David Smith, president and CEO of United Way of Ventura County since 2001, will retire in December.
“Dave Smith has brought significant value to the United Way organization and Ventura County for nearly 13 years,” the group’s chairman, Thomas Cohen, said in a news release. “He will be difficult to replace.”
Smith and his wife, Susan, plan to relocate to Lexington, Kentucky, later this year.
He joined United Way after a 30-year newspaper career, including 10 years with Ventura County Star newspapers. At United Way, he was credited for his leadership in establishing the county’s 2-1-1 social service hotline, the first in the state when it rolled out in 2005. He also helped to develop the group’s Web-based VolunteerVenturaCounty.org network, its United Women’s Leadership Council and its Young Leaders Society, along with community-based social service partnerships.
He is a past chair of 2-1-1 California and is a member of the executive board of United Ways of California.
Smith is the third high-profile Ventura County nonprofit leader to step down in recent weeks. Last week, Oxnard Boys and Girls Clubs announced that its longtime leader, Tim Blaylock, has taken a position with the national Boys and Girls Clubs organization. A few days earlier, longtime Ventura County Community Foundation executive Hugh Ralston announced his departure from that organization.