MEREDITH — Jack Terrill, who for 10 years was the face of the Lakes Region United Way, serving as its executive director until it merged with Granite United Way in 2013, was presented with the Live United Award last night at Church Landing at a celebration honoring his efforts on behalf of the organization.
Terrill is leaving the agency, where he has been the Senior Vice President of Community Impact for the last two years, to join his wife, Diane, in Naples, Florida, where she has been named as airport manager.
He joined the United Way in 2002 after a long career with Pike Industries and was praised by Randy Eifert of Cross Insurance, who was on the board of directors which hired Terrill, as ''one of our greatest community leaders of the last 25 years.''
He said that during Terrill's first 10 years, the amount of money raised locally and positioned the Lakes Region United Way for its merger with Granite United Way – a more centralized version that has been able to streamline its overhead expenses and reach more people in the community.
Eifert praised Terrill for his vision and leadership skills and his ability to encourage collaboration as a model for social change.
Christian Zimmermann, CEO of Pike Industries, recalled working with Terrill at Pike Industries in the late 1970s, when their jobs involved patching cracks in highways and later when Terrill was in charge of transportation in his dispatch center duties and then when Terrill was a project manager.
''Jack's a likable guy. He was always a master of details and earned the trust of all the blue collar guys who worked for us,'' said Zimmermann. He said that Terrill was able to convince the workers of the importance of the United Way and set in motion the momentum which has seen Pike increase its United Way contributions to over $80,000 last year.
Zimmermann said that he always thought Terrill would do well with the United Way when he left Pike in 2002 and said it was a great move for the non-profit to hire him.
Terrill was instrumental in merging Lakes Region United Way with the Carroll County United Way and the Whole Village Family Resource Center in Plymouth.
Granite United Way Board Chair Mark Primeau said Terrill played a key role in the "success of merging Lakes Region United Way and Granite United Way into the strong organization it is today'' and noted that Terrill also brought the Tamarack Institute for Community Engagement to New Hampshire where it presented its first national conference on community impact.
Primeau said that he first met Terrill eight years ago when he first came to what was then Laconia Savings Bank. Terrill invited him to lunch and persuaded him to join the United Way board. ''He twisted my arm. It's not easy to say no to Jack,'' said Primeau.
Terrill said that he was humbled and moved by the tributes, which were very much appreciated, and said that the key to success ''is always to keep trying.''
Also speaking at the event were Denise Tucker of LRGHealthcare, a member of the Granite United Way campaign cabinet, who described how United Way had helped her family when she was growing up in Oklahoma, and Erica Brough of Lakes Region Child Care Services, who described how the local United Way helped her and her children and enabled her as a single mother to advance her career.
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