Meet Jeff Howell, United Way’s New Leader of Program Performance
How well do you know the folks behind-the-scenes at United Way of the Greater Triangle? This week we’re turning the lens on Jeff Howell, who recently joined the Community Impact team from his position as Executive Director at SEEDS.
In his new position, Jeff is responsible for everything from guiding best practices for impact reporting from United Way’s nonprofit partners to serving as a subject matter expert on impact data for the Greater Triangle community.
When he’s not head-deep in data, Jeff enjoys trying new local restaurants (Zwelis, the Durham restaurant supporting residents displaced from McDougald Terrace, being a recent favorite). Read more about him below:
Tell us a little bit about your background
I was born and raised in Pittsburgh where I lived for the first 18 years of my life and later returned to for graduate school. Since my first high school job, I have always been working with or in a nonprofit committed to supporting community needs as identified by community members. I moved to Durham in 2013 as part of Teach For America where I remained in Durham Public Schools for several years as an Exceptional Children’s teacher in high school and elementary school. Immediately prior to joining the team here at UWGT, I was the Executive Director of SEEDS, a local nonprofit in Durham focused on whole-child education through a farm and kitchen classroom.
Four years ago, my husband and I officially grew roots in Durham, purchased our house, and purposefully dedicated ourselves to the community. I am so excited for my role here at UWGT to increase my impact and support local groups doing amazing and impactful work.
What is your biggest dream for the Greater Triangle?
My biggest dream for the Greater Triangle is to see a thriving community where all members, especially long-term residents and those who have been a part of this community for generations.
How do you want to make an impact in the Greater Triangle?
I want to use the influence I have and the relationships I have built to see this community tackle difficult decisions in a way that is equitable and fair. When I look back on my impact on The Greater Triangle, I hope to be remembered for creating needed and systemic changes.
What’s your hidden talent?
I am an EXPERT gif finder.
What’s the most meaningful work you’ve done in your career or life so far?
During my tenure at a grassroots nonprofit working primarily in Uganda, we were able to work hand-in-hand with local community elders and leaders to build a boarding no-cost school for orphans impacted by HIV/AIDS. Here, the school and community managed a farm to grow food which fed the children and created an environment which produced one of the leading primary schools in the district. To this day, the school is still fully managed by community leaders and serving its original population.
What can nonprofit partners look forward to in their relationship with you?
Partners can expect me to be dedicated toward creating systemic change in our communities and highlighting the stories of impact individuals.
Anything else you want to add?
You will likely find me in and around Durham on weekends trying out the newest restaurants and trying to control our dog.