Greg Burris selected as next CEO for United Way of the Ozarks

Kandice RileyUncategorized

After one year serving as United Way of the Ozarks’ executive in residence/Give 5 executive director, Greg Burris will lead the organization as the new President/CEO effective Aug. 2. Burris succeeds Debi Meeds, who will retire after five years with the organization on Aug. 1.

After an eight-day retirement from the City of Springfield in July 2018, Greg joined United Way of the Ozarks as the organization’s first-ever executive in residence and the executive director of the Give 5 Program, a first-of-its-kind program that matches retired and retiring Baby Boomers with key volunteer opportunities in our community.

“The board is pleased to announce that Greg will continue his work with United Way of the Ozarks as the new CEO,” said Eric Bilyeu, United Way of the Ozarks board chairman. “Greg’s history with both United Way of the Ozarks and the Springfield area makes him the right choice to continue the organization’s commitment to bettering our community.”

Burris’ experience with the organization began back in 2011 when he joined the United Way of the Ozarks board of directors. Burris went on to serve as both campaign chair and chairman of the board before his term ended in 2014.

“I am both honored and humbled to serve United Way of the Ozarks in this new role,” Burris said. “These are big shoes to fill – following a line of great leaders – and I will do my best to continue the United Way leadership legacy in our community and build on the foundation they have created.”

As president/CEO, Burris will oversee an annual budget of $5 million, lead 10 full-time staff members, and work with 22 partner agencies to help fight for the health, education, and financial stability for every person in 14 counties in southwest Missouri. Burris will also continue to lead the Springfield-Greene County Give 5 program and will help United Way of the Ozarks license the program to other communities to benefit retirees throughout the U.S. and around the world.

“I look forward to working with a great team, a passionate board, and incredible partner organizations to make our entire region an even better place to work and live,” said Burris.

Burris held the city manager position with the City of Springfield for nearly 10 years. Before that, Burris held several leadership positions over 25 years with Missouri State University, where he also received a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Business Administration.

Currently Burris serves as co-chair of the Healthy Living Alliance Advisory Council, as a member of the Prosper Springfield Cabinet, on the executive committee of Volunteer Leaders of the Ozarks and as a member of the Good Community Committee.

Other honors Burris has received throughout his career include: Induction into Missouri State University’s “Wall of Fame” Class of 2018; recipient of 2012 “Bears of Distinction” Alumni Award for Excellence in Public Affairs by Missouri State University; and recipient of the 2008 O. Franklin Kenworthy Award for Outstanding Leadership from Leadership Springfield.

For more information, please contact Jill Finney at [email protected] or 417.988.2866


More information on Greg Burris’ volunteer service can be found here.