United Fund names Hajec new director

Julie Hajec, left, of Corry has been named the executive director of the United Fund of the Corry Area. Congratulating Hajec is Filip Salusky, president of the United Fund’s Board of Directors. Journal photo by Maryann Mook

Not only has Julie Hajec lived in Corry all her life, she has spent several years working for nonprofit agencies.

Hajec formerly worked for the Special Olympics, but left that job due to downsizing. However, she remains active with the Special Olympics.

“I am a very strong advocate for nonprofits,” said Hajec.

And her experience has earned her a position as the head of another nonprofit organization in Corry.

Hajec has been named the executive director of the United Fund of the Corry Area.

The United Fund of the Corry Area serves 16 local nonprofit agencies through monetary donations secured during a yearly pledge drive. A nine-member board of directors of volunteers oversees the operations of the United Fund, and volunteers also work to secure donations.

Hajec has officially started her duties and is looking forward to the United Fund’s 2010 campaign. She is planning the campaign kickoff rally for Sept. 1 at a place yet to be determined.

The United Fund has not had a permanent director since former director Mary Rogers stepped down about three years ago to accept a position as director of the Corry Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Hajec said she applied for the United Fund position at the suggestion of a friend.

“I think the timing of where I am, and where the United Fund was going is a good fit,” Hajec said.

The United Fund has struggled to meet its goal the past two years due to a sluggish economy, when Corry was not immune to plant closings, other business closings and job losses.

Hajec said she is not giving up on Corry, but is going to focus on getting the word out about the United Fund.

“I think the key is awareness and concentrating on people who have been ‘sleepers’ and haven’t participated and need to know what the United Fund does,” Hajec said.

Hajec said she has faith in the people of the Corry community.

“It’s amazing,” Hajec said. “People can be very understanding if they know where their money is going.”

She believes the 16 agencies served are worth the effort put forth by the volunteers of the United Fund.

“The United Fund serves wonderful agencies,” Hajec said. “I feel the goods and services are all being met by the agencies.”

She added that the United Fund is in place to make sure the work of the agencies will continue.

“We often become complacent, and I think there needs to be good citizens in stewardship,” Hajec said.

When Hajec isn’t focusing on the United Fund, she will spend time with her family. She and her husband, David, will soon celebrate their 30th anniversary. The couple have two children, Jason and Emily, who are both in their 20s.

Hajec said she is ready to serve the United Fund.

“I am honored and very excited about the position,” she said, “I hope I can serve the city of Corry and represent the board in good fashion and continue their good work.”

Members of the board of directors are Filip Salusky, president; Kristy Elchynski, Danielle Elchynski, Theresa Williams, Tom Winchell, Paula Merkle, Barb Diehl, Margaret Porter and Margaret Higley.

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