Carter to take the reins of local United Way

Published 5:35 pm Friday, September 8, 2017

Filling a post that had been vacant since June, the United Way of Elizabethton/Carter County announced this week that Crystal Carter has been selected as the new Community Impact Coordinator for the agency.

Carter officially began work for UWECC on Aug. 29, but the Board of Directors made the official announcement on Sept. 6. She is excited to begin work fulfilling United Way’s mission and serving the people of Elizabethton and Carter County. Carter will assume the role with United Way previously held by Josh McKinney, whose resignation was effective on June 1.

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“Josh McKinney did an amazing job in his tenure, and I look forward to picking up the mantle to fight for the health, education, and financial stability for every person in this community,” Carter said.

A Clintwood, Va., native, Carter moved to the Tri-Cities to attend college at East Tennessee State University. She fell in love with the area and decided to remain.

Carter has been working in media for two decades, working at several television and radio stations throughout the area in a variety of roles and capacities. She has also had the opportunity to share her love of the communications field with the next generation as an Adjunct Professor at ETSU.

Currently, Carter has been working as a photojournalist for VIPSEEN Magazine, which is based in Kingsport and covers a variety of events throughout the Tri-Cities.

Through her duties at VIPSEEN, Carter covers a variety of community events, functions, and fundraisers. The magazine then uses the stories and photos from those events to put the spotlight on the local nonprofits or service organizations behind the events and show the work they do in the community.

“The true purpose is for people to see the need in the Tri-Cities,” Carter said.

Carter said she plans to continue her work with VIPSEEN as she takes over the reins of United Way of Elizabethton/Carter County. She feels the experience she has working with the media, and particularly with VIPSEEN, will help her to better serve the community through United Way.

“The two jobs are a good mesh, even though they seem like they would be miles apart,” she said.

One of Carter’s goals is to incorporate some of the strategies used at VIPSEEN to help promote the local United Way and its community partner agencies. Among her plans are increased presence through social media and online formats to help showcase what the needs are and what services are available to meet those needs. She also hopes to highlight the partner agencies and how they help the community.

“People need to see where their money is going and who it is actually helping,” Carter said.

Carter is also hoping to take a more hands-on approach when working with partner agencies to show them how United Way is there to help them.

“A lot of people have come to think of United Way as just a dispensary for funds,” Carter said. “That is not what we do and not who we are. We really want to be hands on with helping.”

Throughout her life, Carter has served her community through Girl Scouts, One Acre Cafe, and as a volunteer for Little City Roller Derby. She and her husband, Dr. Daryl Carter, an Associate Professor in ETSU’s Department of History, reside in Johnson City with their two children, Gracie and Maxwell.