A local nonprofit official and civic leader will become president and chief executive of the United Way of Central Oklahoma on Jan. 1, the United Way announced Wednesday in a news release.
Debby Hampton will succeed Bob Spinks, who is leaving for a position at Oklahoma City University after nearly 10 years with the local United Way.
In accepting this new challenge, Hampton said, "I am honored and excited to have this opportunity to be a part of such a strong organization. United Way of Central Oklahoma has had a tremendous impact on the citizens of our community. I am looking forward to following such a legacy."
United Way board Chairman Ed Martin made the announcement.
"The search committee, led by board member Michael Joseph, reviewed over 125 applications from all over the world, and had an enormously talented pool from which to choose the next executive leader of United Way. Debby was our unanimous recommendation and our board's unanimous choice," Martin said.
Hampton started her nonprofit career at the Central Oklahoma Chapter of the American Red Cross after the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. She rose through the ranks, becoming chief executive officer in 2002.
For the past four years, she has directed the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits, an organization to build better nonprofits throughout the state. During her tenure, the center has expanded its services and fully developed the Alliance for Nonprofits and the Standards for Excellence program to link and strengthen these community assets.
Hampton said she will begin transition work with Spinks at the United Way on Nov. 1. In a telephone interview, she said her knowledge of Oklahoma nonprofits will help in her new role.
"I worked for the American Red Cross for 16 years, and then started my work for the center. So, it's really a combination, and has helped me to know Central Oklahoma's needs," she said.
"Knowing every kind of nonprofit, ... that brings strengths to this position."
Hampton is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma and has served in numerous leadership roles with Leadership Oklahoma City, the Youth Leadership Exchange, and Leadership Oklahoma. She is married to Dr. Michael Hampton and they have two sons.
Spinks is leaving United Way to create a new program at Oklahoma City University to train nonprofit leaders of the future. This master's degree program in applied sociology is unique to this region.