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UCM Names New Executive Director

Shirley Marshall replaces the late Cynthia Hull.

United Community Ministries has named Shirley Marshall as its new executive director, the agency announced Wednesday.

Marshall succeeds Cynthia Hull, who died in March from complications of non-smoker’s lung cancer. UCM’s deputy executive director, Elizabeth McNally, has been serving as acting executive director.

"We were fortunate to have a number of extremely qualified candidates for the executive director position,” said Douglas Kennett, president of UCM’s board of directors, in a statement. “With Shirley, we are blessed with the perfect fit of qualifications, education, passion, experience and local knowledge. We are very excited about the future of UCM under her leadership and our ability to continue to help the needy in southeastern Fairfax County."

Marshall released the following statement: “I am deeply honored to be selected by the Board of Directors to lead UCM. Former executive director Cynthia Hull, who passed away so unexpectedly, left a strong and effective organization. We honor her life by continuing to ensure that essential services are available to families in need.

“In addition, my focus will be on strengthening collaborations. By finding new ways to work together, we ensure effective and positive change.”

Marshall has extensive leadership experience in public service and nonprofit social services organizations in the greater Washington metropolitan area. Most recently, she served as director of Nonprofit NoVa, an alliance of more than 100 nonprofits working to improve lives in Northern Virginia. She has also served as interim executive director at several area agencies, including Byte Back in Washington. From 1995 to 2004, Marshall led Good Shepherd Housing and Family Services in Mount Vernon.

Marshall has been a member of many nonprofit boards, including the Community Services Board of Alexandria, and has been chair of the board of directors of the Human Services Coalition Northern Virginia and commissioner of the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority.

“As long-time supporters and former UCM board members, my wife Marie and I are particularly pleased that UCM is able to continue the tradition of outstanding leadership that Sharon Kelso and Cynthia Hull brought to the agency,” said Joe Canny, past president of UCM’s board of directors, in a statement.

“It is reassuring that the high level of commitment to the needs of our community as a whole, and to disadvantaged families in particular, will continue. With Shirley’s experience at Good Shepherd Housing and Family Services, we can be confident her leadership will move UCM forward.”

Marshall earned her bachelors of arts from the University of Virginia, as well as a juris doctorate degree from the University of Virginia’s Law School. She will assume her UCM leadership responsibilities full-time in September.

UCM is one of the largest providers of human services in Fairfax County.

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