Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. News

Pasco United Way chief to head Pinellas Community Foundation

The United Way of Pasco County is looking for a new leader after president/CEO Duggan Cooley accepted the job as executive director of the Pinellas Community Foundation.

Cooley replaces Julie Scales, executive director of the Pinellas foundation since 2003, who announced her retirement in December 2015. Cooley was selected after a nearly yearlong national search that drew about 50 applicants.

The Pinellas Community Foundation was familiar with Cooley because of his prior work with Religious Community Services Inc. of Clearwater. Cooley is expected to join the foundation later in the fall.

"Although our board is sad that Duggan will be leaving us, we are thankful for his leadership and we are proud of the work we have accomplished together," Angela Gardner, chairwoman of the Pasco United Way board, said in a statement.

The board said there would be no disruption to community partnerships or funding and it has established a search committee to seek applicants to replace Cooley.

Cooley, 35, arrived at the United Way of Pasco County in 2011 with a charge to increase fundraising, community prominence and leadership. Cooley previously was president/CEO of Religious Community Services. He holds bachelor's degrees in psychology and in classical studies from the University of Florida and received a master's degree in nonprofit administration from the University of Notre Dame.

In Pasco, Cooley helped the agency focus on making a greater impact on the financial needs of the community. The United Way recently provided $150,000 in grants to 10 first-time community recipients to address housing, food and financial stability. Additionally, the organization committed $250,000 to partner with Pasco County government to assist in developing affordable housing development.