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Kathy Dunleavy, who recently retired as CEO of the Mary Black Foundation and spent nearly eight years before that as president and CEO of the United Way of the Piedmont, was honored Thursday night at the United Way Leadership Giving Society Reception.
The Morgan Award, named for famed Revolutionary War Gen. Daniel Morgan, is given annually by the United Way of the Piedmont. George Todd, chairman of the Alexis De Tocqueville Society, and Richard Dillard, chairman of the General Daniel Morgan Leadership Society, presented the award Thursday night.
Current United Way President and CEO Paige Stephenson said she could not think of anyone who was a better fit for the award’s inscription, “One Who Cares,” than Dunleavy.
“Once she moved here, she embraced Spartanburg as her home, and she has left her fingerprints all over this community, making it a better place and improving quality of life for all of us,” Stephenson said.
Since coming to Spartanburg more than 32 years ago, Dunleavy has spearheaded multiple initiatives like the Gifts in Kind Center and Strategic Spartanburg, served on numerous boards from the Spartanburg Regional Foundation to the Spartanburg Academic Movement and the BB&T advisory board, and received many awards, including the Order of the Palmetto from former Gov. Nikki Haley and the Humanitarian of the Year award from the Urban League of the Upstate.
Dunleavy’s heart for the Spartanburg community was evident in her remarks to the large crowd of community leaders who attended the event.
“I think all of you will agree that we are experiencing a very, very special time in Spartanburg. Downtown is alive with restaurants going up every week, more apartments being built. There’s music and there’s art everywhere. It’s extremely exciting. In my 32 years (in Spartanburg), I have never seen such energy and excitement as I am seeing today. But everyone doesn’t feel and experience this excitement that all of us do,” Dunleavy said as she received the award.
“That’s why the United Way and other organizations in this community are so important. They’re working to find ways to see that everyone has the opportunity for quality education, everyone has the opportunity for economic stability, and everyone has the opportunity to have access to quality healthcare.”