United Way announces leadership changes

United Way of Northwest Louisiana (United Way) will make leadership changes within the organization effective November 1. LaToria Thomas, currently vice president of resource development, will transition to vice president of operations and community engagement. Carly Koen, currently director of donor relations, is being promoted to senior director of resource development.

Thomas has nearly 15 years of experience working with nonprofits and grants management, including donor relations management for the Greater New Orleans Foundation and national grants management for the AARP Foundation. Thomas holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Northwestern State University. Her new role will allow her to focus on internal procedures, engaging local nonprofits, and managing the organization’s FamilyWize and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library programs. She will also provide leadership and oversight to volunteer programs and initiatives.

Koen began her nonprofit career with Teach for America, teaching fourth grade math in rural Mississippi. She then became the director of volunteer engagement for Junior Achievement of North Louisiana before joining United Way of Northwest Louisiana’s team in 2018. She has a master’s degree in nonprofit administration from Louisiana State University Shreveport with a concentration in resource development. In Koen’s new role, she will manage the resource development team, annual campaigns and fundraising, and donor stewardship.

The impetus for these changes is the transition of Jennifer Horton, vice president of operations and community investments, to a new position at Vintage Reality. Horton has been an outstanding community leader, driving the growth of United Way’s programs and impact.

“We are proud of the work Jennifer has accomplished during her time at United Way. Her ambition to support and prioritize Northwest Louisiana’s needs never wavered. Her work has not only made a lasting impact on our community, but our organization, as well,” said president & CEO, Dr. Bruce Willson, Jr. “While Jennifer is irreplaceable, the United Way team is strong and prepared to make the changes needed in order to continue our crucial work during this time.”