July 26, 2019 - Ed Darling retires from United Way to return to his home state of Alabama.
Ed Darling, executive director of the United Way of Stephens County for the past four years has announced his retirement.
A native of Alabama, he will be returning to Tuscaloosa, his hometown.
“While Duncan has been a special part of my life and I will miss it,” he said, “the opportunity to be closer to two of my sons drives my decision to leave. I look forward to renewing old friendships, traveling some and perhaps even writing a little.
“Living here has been a blessing. Watching our volunteers help those in need is an experience I’ll always cherish. And working with Helen Stewart has been a joy.”
His last day in the office is Wednesday, July 31.
“Ed Darling has given back to the United Way of Stephens County and the Duncan community with a true heart of service,” Board chairman Betty Beck, said. “He has managed the United Way the past four years with great enthusiasm and a commitment to make each campaign stronger than the past.
“We appreciate the great job he has done and all of the leadership he has provided. Ed will be greatly missed,” she said, “and his shoes hard to fill, but we wish him well in his retirement and know this will be a treasured time in his life.”
Plans continue for this year’s campaign that kicks off Sept. 6 and a search to find his replacement is already under way.
“We’re truly proud of the United Way,” Beck continued. “It has served our communities well for 65 years. Our office is well managed. Our agencies are professionally run, our citizens are generous supporters and our volunteers are nothing short of remarkable.
“We’re optimistic we’ll find another top-notch person to coordinate and lead our efforts.”
Stewart, the United Way’s administrative assistant, will remain.
Darling joined the United Way after a 50-year career in journalism, publishing eight newspapers in Oklahoma, Alabama and Mississippi, including two stints at The Duncan Banner.
He was named Outstanding Alumnus in Journalism by the University of Alabama and was awarded the Beachy Musselman Award for contributions to journalism and communities by the Oklahoma Press Association.
He was named Man of the Year by the Duncan Chamber of Commerce, was recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from both the Duncan Chamber and the Duncan Jaycees, is a recipient of The Liberty Bell Award from the Stephens County Bar Association and is a recipient of the Emma Marie Eddleman Citizenship Award (citizen of the year) in Cullman, Alabama.
Darling was heavily involved in designing, funding, building and staffing the L.B. and Ola Simmons Community Activities Center and played key roles in helping design Abe Raizen Park and build the Fuqua Park gazebo.
He has served as president or chairman of three chambers of commerce, two United Way organizations, two Main Street groups (he was one of the founders here) and an economic development authority.
He was a member of the charter Leadership Oklahoma class, is a 43-year Rotarian, a former club president and a Paul Harris Fellow.
Darling was an officer in Mississippi, Alabama and Oklahoma press associations and newspapers he guided earned 14 general excellence awards
His columns, editorials and design work were also cited for excellence and he created Duncan…the magazine for The Banner.
Son Scott and his wife, McKaye, live in Alexandria, Virginia with their three children while Chris lives in Tuscaloosa and Grant in Madison, Mississippi.
August 4, 2015
DARLING JOINS UNITED WAY OF STEPHENS COUNTY TEAM
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.