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Brooke Garcia New Executive Director

Brooke Garcia is the new Victoria County United Way executive director, effective June 24, according to a news release from the United Way.

Garcia’s experience includes 17 years in progressively demanding positions with the San Antonio Youth Centers as development director, chief financial officer, chief operations officer and acting interim CEO. She has also worked as a consultant to other nonprofit organizations and is serving as the executive director of Arts for Rural Texas in Weimar.

Garcia said her nonprofit experience makes her qualified to run Victoria County United Way.

“I’m very familiar with United Way and what it’s like on the other side,” Garcia said.

Garcia said her experience in both urban and rural areas make her distinctly prepared to help Victoria achieve the kind of nonprofit success she saw in San Antonio, which she said had among the best nonprofit resources in the state. Although much of her career experience was in a metropolitan area, working in Weimar, she said, taught her about the challenges rural nonprofits have securing leadership and training.

“I’m excited to move to Victoria and be part of the very active nonprofit organizations helping people throughout this area,” said Garcia.

Garcia earned a bachelor’s degree in English and communications from the University of Texas at San Antonio and then served for a year as an AmeriCorps volunteer with a youth development organization in San Antonio. Garcia later earned an executive MBA while also working.

“Brooke has 20 years of experience with nonprofit organizations as well as a terrific educational background for this position,” said Caleb Staudt, president of the United Way board. “We look forward to working with her.”

In 2018 and this spring, she was an adjunct instructor for an undergraduate online course, Strategy and Business Environment, for the University of Houston-Victoria, as well as an adjunct instructor for an online course, Leading/Managing Nonprofit Organizations, for Southern New Hampshire University this spring and summer.

Jennifer Yancey, chair of the VCUW Search Committee, was pleased with the strong qualifications of the candidates for the position.

“Brooke stood out from the other candidates with her breadth of experience, knowledge of nonprofits and energy level,” Yancey said. “And her understanding of this region will be an asset.”

Dolly Stokes, current executive director, is retiring at the end of June, after leading the Victoria United Way for nearly four years.

“Dolly has been dynamic as the UW executive director,” noted Sheila Vesely, incoming board chair. “Her work with our agencies, donors and the board are to be commended. She especially stepped up in the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, being instrumental with the Long Term Recovery Group and its efforts. The board appreciates the work she has done and certainly wishes her only the best in retirement.”