Wackerhagen named new CEO of United Way of Blount County
From United Way of Blount County
Jennifer Wackerhagen, an employee of United Way of Blount County for 12 years, has been named the new president and CEO of the agency.
Ken Cooper, United Way Blount County board chair, announced Friday that Wackerhagen would replace Michelle Hankes, who left to become regional chief executive for the American Red Cross in July.
Wackerhagen, 38, has worked for the organization for 12 years, with her most previous position being vice president of resource development.
“As a Blount native, she knows our county and our people,” Cooper said. “She has the experience, skills and heart required for this important position and will be an outstanding asset to our community.”
The search for the position was national in scope, with more than 70 applicants screened.
“After interviewing many candidates, Jennifer was the unanimous choice,” Cooper said.
Wackerhagen said she is looking forward to serving the community in this new role and said she is blessed with a great staff, volunteers and partner agencies.
“This organization means so much to me,” Wackerhagen said. “I truly see every day the impact United Way has on individuals and families right here in Blount County. I look forward to leading this organization that is such a powerful change agent in our community.”
Upon accepting the position, Wackerhagen has already received tremendous support, but said she is missing someone special.
“I wish my dad (the late Joe Ingram) were here,” she said. “I know he’s looking down and very proud of me.”
Wackerhagen is a 1993 graduate of Alcoa High School and received a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Tennessee in 1997. She started working at United Way in 2001 as communications & marketing director and was promoted to vice president of resource development in 2006.
She is currently a board member for Junior Service League of Maryville. She is a 2004 graduate of Leadership Blount and a 2008 graduate of East Tennessee Regional Leadership. In 2010, she received the Leadership Blount Alumni Service Award.
United Way’s 2013 campaign will kick off later this month.