KENNEBUNK — In 2014, a new year means a new president for the United Way of York County.

Not that Barb Wentworth is completely new to the role. Before being officially named the United Way’s president and CEO in January, she had held the interim position since September. And her roots with the organization go back further ”“ much further, in fact. In one capacity or another, Wentworth has been with the nonprofit for the past 20 years.

Charles Peterson, president of Biddeford Savings Bank and chairman of the United Way’s Board of Directors, said in a recent statement that the board’s decision to hire Wentworth was unanimous.

“She brings great institutional knowledge, strong leadership skills and a passion for the United Way’s work in the community,” said Peterson in the statement. “All of us look forward to working with her to take the important work of United Way of York County to the next level.”

For Wentworth, it’s all about the work ”“ especially the impact it has on the children of southern Maine. By bringing together people and resources and coordinating volunteer efforts, the United Way’s emphasis on youth and community is a driving force behind her passion.

“We really want to focus on a positive, healthy start for children,” said Wentworth on Tuesday. “It’s working with community, and we can’t do it on our own. It takes working with other organizations, businesses and others who recognize the value in supporting our children.”

Prior to becoming the interim president and CEO, Wentworth served as the director of community impact, where she led the United Way’s efforts to address community needs, and helped to facilitate the necessary connections between social service agencies, businesses and other nonprofits.

Wentworth said it’s been rewarding to get to know the board of directors better, and “learning how caring folks in York County really are.”

“There’s lots of work and lots to do,” she said.

Her first order of business will be to finalize the organization’s strategic plan, addressing education, financial stability and health. She’ll direct a staff of nine, who will work on areas such as community impact, volunteer management and fundraising.

Wentworth lives in Saco, where she and her husband, Roger, raised three sons. A graduate of the University of Maine with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and social work, she earned her master’s in management and organization development from Antioch University.

She has also served on the Maine Commission for Community Service, Maine Community Foundation’s York County Committee and the Huntington Common Charitable Fund for Seniors of the Kennebunk Savings Bank Foundation.

More information on the United Way of York County can be found at

— Staff Writer Jeff Lagasse can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 319 or [email protected]

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