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story.lead_photo.caption Misty Dothage took over Oct. 1 as the new executive director for Callaway County United Way. Photo by Submitted by Misty Dothage

Misty Dothage has taken over as the new executive director for Callaway County United Way as of October 1.

Though she wasn't looking to leave her position at Our House, she started to realize what opportunities lie ahead.

"I was very passionate about my role at the shelters," Dothage said. "But then I realized I could take my skill set and my passion and broaden my horizon to impact the community as more of a whole. I'm very excited about being able to take my skills, take the platform that United Way has and make the community a better place for all and truly ignite change and collaboration within the community. I'm sad to leave the shelters, but I'm very excited about what can be accomplished here to help the community be better and function as an entity instead of separate parts."

Since Our House is one of the 12 agencies under the CCUW umbrella, Dothage will still be able to provide them support, but just from a different seat.

"My biggest thing is to try and make sure there's not just collaboration within the 12 agencies that we fund here, but collaboration within the community as a whole," she said. "To bring people together, to bring common goals to the same table to see what can evolve and develop out of those conversations. I want to make sure the 12 agencies we do have with United Way have additional support from us as well."

Dothage plans on bringing that support by helping those agencies grow, helping them function efficiently and effectively, then by figuring out how United Way can help them feel supported.

"Money does a great thing," she said, "and we are glad we can provide funding for them. It's essential to their operations, but additionally going behind and saying, 'How can I help you all build up what you are doing so that you are able to go and do it in the community?'"

As the executive director, it's Dothage's job to interact with the community, to help build the awareness and support for United Way and its agencies. Then, she supports those agencies by mentoring, interaction and discussing future goals. She also serves as a volunteer and a point of contact for the community to help people connect to the resources they need.

During her three and a half years at Our House as the executive director, it received the Distinguished Service Award at the Kingdom of Callaway Supper in 2019. Then, Dothage received the Kevin Ryan Memorial Award, which is a Callaway County United Way award, for her undying commitment to Callaway County.

"I look forward to getting to interact with the community more," she said, "and help see what we at United Way can do with the community, for the community."

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