with no real opportunity to advocate for myself or to speak with any Board members.”
On Thursday, in opposition to Momme’s statement, the organization says she was given the opportunity to respond to concerns the staff raised during an investigation, that took place between May and June 2018. Officials say the investigation happened after the resignation of almost half the organization’s paid staff in a two-month period due to the, “work environment she fostered.”
The non-profit says its board of directors unanimously voted to terminate Momme’s employment, after receiving the findings of the investigation led by an independent human resources consultant. The statement continues to say, “The consultant also interviewed Ms. Momme and provided her with the opportunity to respond to the concerns the staff raised.”
The former president says the staff’s concerns regarding her management approach and style were not expressed to her. In her letter, Momme says, “I have always brought a certain (appropriate) intensity to my work and my desire to grow and expand the United Way, its donor base, and its impact in the community. This intensity has always made me demanding mostly of myself, but also of my staff, as we have strived over the years to fulfill challenging goals and meet ever increasing and critical community needs. While I fully recognize this about myself, I do not apologize for it. ”
Momme also claims that the non-profit board offered her a considerable amount of donor funds for her silence, an offer she says she didn’t accept.
Momme served as the organization’s president for over 20 years. In regards to her termination, Momme says, “So, my heart is literally broken over the manner in which I have been cast aside with little or no regard, after so many years of dedicated and fruitful service.”
According to the press release, the organization is conducting an executive search for a new CEO and the organization has named Pamela Gregory, United Way’s former Community Impact Director, as its Interim CEO.
See Momme’s full letter here.
See United Way’s full statement below.