Tennessee United Way Affiliates Plan To Merge
United Way

Three United Way affiliates in Tennessee plan to become one entity by mid-2019.

United Way of Metropolitan Nashville (UWMN) and United Way of Williamson County (UWWC) yesterday announced plans to pursue a merger that would become effective in July 2019.

To start 2019, United Way of Metropolitan Nashville will absorb United Way of Robertson County. The Springfield, Tenn.-based affiliate will cease operations by the end of this year. UWMN currently serves three counties: Cheatham, Unicol and Davidson.

The boards of Nashville and Williamson County unanimously voted on Thursday in support of a merger. A special subcommittee will work with  leadership from both organizations to negotiate the terms and conditions of the merger, according to Brian Hassett, president and CEO of the Metropolitan Nashville affiliate.

Robertson County was operating with two part-time staff and the board there had voted to discontinue operations, according to Hassett. The operations director stepped down and the plan is to hire an individual to continue as staff representative for that area.

Hassett and Williamson County President and CEO Pam Bryant have been in discussions for several months about “how best to partner and serve clients, partner agencies and corporations of both communities,” he said.

Terms and conditions of the merger will be negotiated over the coming months, Hassett said. Neither organization anticipates changes to structure or operations until June 30, 2020. The merged organization anticipates a continued staff and board presence from each represented community, he added, and Bryant intends to “stay on in her leadership role” in Williamson County.

“We are both approaching this from a position of strength,” Hassett said, adding that UW Nashville will raise a projected $1 million more this year over last year. “Both United Way organizations are doing well independently, we just believe that we will do much better together as the region’s economy continues to expand and people live and work in both counties,” he said.

Hassett became president and CEO in January. Previously, he led the Albany, N.Y.-based United Way of the Greater Capital Region, United Way of Chicago, and Valley of the Sun United Way in Phoenix, Ariz. Hassett also has worked at affiliates in Cleveland, Ohio; Richmond, Va., and Worcester, Mass., in addition to serving as president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona.

United Way of Metropolitan Nashville is the largest of the three affiliates, reporting revenue of $26.2 million in 2017, up from $20.2 million the previous year. Net assets were $24.9 million for 2017, according to its annual tax form, with 76 individuals employed during the year.

United Way of Williamson County in Franklin, Tenn., reported revenue of $5.765 million for the year ending June 2017, with net assets of $6.8 million. There were 20 individuals employed during 2017.

United Way of Robertson County in Springfield, Tenn., reported revenue of $178,000 in 2016.