Ed Darling

Helen Stewart


  Ed Darling, who recently retired as editor and publisher of The Duncan Banner, has been named executive director of the United Way of Stephens County.
  He assumes his new role Monday.
  “We’re pleased to add Ed to our team,” Doug Volinski, Chief Financial Officer at Duncan Regional Hospital and President of the United Way board of directors said Thursday. “He is recognized as a community leader, has been involved in several significant projects, is knowledgeable about the area and has a passion for the communities and agencies we serve.
  “He has been a long-time supporter of the United Way here and has been both president of the board and campaign chairman. His experience should add strength to our organization.”
  Darling follows Tara Davies and Lauren Ellis in the leadership role, joining the umbrella agency that supports 14 local groups just as the 2015-16 campaign year begins.
  “I have a great deal of respect for the United Way here,” he said. “Its committed team of volunteer leaders, people anxious and willing to help those in need, shares such a positive message about our area, its generous businesses and individuals.
  “My hope is we can continue the impressive legacy and perhaps even expand on our abilities to make a difference in the lives of many.”
  A career journalist who has been publisher of eight newspapers in Oklahoma, Alabama and Mississippi over four decades, he brings a unique history of community involvement to his new role.
  He was recently named recipient of The Liberty Bell Award for community leadership by the Stephens County Bar Association and has been named the city’s Distinguished Citizen by both the Duncan Area Chamber of Commerce and the Duncan Jaycees. The Oklahoma Press Association presented him the Beachy Musselman Award for contributions to journalism and communities and The University of Alabama, his alma mater, named him the Outstanding Alumnus in Journalism.
  He played a significant role in designing, funding, building and staffing the L.B. and Ola Simmons Community Activities Center; helped coordinate and design Abe Raizen Park; was part of a three-person team responsible for building the gazebo in Fuqua Park; was a founding member of Duncan’s Main Street Partnership; and conceived Duncan…the magazine for The Banner.
  A member of the charter class of Leadership Oklahoma, Darling has been president or chairman of three chambers of commerce, two United Way organizations, two Main Street groups and an economic development authority. He is a 39-year member of Rotary, a past president and Paul Harris Fellow.
  He has three sons. Scott is a wealth manager in Alexandria, Virginia, where he lives with his wife McKaye and their two children, Aniston and Bennett; Chris, an assistant athletic director at The University of Alabama who lives in Tuscaloosa with his wife Shelly; and Grant, a seventh-grader who lives in Madison, Mississippi.