TAMPA — Sarah Combs has been named interim executive director and chief executive officer of the University Area Community Development Corporation.
The board of directors’ decision follows the resignation of Dan Jurman, who after 2.5 years in the position, left the organization on Oct. 10 to take on the role of vice president of community impact with the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay.
During her four years with the UACDC, Combs has served principally as chief operations officer for the nonprofit public/private partnership. The UACDC works to improve the economic, education and social status of the University Area, where 95 percent of residents live below poverty level.
Combs, however, is not walking into unfamiliar territory as she steps up to fill Jurman’s shoes. She first assumed the top position in July 2011 when then-Executive Director/CEO Julian Garcia Jr. retired prior to Jurman coming on board in January 2012.
“I’ve been lucky to be intimate with every department of the organization and that makes me feel comfortable,” she said. “I’ve been blessed to see how it’s evolved.”
Combs, married and the mother of a 3-year-old daughter and 3½-month-old identical twin boys, said she’s thrilled about the many new programs and initiatives that have unfolded during her tenure with the organization.
“We need to keep all trains on time and working well,” said Combs, who has more than 12 years of experience in the nonprofit arena.
Prior to joining the UACDC she was the area director of the Best Buddies Tampa Bay region and also has served in various capacities on several nonprofit boards and committees throughout the Tampa area.
Combs is the recipient of the 2010 Tampa Bay Bucs Community Quarterback Award, the 2009 South Tampa Chamber of Commerce Support Services Provider of the Year Award, the South Tampa Young Leaders Executive Non-Profit Young Professional of the Year Award, and the 2009 St. Petersburg Times Rising Star Award.
“Sarah’s dedication to not only the UACDC’s efforts and programs, but to the families of the University Area has been an integral part of the UACDC’s success,” said Gene Marshall, chairman of the board, in a written statement.
Marshall also thanked Jurman for his service to the UACDC and his commitment to stay involved with the University Area Partners Coalition, an alliance of representatives from local nonprofit, government and private organizations.
Joyce McKenzie can be reached at [email protected]