United Way
of Whatcom County

Leading United: Meet Our President/CEO

January 12, 2021

We are very excited to introduce Nita (Heathers) Smith, our new President and CEO!

Born and raised in Whatcom County, Nita graduated from Bellingham High School and Western Washington University before beginning her work in the nonprofit sector. Throughout her career, she has dedicated herself to building collaborative partnerships and raising funds to support vital programs that change lives and communities. Her extensive nonprofit experience, combined with her collaborative spirit, her can-do attitude, and her love of Whatcom County make her a fantastic asset to the United Way team and our community.

Nita has held key Development and CEO positions in nonprofits across the United States and is thrilled to be able bring those skills back home. Having spent over 30 years with Boys and Girls Clubs, she understands the critical role financial stability plays in growing healthy kids, families and adults. She is very much looking forward to working with local nonprofits, businesses, and community members to support basic needs, increase economic mobility, and help break the cycle of poverty in Whatcom County.

“Financial stability and independence are critical for individuals and families in our community,” says Nita. “Without a stable foundation, it’s hard to take those next steps and move forward. I’m going to do everything I can to make sure our local nonprofits stay strong and supported and that our friends and neighbors get the tools they need to be successful.” 

A self-described people person, Nita loves bringing people together, solving problems, and making a difference.

In other words, she’s all about Living United. 

Fun facts about Nita

  • She’s the youngest of 6 siblings.
  • She’s a rabid Seahawks fan.
  • The first teenager to be appointed to the Bellingham Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee, Nita was involved in the development of Arne Hanna Aquatic Center and Boulevard Park.
  • She was also the first recipient of the Frank Geri Memorial Scholarship Award.
  • Nita loves Whatcom County so much, she is happily giving up sunny Florida beach views to return to her family and her roots. 
  • She does not currently own a winter coat. (This will change quickly!)

Want to drop a line or say hello? Nita loves making new connections!

UPDATED 7/22/21: We are sorry to report that our President & CEO, Nita Smith, has recently made the very difficult decision to resign. We are sad to see her go, but wish her nothing but good health and warm sunshine. Take care, Nita! Turns out you didn't need that winter coat after all. :)