113 W. Pecan Blvd., McAllen, TX 78501-9584 | Phone (956) 686-6331

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from United Way of South Texas

United Way of South Texas President/CEO Announces Retirement

December 13, 2018
President of United Way of South Texas Thelma M. Garza retires effective March 29, 2019.

On November 14, President of United Way of South Texas Thelma M. Garza announced her retirement, effective March 29, 2019, to the organization’s Board of Directors and staff. Garza has been in the United Way system since 1985—9 years with United Way of Coastal Bend and 24 years with United Way of South Texas.

Garza was instrumental in establishing many new programs in Hidalgo and Starr Counties but believes that the most impactful work resulted in working with volunteers and increasing volunteer capacity for the entire organization.

“We have an outstanding Board of Directors, always visionaries in setting goals and holding themselves accountable for exceeding expectations,” said Garza. “Working with the Board of Directors is extremely rewarding. They are professional and progressive and together we have helped thousands of residents in our two county area.”

Garza also recognizes her staff for their willingness to do more and help each other in executing quality work. “The organization’s accomplishments could not have happened without the team of volunteers and staff,” said Garza.

Since 1994, Garza has established or expanded innovative programs to benefit residents in need. One of the first tasks she accomplished was expand United Way of South Texas’ jurisdiction to include Starr County. The organization’s name changed from United Way of Hidalgo County to United Way of South Texas to reflect the expanded service area. Garza helped increase the number of partner agencies and programs that serve both Hidalgo and Starr Counties. Additionally, she gathered representatives from various federal and state agencies to start the Combined Federal Campaign and the State Employee Charitable Campaign for the Rio Grande Valley area. She also collaborated with other community leaders to establish “211” as a valley wide agency.

Within her own organization, Garza has established programs to offer direct assistance to residents. These programs include the following: the annual Back-to-School “In Style” Shopping Spree for 120 middle school students; the Day of Caring event that benefits 3,300 Freshmen every year; 12 days of Christmas; the Transportation Voucher Program; support of LatinaHope; establishment of the Education Council/Work Ready Program; the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program; Volunteer South Texas, and the establishment of the Community Veterans’ Engagement Board – RGV.

United Way of South Texas is announcing the opening of the Chief Professional Officer position. The organization is looking for an individual with the following skills, experience and education:

  • Must have a Bachelor’s Degree or higher in health and human services, business or a combination of.
  • United Way leadership experience is preferred or has been in a leadership position in a nonprofit organization for at least five (5) years or more.
  • Must be able to demonstrate leadership in the following areas: budgeting, overall project management and relationship building.


113 W. Pecan Blvd. McAllen, TX 78501


Applications/Resumes will be accepted until Jan. 31 at 5p.m. Please send your cover letter, resume and a list of at least three (3) references to:

United Way of South Texas

Attn: Search Committee

113 W. Pecan Blvd.

McAllen, TX 78501