Anne Smith set to retire at the end of August 2018

EDMONTON, AB – After more than 30 years dedicated to improving the lives of people struggling in the greater Edmonton area, Anne Smith, President and CEO of United Way of the Alberta Capital Region will be retiring at the end of August 2018.

“It is an important time for us,” said Jane Halford, Chair of the local United Way’s Board of Directors. “Anne is a highly respected leader across all sectors in our community, and throughout the United Way movement in Canada. She is leaving while she’s still at the top of her game and we will really miss her.” 

In recent years, Smith has led the local United Way in a mission shift that has seen significant support generated to address local poverty for thousands of families and individuals in the region. Along with these efforts, she is a member of the city’s EndPovertyEdmonton Stewardship Round Table and, in the spring of this past year, received an honorary doctorate of laws from the University of Alberta.

In her commencement speech, Smith noted that, even with the economic downturn: “We enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world. We are safe. We have access to state-of-the-art healthcare and education. It’s a place of immense abundance, yet 120,000 people – 40,000 of whom are children – are struggling in poverty [in the Alberta Capital Region] each and every day… We can do better.”

Anne Smith first connected with United Way as a youth representative to the Board of Directors in Calgary in the early 70s, then began volunteer support for United Way in the greater Edmonton area when she moved to the region in 1975. After becoming established as a successful marketing and communications professional, she made the leap from volunteer to full-fledged staff member in 1984.

Over the years, Smith demonstrated commitment and leadership through various positions prior to being appointed President and CEO of United Way of the Alberta Capital Region in 1995.  She has played a key role in introducing many programs in the community, including 211, Success by 6, Partners for Kids, All in for Youth, EmpowerU, 1,000 Families and Poverty Simulations.

“Anne has dedicated her life’s career to serving,” explained Halford. “For what she has helped us accomplish for our community, we will celebrate and build on the momentum.”

United Way’s Board of Directors is launching a formal process to search for a successor, and will strive to ensure the new president and CEO has adequate cross-over with Smith to discuss strategies that are in place, opportunities for the future, and connections in the community. 

“It was a difficult decision, but I’m now ready to join my husband, who began retirement a few years back. He’s waited for me long enough,” Smith happily shares.  “I feel confident this is the right time for me and the organization. I believe so much in the work our United Way is doing. To spend each day building relationships with people who put others above themselves, and give generously of their time, talent and treasure to change lives – it has been an unmatchable experience.”

About United Way

United Way brings community members together to create pathways out of poverty for children, families and individuals struggling in the greater Edmonton area. For information on the organization’s efforts, partnerships and programs supported, please visit


For more information or to coordinate interviews, please contact:

Mike Kluttig, Vice-President, Community Engagement, United Way of the Alberta Capital Region  p. 780-443-8377   c. 780-909-1790