Newton announces retirement from Outreach; Search begins for replacement

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Carol Newton, executive director of Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry since December 2010, has announced she will retire later this year at a date to be determined.

“Ms. Newton has provided Outreach with exceptional leadership and management,” said Mike Ashworth, president of the organization. “She has successfully led us through some difficult times, including the nation’s worst recession in 70 years. Today, Outreach is financially strong and serving twice as many people in need than it did five years ago. According to our auditors, Outreach is a model for financial management in not-for-profit organizations.”

Ashworth has appointed a search committee to recruit a talented executive to continue the progressive management of the 24 year-old agency that serves Polk County residents in need.  Heading the committee is Joe Epley, the immediate past president of Outreach. Committee members include three current board members and four community leaders who understand the needs of Outreach and the skills required in its next executive director.

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The committee will begin advertising for the executive director’s position in April with a goal to reach a decision by summer. Individuals interested in the position may submit their resume and cover letter via email to

“Under Ms. Newton’s leadership over the past four years, Outreach has expanded its food pantry, established a community garden, raised awareness of hunger in the county and strengthened the organization’s client services and financial management,” Ashworth said.  “When her tenure with us began in 2010, she committed then for a five-year term. Since then, we have greatly benefited from her dedication and vision.”

“I have enjoyed working with our wonderful staff, volunteers, and board members,” Ms. Newton said, “but, the time is approaching that I want to have time for other interests. I am proud of our accomplishments over the past few years and being able to help so many families who are facing hard times to improve their quality of life.”

Before joining Outreach, Newton was finance director for Peter Rock Consulting, Inc., a firm with offices in Tryon, Charlotte and Nashville. In Tryon, she has served on the finance committee at Holy Cross Episcopal Church and the board of directors of Upstairs Artspace. In addition to her professional work in Charlotte, she has a long career of public service with universities, churches and not-for-profit agencies. Newton is a graduate of Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Outreach is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1991. The organization’s mission is to provide compassionate assistance to Polk County residents who are unable to provide for their basic life needs. For more information on Outreach, please visit or call 828.894.2988.

  • Submitted by Wendy Thomas