The United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties recently hosted its Community Celebration, an annual meeting recognizing its impact, and unveiled a new service model.

United Way announced its transition to a new service model, outlining six goals for the community. Those goals, targeting some of the community’s most pressing issues, are set to be achieved by 2030.

The goals are:

• Decrease drug-related overdose deaths and suicides by 25 percent or more.

• Improve mental health by 25 percent or more.

• Eighty percent or more of households will pay less than 30 percent of their income on housing. 

• Fifty percent or more of children will be kindergarten ready.

• Thirty percent or less of public school students and adults will be overweight or obese.

• Seventy-five percent or more of households will be above the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) threshold

 “Yes, these are bold,” said Meagan Flippin, president & CEO of United Way. “But we must be an accelerator of impact and not a sustainer of the status quo.”

At the time of the announcement, nearly 60 local businesses had signed on as public endorsers of the goals.

United Way also announced that more than $1 million was saved by Rutherford and Cannon County residents through United Way’s partnership with the FamilyWize prescription discount program. Also, $2.2 million was returned into Rutherford and Cannon counties through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. This year also saw the contribution of nearly $3 million in annual support and the service of over 1,000 volunteers.


The late Dr. Liz Rhea was recognized with the Witherspoon Award for her significant contributions to the community and United Way. Yolanda Greene of First Tennessee Bank/First Horizon was recognized as Volunteer of the Year, and Ryan McCormick of Guaranty Home Mortgage Corporation was recognized as the inaugural Young Leader of the Year.

Additional recognition included Nissan as recipient of The Legacy Award, UPS as recipient of the Community Impact Award, the Rutherford County School Board as recipient of the Innovation Award, and Middle Tennessee Electric as recipient of the Community Engagement Award for their participation in United Way volunteer events.

Jeff Craig and Mike Strange of the Town of Smyrna were named Employee Campaign Managers of the Year.

The 2019-2020 incoming members for the United Way board of directors were also announced. The board includes: Angie Drake, CBIZ Insurance; Brian Hercules, Town of Smyrna; Richard Stone, Reliant Bank; Kasey Talbott, Gateway Title; Diane Turnham, Middle Tennessee State University Athletics.

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