United Way losing local director

Published 10:34 pm Thursday, October 30, 2008

For 11 years, Tywana German has played an integral role in the Suffolk community as the director of the United Way.

But, now, Suffolk has to say goodbye to one of its biggest champions.

German announced this week in an e-mail to friends and coworkers that her husband, Les, had accepted a new position with the Boy Scouts of America, requiring the family to move to Madison, Wis.

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While German says she is excited for the change of pace, the Alabama native admits she will be a tad out of her comfort zone.

“That’s (farther north) than I have ever dreamt or thought about going,” German said. “Growing up in Mobile, Alabama, I can literally remember thinking, ‘One day I’m going to go to New York City,’ or ‘One day I’m going to see the White House.’ That was just so far away to me.”

“But, that’s probably what has led to my personality that makes me see this as an adventure for me and the kids. I’ve never put a pair of skis on in my life, but I plan on doing so in Madison, Wisconsin.”

The United Way will accept applications for the position until Nov. 15. Officials hope to announce German’s replacement by Dec. 8. That will give German time to work with the new director before her husband begins work in Wisconsin in early January.

German says the United Way, and the city, will benefit from a change in leadership.

“I think its going to be great for Suffolk to have someone new sitting in this position with a fresh set of eyes, that is challenged by fresh adventure and can learn from this community,” she said. “You need someone new. I think the United Way is going to benefit from this. I think the community is going to benefit from this. I’m excited, I’m excited to see who the next candidate is going to be and help them transition to the new community. I think it will be a good time.”

Even though she is enthusiastic about the chance for the United Way to have some new leadership, she has some reservations about leaving the city she has worked in for more than a decade.

“It’s going to be hard to replace Suffolk, I can tell you,” she said. “It’s become a second home.”