Trident United Way names Chloe Knight Tonney new CEO

Chloe Knight Tonney

Trident United Way announced Monday that it has hired Chloe Knight Tonney as its next president and CEO.

TUW's board of directors said a search committee made up of agency partners, donors and volunteers conducted a nationwide search after current CEO Chris Kerrigan announced plans to retire in April. Kerrigan has served the Tri-county region for at least two decades. 

"Charleston is a great place to live and so it isn't suprising that we had an exemplary field of applicants to choose from," said Fleetwood Hassell, Bank of South Carolina CEO, in a statement.

On the Trident United Way board, Hassell chaired the search committee.

"We knew how important selecting the right candidate was to the community and the organization - we had to get it right," he said.

Tonney returns to the Tri-county after spending 16 years with the CDC Foundation in Atlanta, where she most recently served as the chief innovation and strategy officer. Tonney focused on catalyzing creative partnerships that advanced the mission of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She also boasts more than 30 years of overall nonprofit advancement, strategy and management experience.

"Trident United Way has benefitted from a history of strong leadership and low turnover at the helm," said Bob Fei, board chair for TUW. "We are very excited to welcome Chloe to the TUW family and know that she will carry on the tradition of creating community transformation through collective impact in education, financial stability and health."

Fei's company Life Cycle Engineering assisted TUW and the search committee in the selection process.

Tonney is a College of Charleston graduate, where she received a B.A. in Political Science and an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters. She gave the commencement address to the College of Charleston Graduate School in 2013 and is also a member of the College of Charleston Foundation Board of Directors, serving on the executive, advancement and development committees. Tonney's husband Rick is a Citadel graduate.

"I am thrilled to be returning to the Tri-County region," Tonney said. "It's an extraordinary area with a vibrant culture and people. The region is undergoing tremendous growth and change, and I look forward to reconnecting with the community and working to ensure that opportunities for a quality education, financial stability and health are optimized for its citizens. I can't wait to get started."

Tonney will begin her new role no later than March 7.