New United Way leader has first solo day on job

Staff photo by Connor Cummiskey Lori Pickell-Stangel, the new executive director for United Way of the Brown County Area (UWBCA), began her first solo day Thursday.

NEW ULM — The new executive director for United Way of the Brown County Area (UWBCA) began her first solo day Thursday.

Lori Pickell-Stangel began working at UWBCA Jan. 8, but was supported by outgoing Executive Director Donna Lambrecht until Wednesday, Jan. 31.

“It has been great, a little overwhelming and a lot to learn, but good,” Pickell-Stangel said. “I inherited a wonderful staff and Donna, of course, left me a wonderful organization.”

Pickell-Stangel has 18 years working in non-profits. For the last dozen she was the executive director at the McLeod County Historical Society.

It was only by happenstance that Pickell-Stangel even found the job. She had not been looking for it, but a colleague at the Gag House told her she would be perfect for it.

After getting home, she looked it up and was able turn in her application on the last day applications were accepted.

While non-profit work is familiar, Pickell-Stangel said she had to adapt to the various social services United Way involves itself in.

“I had no idea that, number one, there were so many, and, number two, that the need was so high,” Pickell-Stangel said. “I think we all have a tendency to not think about, or think that there is not a need sometimes, because it is tough to think about.”

Moving forward, Pickell-Stangel wants to continue expanding UWBCA into the county, fulfilling its namesake.

“I definitely want to continue the work that Donna has done and push even further into the county and become really a county-wide United Way,” Pickell-Stangel said.

The other goal she has is to work on marketing the impact of United Way; something her marketing background should aid.

“When you fund the United Way, you are not just funding the United Way, you are funding over 30 organizations,” Pickell-Stangel said.

The 32 organizations UWBCA lists range from emergency services such as the New Ulm Clothing Depot, to enriching the lives of children and the elderly with programs like Pro Kinship for Kids or CAST Community and Senors Together.

Pickell-Stangel is originally from Nebraska. She attended South Dakota State University in Brookings, S.D.

There she took anything and everything that interested her, becoming a sort of jack-of-all-trades and finishing with a marketing degree.

She now lives with her husband and two children an easy walk from the Lind House where UWBCA’s offices are located.

Anyone interested in learning more about the United Way can contact Pickell-Stangel by phone at (507) 354-6512 or via email at unitedway@newulmtel.net.

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