POCATELLO — United Way of Southeastern Idaho has a new CEO.
Kevin Bailey, who comes to Pocatello from Omaha, Nebraska, began serving in the position on Feb. 4. He replaces Margaret Ganyo, who resigned earlier this year. She is still working with the organization, but is now managing a StriveTogether grant focused on improving early learning outcomes, Bailey said.
As the new CEO, Bailey has enjoyed visiting with corporate partners and government and education leaders over the last month. He’s also been able to learn more about local nonprofits.
“It’s amazing to see the work they’re doing and the dedication and passion they have for improving the community they live in,” Bailey said.
He’s looking forward to assisting such organizations in their efforts in the future.
While Bailey is new to his post, he comes with a lot of experience.
In Nebraska, he directed federal grant programs aimed at providing college access for first-generation students. He also led programs, which received funds from the United Way of Omaha, related to financial stability for adults, according to his bio at www.unitedwaysei.org.
Bailey said he’s been interested in United Way, which has the power to affect the whole community, not just a particular program, for a while.
United Way is the backbone of the nonprofit sector, he said. It identifies needs in the community and then helps organizations align behind those needs, especially when it comes to improving health, education and financial stability.
Last year, United Way of Southeastern Idaho was able to give grants to 31 community organizations in its seven county area, including Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida and Power, Bailey said.
As United Way of Southeastern Idaho’s new CEO, Bailey wants to continue growing community investment dollars through workplace campaigns and corporate and individual donations.
“Increasing the amount of people engaged through giving (will mean) more dollars going to awesome organizations that do really good work in our community,” he said.
Such organizations help meet immediate community needs, like providing families with food and healthcare assistance. But Bailey also wants to focus on long-term solutions through United Way of Southeastern Idaho’s collective impact work, including efforts that will help youth better prepare for the future and higher-paying jobs.
“(We want to continue) implementing long term strategies for kindergarten and college readiness and get dollars flowing to that, too,” he said.
Bailey and his wife, Becca, have two young children — Matias, 3, and Peter, 1 — and they’re looking forward to living in the community.
Bailey said they love the American West and visiting national parks, and they were eager to move this direction.
“We’d never been to Pocatello before we came (to learn about the job), but we loved it right away and how close it is to everything,” Bailey said, adding that they also felt it would be a good place to raise their family.
Bailey was also attracted by United Way of Southeastern Idaho’s strong track record of success.
“I’m excited about the opportunity,” he said. “It was an easy ‘yes’ for us.”