United Way of Grayson County named Stephanie Chandler as the organization’s interim executive director Wednesday, filling the vacancy left behind by former director David Cortinas, who stepped down from the role at the end of last year.

Chandler said her appointment was a mutual decision between herself and the UWGC board of directors and that she would also continue to fulfill the duties of her most recent position as the organization’s director of community investment. The official announcement was made in an emailed news release distributed Wednesday morning. Chandler will report directly to the UWGC board of directors and oversee all of the organization’s operations.

“I feel confident I can pick up the ball, keep things rolling and keep moving us forward, so that we’re able to continue to serve and fund the nonprofits in our community,” Chandler said.

Before joining UWGC, Chandler said her work with United Way began in 2002 at a Chicago-area chapter of the organization. Chandler said she also worked for United Way in Austin, Williamson County and Dallas County.

“Fixing the (service and funding) gaps and bringing new and innovative ideas to our communities, is what I feel I’m best at doing,” Chandler said. “And because I’ve worked with other United Ways, I see how much potential this office has to make Grayson County an even better place.”

UWGC board President Charles Hefner said Chandler’s previous efforts with United Way and other nonprofit agencies were indicative of her willingness to serve the people of Grayson County.

“Stephanie’s experience in nonprofit organizations and her engagement with the community and clients demonstrate her commitment for helping others,” Hefner said.

Chandler said one of her primary goals as the UWGC’s new leader, would be to continue the organizations’ momentum as it seeks to raise a record $1.3 million in its annual campaign to fund area nonprofit programs. And with many corporate participants already reporting their highest contribution totals in the last three years, Chandler said United Way was well on its way to reaching that figure.

“We have 14 weeks left of campaign for this year and I would like to finish strong,” Chandler said. “I would like to make sure we finish this year even better than we did last year. That’s our goal and we’re on track to do that.”

Chandler said she hoped to become UWGC’s permanent director, but before cementing that role, she wanted to be certain that other organization leaders, staff and the public, approved of her work and efficacy as interim director.

“In my personal opinion, I hope this is long term, but it has to be a good fit for our community, it has to be a good fit for our board members and, of course, for the current staff that’s here,” Chandler said. “I want everybody to be part of this decision making process.”