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Meet Our New Executive Director, Stacy Long

It's been almost three months since I assumed the role of Executive Director for United Way of Gordon County. I think that I'm finally getting the hang of this, maybe.

Photo by Andy Baxter Photography
Stacy Long, Executive Director

For those of you who don't know me, let me introduce myself. I'm Stacy Long, and I'll be turning 42 very soon. I have lived in Gordon County my entire life, basically on the same street. I've been married to a wonderful man, Jeremy Long, for 21 years. He's wonderful because he tolerates me. We have a beautiful and talented daughter, Emma, who currently attends Kennesaw State University. She's talented because she's a fabulous artist working on her Graphic Design degree.

I graduated from Gordon Central High School in 2000 and briefly attended the University of North Georgia. I was young and dumb and decided to leave the college I attended on a full academic scholarship to transfer to Kennesaw State University. I didn’t make it a semester as I preferred working. So, after becoming a college dropout, I started working full-time as a bank teller at Calhoun First National Bank. I already worked there part-time, so a full-time transition was easy. I changed jobs and started working at Georgia Bank and Trust, now Synovus Bank. There, I started pursuing my banking diploma through the American Banking Institute. It took three years, but I finally obtained my General Banking and Commercial Lending Diploma.

I never went back to college but always thought one day I would like to obtain a degree. I finally decided to return to college in August of 2021. I’m pursuing my Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership through the University of West Georgia. It’s been challenging to juggle a full-time career and college education, but I thrive under pressure. I’ll graduate in December of 2024, fingers crossed.

I never planned to work in a non-profit; it was an accident. Ironically, my path to non-profit started with the nudging of former United Way of Gordon County Executive Director, Vickie Spence. I was working as a banker and was completing the Gordon Chamber Leadership Program and felt the desire to get more involved in my community. I knew Vickie because I had attended school with her son, so I walked up to her at the Community Service event and asked, “Was there anywhere I could get involved?”

She responded, “Yes, I have the perfect organization for you; they need someone like you.” I thought, this is great. I’ll be able to make a difference and teach my daughter the importance of giving back. I joined the Board of Directors for the Voluntary Action Center in 2008. When the Executive Director of the Voluntary Action Center decided to leave her role in 2010, I thought, “I can do that.” The Board of Directors agreed, so they hired me.

My first several years were full of bumps in the road. I was 28, and honestly, who knows what they’re doing at 28? I made some bad choices and mistakes, but ultimately, I was pretty talented at managing a non-profit organization. When the opportunity to step into the role of Executive Director for United Way of Gordon County came about, I was ready. I had made the most of my position at the Voluntary Action Center, so why not work to help other non-profit Directors make the most of their roles? I’m excited about working with these wonderful men and women who serve others daily.

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