Springfield, MO

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Greg Burris will take the helm of United Way of the Ozarks on Aug. 2.
Greg Burris will take the helm of United Way of the Ozarks on Aug. 2.

Burris selected for top United Way post

Posted online

A brief search for a successor to United Way of the Ozarks President and CEO Debi Meeds has ended with the board’s selection of Greg Burris, according to a news release.

Meeds is scheduled to retire on Aug. 1 after five years with the organization, according to the release. Burris, the former Springfield city manager who has led the community’s Give 5 volunteer program the past year, will step into the role Aug. 2.

Meeds made the United Way of the Ozarks Board of Directors aware of her planned retirement in June. The board charged its executive committee with finding the next CEO. The job listing was posted to United Way Worldwide, LinkedIn and Indeed, said Eric Bilyeu, committee chairman. 

“Greg’s history with both United Way of the Ozarks and the Springfield area makes him the right choice to continue the organization’s commitment to bettering our community,” Bilyeu said in the release, which noted Burris would maintain his role as United Way’s Give 5 executive director.

Officials say the committee received around 20 qualified candidates locally and nationally. The interview process began two weeks ago, and Bilyeu said the committee was confident it would find the nonprofit's next CEO before Meeds' departure in August.

“I am both honored and humbled to serve United Way of the Ozarks in this new role,” Burris said in the release. “These are big shoes to fill – following a line of great leaders – and I will do my best to continue the United Way leadership legacy in our community and build on the foundation they have created.”

As president and CEO, he will oversee a $5 million annual budget and lead 10 full-time staff members working with 22 partner agencies for health, education and financial stability in southwest Missouri, according to the release. 

Burris served on the local United Way board 2011-14, including a stint as chairman.

Burris also currently serves as co-chair of the Healthy Living Alliance Advisory Council, on the executive committee of Volunteer Leaders of the Ozarks, and as a member of the Prosper Springfield Cabinet and the Good Community Committee.

He worked as city manager for nearly 10 years and previously held leadership positions at Missouri State University for 25 years, according to the release.


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