United Way appoints new executive director

The United Way of Grays Harbor has a new executive director, with the organization appointing Nora LeBlanc to the position at a June 11 meeting.

LeBlanc will take over from Doreen Cato, who announced her resignation from the position last week. Cato served as executive director for less than a year and cited health problems as her reason for stepping down. But her short reign was successful, and many in the community agree that LeBlanc will have big shoes to fill. Under Cato’s leadership, the organization raised $362,548.

Margaret Carthum, the organization’s 2012-2013 president, said she’s confident LeBlanc is up to the job.

“She has a lot of nonprofit experience and knows the community well,” Carthum said. “And she has a great interest in United Way. Doreen did an excellent job, and we will continue our growth with Nora.”

LeBlanc is a Pennsylvania native who moved to Aberdeen nine years ago with her husband, Bob Torgerson, chief of police in Aberdeen. She spent a large portion of her career in Iowa, where she worked for the Girl Scouts. Also on her resume: the American Red Cross and an agency assisting victims of sexual assaults. She said she’s excited to get to work and leave her mark on the United Way of Grays Harbor.

“My passion is volunteers,” LeBlanc said. “That’s what I believe is most important. They’re the people who get things done. I’m a longtime supporter of United Way because I feel like it’s an organization that really mobilizes the community in remarkable ways.”

Even after retiring, Cato plans on sticking around to help the organization. She’ll spend a two-week transition period helping LeBlanc adjust to life as executive director. Cato will continue volunteering for the United Way of Grays Harbor and Grays Harbor Youth Works, a nonprofit she helped found.

“I’m still going to do a lot of volunteer work here,” Cato said. “I’ve been in these types of roles for a long time, and I can do just about anything. I have no problem stepping back and taking a different position.”

Cato’s last day on the job will be June 30.